About Nanny Sharing


NANNY SHARE is a wonderful way to provide your child with very personalized, home-base child care and share the costs of this care with another family. Many families find that the nanny share is the answer to managing their childcare expenses.

The service became popular in western nations during  times of economic stress such as the Dot Com era etc.  There is no doubt that in this Nigerian season, families need to find ways to cut down expenses and wisely utilize valuable resource. TeamIcarella  spent long hard hours at the drawing table pondering and designing innovative ways  families can still get for their beloved children support care for which they need not compromise on quality, and we believe the Nanny Share structure is  the key

So how does this ‘Nanny Share’ thing Really Work?

With a nanny share, two or more families have at least one nanny who takes care of children of families involved in the share at the same time. You can have a “full” nanny share which means that one nanny takes care of two families’ kids at the same time, without any individualized care. Another option is a “partial” share, when a nanny takes care of two families’ children sometimes individually and sometimes together.

The Benefits of Nanny Sharing

  • The most obvious benefit is the access to quality in home care at about  half or even less than the rate it usually would cost
  • A nanny share works well for families who  need a flexible childcare arrangement unlike day nurseries which will expect fixed times for dropping your child off and picking up.
  • If your child is unwell, a nanny may still care for your child. With other forms of childcare, you’ll have to take time off work to care for him/her.
  • Nanny Shares helps the families involved foster a  habit of coordinated time scheduling.
  • Another advantage of nanny sharing is that your child can be cared for in her own home or at the home of a friend. This means she’ll be in a familiar environment, and will be cared for with other children she knows well.
  • You child will also benefit from  socializing with another child similar in age.


The biggest pitfalls of a nanny share are failure of the parties to adequately communicate terms/conditions in advance and failure of the parties to plan for the end of the share arrangement before it actually starts.

You may or never may have considered  nanny sharing as a way to get quality childcare for your loved ones, but if its an option you are willing to consider, then let Icarella guide you through the process whilst providing you with the ideal candidate. Click on the topics below to get tips and guidelines

Things to think about when considering a family to SHARE a NANNY with


“Similar parenting styles” is the single most frequently mentioned key to a successful nanny share. Spend time with the other family to make sure you are compatible. Consider getting feedback about the other family from others (especially staff eg: former nannies, house cleaners, etc.); the other family may be charming but not a respectful, fair employer. From a few interactions you should be able to gauge the following:

Family Chemistry

  • Do you like each other and each other’s kids?
  •  Do you feel relaxed around the other family? Do they seem relaxed with your family?
  •  Are your children compatible as playmates?
  • Do you communicate well with the other family?
  • Do you and the parents of the other child get along as a couple?

Parenting Philosophies

  • Are you compatible on parenting styles?
  • Do you see eye to eye on screen time (TV watching and computers) and appropriate programs?
  • What is each family’s attitude about treats?
  • What is each family’s eating style? (Is ‘on the go’ okay or would you rather your nanny have sit down meals for your kids? Does all food need to be organic or not? Are desserts never ok, or occasional treats fine?)
  • What are your religious beliefs (and could these beliefs affect your decision to have a nanny share with a family with different beliefs)?
  • What are your beliefs about discipline? Sharing? Are your views compatible?

Day to Day

  • Do you live near each other?
  •  Are your homes set up well for a nanny share? (Bear in mind a top floor walk up for a nanny with 2 babies can be challenging, and you’ll need to have space for 2 kids to nap, eat, play, etc. There may be creative solutions for space challenges, but they are important to keep in mind.)
  • Are your schedules more or less in sync? (vacations, work hours, etc)
  • How many late meetings might there be that could become an issue? After work events? Travel for work?
  • Do you agree on where the child care should occur (Home A, Home B, some time at each)?
  • What is the environment like where the children will sleep and play? (Comfortable? Spotless?)
  • How often does each family want the kids to be outside? What kind of weather does each family feel is appropriate for outside play?
  • Do you care if they nap at home or on the go or not at all?
  • Do the nap schedules need to sync up? (If they do it gives the nanny a needed break in the day)
  • How important are things like music and dance classes or extra lessons? (If families have different disposable income for such things it could be an issue).
  • Do any of the children have special needs (dietary, emotional, learning, developmental, etc)?

