Vegan Babies and Toddlers
Nanny Shares and Vegan Living
Finding good childcare is always a daunting task, and it's doubly so when your child has a special diet. Large daycare centers can be very difficult to police and it's not uncommon for workers to switch children's lunches. At best you're always wondering if your rules are being followed; at worst the center outright refuses to accept your child. If you've looked for a vegan-friendly provider and your coming up short consider a nanny.
by Heather Strofe
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Yes, I know nannies--even the live-out kind--are EXPENSIVE, but they are much more likely to follow your dietary rules, especially since they'll be cooking out of your kitchen. If the cost is out of your league consider a nanny share.
To begin a nanny share you start by finding other like-minded parents that are searching for a childcare solution. Make sure to discuss discipline and expectations. If they aren't similar you'll run sour in a short time. These arrangements work best when only 2-3 families are involved.
Nanny shares only work out if everyone is happy, including the nanny. Find out what a nanny usually makes in your area. If the average weekly salary is $200, agree that each family will pay $150. This way you save on childcare and your nanny gets a higher wage, so everyone is happy. Decide where childcare will take place. Sometimes the location is constant and some people choose to rotate. See what works best for your group, but remember to consider who's paying for the food that everyone will share.
Once you've decided what you want, where you want it and how much you can afford to pay, start searching for a nanny. You can go the traditional route of looking through an agency, but the agency may charge you up to $4000 to find a decent nanny. Another option is to post classifieds and find a freelance nanny on your own. Always check references and perform a background check regardless of where you found your nanny. Remember, only hire a nanny who everyone agrees on-- it's easier to pass on an application then to fire an employee.
Have a meeting with everyone before your nanny's first day. Make sure everyone is clear about the situation. Will the nanny be expected to do household chores? Will the nanny be paid extra for late hours? Will the nanny need his or her own transportation? Then put all agreements in writing and have EVERYONE sign. You'll avoid disagreements by ironing out all the details of the arrangement beforehand. Make sure the nanny understands your choice to maintain a vegan lifestyle and require that the work contract have an immediate termination clause for straying from the prescribed diet.
Now enjoy your new childcare arrangement! You'll know for sure your child is in good hands and eating right, directly out of your refrigerator.