So Much Fun in the North Shore!

Have you have recently moved to the northern suburbs, or are you contemplating a move? There are plenty of great, kid friendly businesses to keep your little ones (and you!) entertained and even meet new friends! When I started doing nanny placements in the north shore, I have to admit, I wasn't that familiar with the "burbs", and had to quickly familiarize myself. What I found were so many wonderful places for parents (and nannies) to meet, have fun, and even learn. I feel good things should be shared, so here are just a few of my favorite finds.

Play Spaces: Indoor play spaces are great for so many reasons. I love them for pre-crawlers to beginning walkers especially, because they mirror the park experience without the "Oh wait, don't put that in your mouth!", or "Oh no, what did you just crawl through?!" aspect. They are also great for any age when the weather isn't cooperating. Little Beans Evanston and Growth Spurts in Wilmette are two great options. 

Beyond a Toy Store: The Sensory Kids Store  in Wilmette, was created by a mom of kids with developmental differences, and is the first of it's kind. While this store may cater to kiddos with developmental differences, it is a wealth of knowledge for all parents and kids of all abilities. I love a store I can walk into and know that every item was hand selected with care and purpose, and The Sensory Kids Store certainly qualifies.  

Kid Friendly Eats: Be on the lookout for a great new spot opening soon in Northbrook. The Jar Bar is a genius idea from a mom who understands the need for quick, healthy options outside of the city. They are set to open in April, and with offerings like Cookie Dough Overnight Oats, I'm definitely planning a trip! Jar Bar will be a great, kid friendly spot to meet friends for lunch, grab a portable lunch to take to the park, or swing through for breakfast on your way to the train. 

Party Like a Rockstar: Our friends at Chicago Kids have created a new resource site, Basharoo. This site gives you everything you need for party planning in one place. How great is that?! Basharoo lists locations, entertainers, rentals, and even photos of parties for inspiration. 

Hopefully this list encourages you to explore the beautiful north shore suburbs. This is just a small sample of what it has to offer. Do you have a favorite spot?

Author: Jessica Schwartz, North Shore Placement Specialist

Evanston's beautiful beaches! 

Evanston's beautiful beaches! 



What's all this Nanny Share talk?

I’m sure if you are pregnant, or have a newborn, you have heard about a NannyShare. It seems to be the new big thing sweeping across the nanny industry. There are pros and cons to a NannyShare; my goal is to shed some light on a few topics. 

First off, what is a NannyShare? The simplest way to put it; two families with children close in age, hiring one nanny for both families. Now this arrangement can range from families sharing the nanny during the same hours, or one family having the nanny part time and the other full time. In both scenarios, you are sharing the same nanny. In my experience, it’s preferable to have similar hours so the nanny can come to either house, the same day and time every week making life easier on everyone.

Is doing a NannyShare right for you? One benefit of a Nannyshare is your child has a playmate everyday. A lot of parent’s worry that having a nanny will not be enough involvement and interaction with their child. Parents who are deciding between a nanny and daycare often find a NannyShare to be a perfect solution. You have the benefits of a nanny being at your home, your child in their own crib, and also having a playmate. Another BIG benefit is cost effectiveness. If you NannyShare, the price of the nanny is cut in half! So you and the other family will each pay half of the salary. 

There are a lot of nannies out there that also prefer a NannyShare situation. They will have another child to grow and learn with. Having been a nanny, you always could use another playmate! Hourly pay is another important factor for the nanny. Your nanny will have a higher salary, and who doesn’t want that? If the nanny has experience with multiple children, it’s a win-win. Keep in mind that your nanny will have 4 bosses. So if you need to address something to your nanny, talk it over first as parents and have one person approach the nanny. That will make it much less intimidating.

Here are a few things to look out for…

Make sure the family that you NannyShare with has the same philosophies as your family does. Do you like your child to be at the park, story time, museums, being active? Do you want your child eating only organic, or are you particular when it comes to being “green?” If you meet a family where those things are not important, it may not be a good match. You want to make sure that each family has a similar outlook on what is important for their child. Also it’s important to agree on what qualities are desired in a nanny. If you’re looking for a younger, energetic, outgoing nanny, and the other family wants an older, experienced nanny, you may not see eye to eye. 

I would recommend having a list of expectations for both the family partaking in the “share” and the nanny. Compare notes, ask lots of questions, and make sure you are all on the same page. Finding a family to work with is just as important as finding a great nanny! 

So do your legwork and talk to more then just one family. Chances are there is another great family looking for the same thing!

By: Sarah Davis, founder of Olive.You.Nanny


The Ins & Outs of Overnight Nannies

Sometimes work, anniversaries and far away friends call us to travel sans kids and leave the question “Who will stay with my children?”

Cue your nanny to the rescue.

Often, I get asked “Do people really do that?” referring to nannies who don’t mind spending a few nights in someone else’s house to care for their children. Any nanny who feels connected to the family she works for, usually doesn’t mind working overtime in order for the parents to have some time to themselves or travel for work.  Parents return refreshed and happier, kids have a fun stay-cation and the nanny gets extra income plus a fun experience with the kids. Everyone wins.

How do I pay for overnights?

There are a lot of answers out there for this but I find that the easiest way to approach overnight needs is to pay a flat fee for the time period the kids will be (or should be) asleep.  This rate is dependent upon the age of children and bedtimes.  If you have busy toddlers who will keep the nanny working past 9pm and potentially up throughout the night, factor that in and pay on the higher side. If your kids are older and more self sufficient at bedtime and you’re paying her to make sure they don’t burn the house down, the flat rate can be lower.  Remember that your nanny will still be working after your children are in bed:  cleaning up the house, doing laundry or other tasks that need to be done, and preparing for the next day. The average rate  is $75-$150 for the overnight period (typically 9pm-7am).


Maybe you’re invited to a can’t miss wedding out of state and need the nanny Friday-Sunday, you should take into consideration if this will make for one really long week for the nanny.  If she worked 40+ hours Monday through Friday and you plan to be gone the entire weekend, factor that into her rate.  If your kids have a vibrant social calendar, make sure to leave behind everything needed for the birthday parties, play dates and sporting events. It doesn’t hurt to have the fridge stocked as well.


Sometimes getaways aren’t planned by you but by your employer and it happens to be at the same time your spouse is visiting their parents, so you’ll need someone to get the kids to and from school. If your nanny currently only works as an after school nanny, you may need to consider having her “on call” while you are away in order to have her available the entire day.  Some families will pay the nanny her normal hourly rate while the kids are at school to ensure she is available for any reason.  The nanny can run errands for you during this time and act as  a household manager.

What if I don’t have a nanny?

Maybe your children attend after school programs and you do not have regular childcare in the home but find yourself needing overnight care, use an overnight nanny.  I strongly recommend hiring this individual first as a permanent sitter.  who you will regularly use for date nights and also someone who is responsible, experienced and available for overnight care. Olive.You.Nanny is  happy to help you find the perfect person to meet your overnight childcare needs!