Whether you decide to consider a share with relatives, close friends or neighbours, you must understand and be willing to respect their family values and ideals which will be different from yours. If your gut says the other family is not a good fit, don’t do it just to save money. If you want to do this and you’re willing to keep trying, there is a family out there compatible with yours. Don’t just settle.

If you believe you have an equally willing family you are open to share a nanny with, then the next step would be to discuss and agree on nanny share issues.

Factors to agree on when you decide to go into a NANNY SHARE relationship

Once you have decided on a particular family, here are a few factors to discuss and agree on when you all agree to share a Nanny together

  • The Nanny. What type of nanny are you comfortable with? What age range, tribe, level of experience and/or educational level are you willing to consider? Must she come with extra skills (hair braiding, housekeeping, cooking)?
  • Compensation. Document nanny’s total compensation and how this total is calculated between each family. Discuss frequency and tax treatment – if any. How will you coordinate paying the nanny?
  • Payment to nanny for times when one or both families don’t need the nanny on a scheduled day(s). Best practice is that nanny should be paid by all parties for all scheduled days that she is available to work. This includes the Friday when one family decides to get an early start to the weekend or the week a family is at the beach.
  • Notice/severance agreement between families when one wants to leave the share. What will happen in the event of one family’s’ need to end the share? (e.g., loss of job, moving, etc). If family A decides to leave the share, there should be either a notice period or pay to the nanny in lieu of notice provision that allows nanny and family B to make arrangements to either find another family or end the share completely. Two to four weeks notice, or four weeks pay in lieu of notice by the departing family allows the remaining parties the time to make necessary adjustments.
  • Nanny’s notice requirements. When nanny leaves, the notice requirement should not exceed the notice that parents are willing to agree to in item 3 above. Two weeks is a minimum – four weeks by all parties is more reasonable
  • Coordination of paid time off. How will nanny’s sick time be handled? Vacations? Will nanny have at least one week of vacation time at her choosing? What is the notice provision for vacation scheduling? When nanny is sick, how early do the parents require notice and who is notified?
  • Overtime compensation, especially when only requested by one party. If one family requests 3 hours of overtime in a week, how will it be compensated? What about off hours childcare?
  • The nanny’s workplace. Discuss whose home the nanny will work in, or whether she’ll alternate. How will you split the time at each family’s home? If your nanny will be working at one household, factor in the extra expense for the host family when you’re dividing up the costs. If family A hosts the share but takes a week vacation, does the share relocate to family B’s home? Is this geographically friendly to the nanny?
  • Childcare duties and expectations. What are the expectations regarding activities, naps, feeding? How is a sick child handled? Iron out these details in advance. Look forward – when the babies are on table food what will it be and who prepares it? If family A is liberal on candy consumption and family B wants their child fed organic always, how can that be managed? Will the families provide petty cash to the nanny? How will/can it be spent? Will she be expected to provide extra services to the home while children are in her care? How will she manage that?
  • Who will be responsible for transporting children from one home to the other? Will nanny take the children to activities? Whose car? Are car seats needed?
  • Parenting styles. This needs to be discussed up front. It is generally easier for nanny if all parents are on the same page – Nanny may struggle in a situation where families have dramatically different expectations on this front.
  • How will you handle communication with the nanny? Will there be one point person, or will both families speak to the nanny about changes together? (Any “policy directives” for the nanny should be coordinated between the families so the nanny is not getting conflicting messages. It’s less important that there be ONE PERSON to speak with nanny than ONE VOICE, agreed upon by both families.)
  • Care area and consumables within the home. Will there be a designated area for childcare? Will additional childcare equipments have to be purchased in each home? How will you coordinate weekly expenses and supplies, including diapers, wipes, formula, food, etc? Will family A have to stock up on supplies such as, wipes, diapers or supplies for meal preparation etc,  when care is provided at their home and vice versa or will each family bring their own supply to the venue of care?


Remember, details count. Putting it down in writing gives everyone a frame of reference, avoids misunderstandings and ambiguity, and generally just makes the share go more smoothly for all.

