3 Nanny Types to Help Parents Crack the Childcare Code
byTammy GoldMar 16, 2015
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto
For the 75 percent of American moms who are in the workforce, finding
the right caregiver is the key to being able to manage a job while also giving
their children the best care possible. The process can be daunting, especially
for new moms who are still getting used to caring for their own child, let
alone figuring out how someone else should. When I coach parents, the
first thing I tell them is that there is no one-nanny-fits-all model. Rather,
avoiding tension, drama, and other common problems between parent and nanny is
largely about understanding the type of nanny that will best suit each family's
situation. The three most common nanny types I've identified are:
1. Parental Unit Nanny: A proactive and independent
caregiver who can fully function physically and emotionally as a parent would.
Best for: parents who work full time or part-time, and in cases of divorce,
single-parent or parents with a chronic illness families where an extra
caregiver is needed.
2. Partner Nanny: A collaborative and adaptable
caregiver who splits the house and childcare with the parents. Best for:
Part-time working parents, at-home parents, or working parents with older
3. Executor Nanny: A reactive and dependent
caregiver who follows the directions the parents assign to her. Best for:
at-home parents, part-time working parents with older children.
Once moms decide which type of caregiver they want for their family,
they have a much better chance of finding a great match. My first client was a
mom who had 6 weeks maternity leave and 3 weeks post-partum depression. Before
fully settling into motherhood, she was forced to make the big decision
regarding, "Who is going to care for my child when I go back to work?"
Determined to keep her calm and in control, we discussed her childcare wants
and needs. She wanted someone to care
for her baby with the same level of care she would if she were home while she
worked 60 hours a week. Options such as babysitters and au-pairs would not give
her long enough hours or consistent enough care. We investigated daycare
centers, but we couldn't find any near her home or office that would meet her
needs. We settled upon a parental unit nanny for the hours she could afford,
while her mom helped with the remaining hours.
While this client wanted someone caring for her infant all day at her
home, plenty of moms prefer their children to have physical and educational
stimulations that only a daycare center or preschool can achieve. The key to cracking the childcare code is not
only outlining what you want for your children, but equally important what you
need and want for yourself for a successful relationship.
About the Author: A
licensed therapist and certified parenting coach, Tammy Gold (LCSW, MSW, CEC) is the author of Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and founder of Gold Parent Coaching. A frequent guest expert on Good Morning
America, Fox News, & CBS News among others, Gold is one of the first
therapists to bring traditional psychotherapy tools to the process of finding
and enhancing the quality of childcare.