All that’s left to do is to interview candidates and hire your agreed best option.

Next step, maintain the nanny share relationship!

How to maintain a healthy nanny share relationship

Once the decision has been made, the trial period has been met, and the nanny share is in full swing, you’re not all done. Like any relationship, this arrangement requires maintenance to make sure it continues as smoothly as possible. Here are some guidelines to nurture the nanny share:

  • Good communication is by far the most crucial part of having a successful nanny share! Keep the communication with your share family flowing. Emailing and texting can be a less-intrusive, less confrontational way of handling things and gives the other family a chance to think about things before making a decision. (Emails are also a great way to have a paper trail as well).
  • Keep to the contract!
  •  Meet up regularly. Set up a regular schedule to meet up with the other parents, and quite possibly the nanny too, to discuss any problems that might come up. Some people like a quick catch up once a week, while others prefer a more detailed meeting once a month.
  • Have realistic expectations. The beginning of a nanny share is a transitional period, not unlike a new day-care situation. There will be kinks to work out, and it will take time for the kids (and parents) to fall into a routine.
  • Have one point of contact: Nanny shares often break down because the nanny feels overwhelmed by getting mixed messages from the two families. Avoid this by picking one family to be the main contact, should anyone have to make any changes.
  • Be respectful of both the other family and the nanny. Be prompt at pick-up, don’t talk down the other family’s parenting style to the nanny (go to the source if you have issues), and don’t criticize a child’s behavior in front of the children.
  • Make sure the nanny is happy, and help in any way to make sure that she likes the relationship.
  • Keep a monthly calendar with key dates (doctors’ appointments, play dates) and location. Make sure all the parents in the share and the nanny have an up-to-date copy of the calendar. This will help keep everyone more organized and able to plan personal schedules better.

Bottom Line…If either family or the Nanny is unhappy it will influence (and perhaps jeopardize) the whole arrangement.

All the best:)

Icarella Childcare Services at THE SME FAIR by Covenant Capital


Come with your Kids to The SME Fair Powered by Covenant capital and HIRE a Nanny to watch and engage your child in fun activities for only N200 per 15 minutes! Isn’t that AMAZING!!! You get to have all the time you need to focus on shopping and networking at the fair without distraction

And that’s not all…

Visit our table to benefit from these other Christmas offers available

1. All February/march training programs by Icarella Nanny Training Institute will be offering a 30% discount for customers who register at the fair.

2. We will also be offering 20% off all our Childcare Screening Service packages

Your Kids shouldn’t be the reason you miss the fair…. We got you covered!

October Nanny Training


Highly nucleated families with both parents working full time is a common feature in most urban cities today. Consequently, parents now rely on childcare providers within and outside their home to cater to the needs of their children as well as serve as first responders during emergencies. Unfortunately, many of these childcare providers come untrained and unequipped to administer standard care to children.

If you have a relative or you employ the service of a childcare provider, then you need to be sure your children are in safe and KNOWLEDGEABLE hands.

So lets help you with the Knowledge part!

This season we are taking advantage of every opportunity to build the capacity of as many Childcare Providers we can!

The seats are limited at every training venue. The smaller the crowd, the greater the impact. So please grab your nanny a seat before registration closes
Nanny Summer Training

The Nanny Training Workshop is a shortened version of our regular childcare training school. The workshop is targeted at all childcare providers- In-Home nannies, Center Nannies, etc. Parents are also welcome to participate. The training runs for TWO days and the total time for the training is 7 hours daily.

Training Topics Include:

RECOGNIZING AND HANDLING EMERGENCIES AND ILLNESSES: Health and safety is a priority for every parent. Ensuring your nanny has the knowledge and ability to keep your kids healthy and safe gives peace of mind. During our training, attendants will be trained in Pediatrics First Aid (1 and 2), Safety in administering Medication and Managing Common Skin infections and Communicable Illnesses. This is an intensive class and will be held on both training Days

HYGIENE: The science of hygiene in childcare cannot be mastered in a day, however knowledge sets the foundation for a sustainable hygiene practice. Focus areas in this segment include Cleaning , Sanitizing And Disinfectant , Hand washing, Bath and body care, and Diapering And Toileting(Potty Training)

SLEEP: Children need sleep to thrive. Sleep promotes health development. However most children in Lagos do not get the adequate sleep their bodies desperately need. Topics under the sleep course include: Understanding Sleep In Childhood, safe sleep and building and managing a sleep routine for children

PROVIDING OPTIMAL NUTRITION: Noodles are loved by all children, however noodles provide no nutritional value. If noodles is the staple food for your kids, then the cook needs this knowledge! Here we cover Food Safety and Understanding And Managing Childhood Nutrition

MANAGING BEHAVIOR: A very sensitive topic in most homes. During our training we teach Positive Discipline.

THE IDEAL CHILDCARE PROVIDER: Providing childcare especially in home environments requires skill. We do not cover the full curriculum here, but we address the most important areas: Time Management and Healthy Employment Relationship

Fee for this Training is N10,000 only. Pre and post evaluation tests will conducted to access training efficacy. Trainees will also equipped with handouts and certificates of participation at the end of the training. Attendants will be provided refreshments too.

Click HERE to register now. 20% discount available for early birds!

A Teenage Epiphany


I had a very strange dream

In my dream I was a nanny to four children, one of which was a 15 years old young man. The first son to be precise. As all teenagers do, this young man was changing drastically- in physical appearance, in moral understanding, social relationships etc… and like most teenagers he was rebelling. In fact he had been rebelling long before I got the job and while his mother would yell and attempt to ground him, she was the first to stand in his defense when anyone dared to question his bad behavior. On the other hand, the young man had had several heated battles with his dad, his dad has practically disowned him.

In the young mans world, I (the nanny), didn’t exist and so I stayed invincible… till the day my dream was centered on.

You know how dreams usually go- odd sequencing, sudden moments appearing and disappearing, blur faces yet clear experiences to the point you might speak or cry out loud in the real world, and a dreamer who understands it all, even when she wasn’t there. Well that’s how this many days in a moment was.

I found myself in the teenagers school waiting with two of his sibling (I think), to get picked up. Suddenly, the young chap (whose name was Anthony by the way) was being severely bullied by his peers. He tried to fight back, but he was over powered and given a black eye. It seemed it was a usual pattern- this out of control lion at home was practically an equally troublesome albeit unfortunate kitty cat at school.

A dark side of Anthony suddenly showed up. He pulled out a sharp scissors at the teachers who tried to caution him, struck a few times then took out all the rage on himself slitting his wrist while running away.

I quickly followed the excited crowed who chased him to a corner, having several flash backs as I held my pounding heart. Anthony never smiles, he is always alone, always in dark rooms. He sometimes seemed to blank out on the rest of us (which his younger sisters call his “high state”). Could Anthony have been depressed?

Anthony had lost his twin sister two years ago, and although I wouldn’t have know this if it was not a dream, Anthony blamed himself for her death. They were never close as you would expect of twins. She was to Anthony the preferred twin yet she had Sickle cell. Anthony was sure his family members hated the fact he got the ‘better blood’…

They overpowered him and seized the scissors, and as fingers were being pointed at him and loud hateful comments about him flew across the field, I watched Anthony shot down in intense sobs.

I started to speak to him. At first, I was speaking directly to him from the crowd, but suddenly it became an audio whatsapp message he deeply appreciated. Even more suddenly Anthony became a young toddler I cradled in my arm…

I woke up.

Its much harder being a teenager in today’s world. Moral standard go lower by the minute. It’s expensive to fit in. Sexual pressure comes earlier than usual plus one can swing both ways. Bullies are meaner. Report cards that matter are like scores on social media. And we caregivers (parents, nannies, etc) are even more clueless, preoccupied with chores, money making and the cares of life we fail to see fragile hearts needing to be cradled…

Instead of judging the teenager in your care just because life stress has easily given you reason to forget you once were there, study them, listen to them, respect them, set examples for them and challenge them to self regulate.

You just might realize, rebellion isn’t meant to be the norm at this age.


SLIDES5 (1)The Childcare Suit  Journey

In 2012, the demand for uniformed nannies and other domestic worker seemed to increase, so we decided to give in since most clients. The results were devastating! Employers didn’t like what we had provided and the nannies felt embarrassed to wear them.

We finally did our homework and realized that while only a few employers requested uniform just for the sake of the season, most sought functionality. Mothers were concerned about how different fabrics of cloth may gather dirt, irritate infant skin, be durable and/or cause excessive sweating. Another area of concern from both nanny and employer was the ease of wear and its ability to accommodate childcare activities. Finally, a not so audible concern was the suit’s ability to influence positive or negative stereotypes.

With the knowledge at had, we explored different styles and combinations and in January 2016 this new CHILDCARE SUIT SET was released.

Types of Childcare Suits and their Uses



Our Play Suits are fun and nicely fitting for outing and other outdoor activities. Color is warm and inviting for kids. Its very easy to slip on and its adjustable rope make the suit wearable by any body size.

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The Infant Care Suit is a free fit flexible for all body sizes. Shoulder area is broad to accommodate a resting head of an infant. The soft cotton material is less likely to cause skin irritations. It is to be worn over childcare providers regular clothes when infant is being cared for to serves as a barrier between infant  and clothing of childcare provider.

The best part of the suit is that it can be worn BOTH WAYS! This is a great function for when the infant is carried on the back.




The main feature of the Toddler Care Suits are the wide pockets able to accommodate play tools. Its also a necessary feature used when enacting the disappearing act on an item harmful but desired by the curious toddler. Although this suit was designed with the toddler in mind its also useful when caring for the school age child.

The suit is a one size fits all and shoulder area is broad to accommodate a resting head of a toddler. The soft cotton material is less likely to cause skin irritation.


The Cleaning Apron is needed when tidying up after the kids in care. It is designed to be worn over clothing to prevent stains while at work. Material can be wiped clean easily too!

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An Icarella Childcare Suit Set contains three suits: the Play Suit, Infant care or Toddler Care Suit and the Cleaning Apron. A set cost N5,000 with each piece costing N2,000 when purchased separately.

There you have it! Our well crafted childcare suits. To order a set for yourself or a childcare provider in your home or school,  please visit our online store or call the office lines on 08091148004.

We would love to hear from you. Have you tested our uniforms? What do you think? What can we do to improve on them? Please drop a note in our comment box.

Keep enjoying the Childcare Journey…

Sex education gone wrong!

It was the weekend again, and even though I knew it was a full day of #CHILDCARE, I decided to go to bed at around 2 am. Sleep lasted 5 minutes, and before I could curse the sun for cheating me again,  I heard it- “dwink wata”. The toddler was up! End of sleep. I had a lot to do anyways, so I dragged myself out of bed.


After giving him a full cup of water, we had potty time after which I let him roam butt naked, as we are still in that phase of perfecting the “wee-wee” skill!

I got to work.

Beans was on the menu for lunch, so I decided to separate dirt from among the beans while I wake myself up some more. My toddler joined me. Now I have learned that peace of mind is letting your child do whatever you are doing, if he wants to. As long as whatever you are doing won’t hurt him and he’s withing sight, all is safe with the world. Of course you are are bound to clean up the mess he makes but its better than a disappearing act. Like they say…


While his little hands played with the bean seeds in a bowl, many escaped the bowl and rolled into every corner where his butt naked self sat. Trying to pick up the escaping seeds that had gotten into hard to reach places, he called for my help. “Mummy! A beans. Ma wee-wee”. And in my sleepy state I decided to educate him about his body parts. I’m not sure how I said it, but I’m pretty sure I told him the beans had fallen under his penis and not his ‘wee-wee’.

Now let me defend myself here. This young man knows his hands, legs, neck, teeth, tongue, eyebrows and fingers, why shouldn’t  he know his penis?  Is it not a body part?  It is not a ‘pii-pii’ or a ‘wee-wee thing’, its a penis and there ain’t anything wrong in knowing the real name early. Its also beginners class for sex education. So back off!!

Back to my story.

I told him the name of the body part as I helped fetch out the bean seeds and he affirmed the knowledge had been passed by naming and identifying the body part. Mission Accomplished!

Time passed and I  was able to clear up my “to-do” list before lunchtime while eagerly waiting for nap time so I avenge my lost sleep.

I served the family lunch and as I dished my own food in the kitchen, I heard it…

The toddler lifted up his plate of beans porridge to his father and said “Daddy see, MY PENIS!”

oh no


Lesson: Teach a toddler only when you are sure you are awake.

Live-in or Live-out Nanny; Making the Decision


It is important that you are comfortable with the option you choose. The following are some of the more (or less) common pros and cons for each arrangement;

Advantages of Live-in care: The live in nanny offers the family many advantages namely: 

  • A live in nanny will reside in your home, generally in a private bedroom, and will receive room and board in addition to her salary.
  • The Live in nanny is never late for work due to car trouble, weather, or just plain traffic.
  •  Live in nannies adapt to the rhythm of the nanny-family more quickly than the live out nanny as a result of increased familiarity.
  • Live-in caregivers often provide families with greater flexibility since the nanny lives with the family and the parents don’t, for example, need to rush home to get dinner for their family.
  • The family will have a wonderful opportunity to get to know the nanny better and sooner than if the nanny arrives at the home each morning as parents are leaving and leaves the home each evening as parents are arriving. Through this increased interaction from the very beginning, the family will become more familiar and at ease with the nanny and this will translate to less anxiety for parents (and the children) when parents leave the house each day.
  • A live-in caregiver is generally more available to address last minute scheduling issues, as they do not have their own family waiting for them at home in the evening or early mornings. (Remember, even if the live-in nanny is available for overtime, the family must compensate her for the additional hours worked.)
  • Parents who require 24/7 coverage at times due to work travel find that a live in nanny can better accommodate this occasional need.
  • There is some anecdotal evidence that the retention rate of a live-in nanny is better than their live-out counterparts.

Disadvantages of Live in Nannies:

  • Families must be prepared to provide separate private sleeping quarters at a minimum and in most situations, access to a vehicle on a fairly regular basis.
  • While the majority of live-in nannies do not have their own vehicle, live-out caregivers usually have their own transportation – public or their own vehicle.
  • Also be prepared to address the logistics and dynamics (privacy being just one consideration) of adding an additional adult into the household.
  • The live in nanny will generally expect a private, furnished bedroom and would prefer a private bath.
  • Some live in nannies will agree to share a bath with the small children, but rarely with the other adults in the household.
  • A live in nanny will often eat with the family, and providing meals for the live in nanny is part of the overall employment package.
  • Many families offer to allow the live in nanny to add certain items to the family grocery list – her favourite yoghurt or soda pop for example. Families hiring live-in caregivers are often surprised at how little ‘value’ is assigned to the living arrangements in the nanny’s compensation.
  • Many live-in nannies prefer the privacy of their own accommodations, and fear being at the family’s beck-and-call 24/7.
  • Living where you work, and living with the boss has some obvious down sides from the employee perspective.
  •  Home-sick nannies are unhappy nannies and the relationship inevitably degrades if this important issue cannot be overcome.

 Advantages of Live out Nannies:

  • Obvious advantages include the fact that another adult is not added to the household; there is no need to allocate space to the nanny.
  • The nanny – parent personality mesh is less important, and the employer – employee dynamics are more traditional (remembering that personalities and emotions will always have a role in nanny relationships because children are involved).
  • The live out nanny will often already be familiar with and have ties within the community.
  • Some live out nannies commute via their private vehicle.

Disadvantages of Live Out care:

  • There is less flexibility in hours and schedules with live out employees.
  • The live out nanny often has a family of her own that she returns to each evening, often her own children who require help with homework, transportation to activities, etc.
  • The live out nanny will expect to arrive for work at a set hour and be relieved according to schedule.
  • There may be transportation issues, particularly during inclement weather.
  • Punctuality may be an issue, often a factor of commuting distances and traffic/transit issues. 

Live-out caregivers are typically somewhat better compensated than their live-in counterparts, and may be more likely to change jobs to improve hours, compensation, or commuting time/expense than a live-in.