What: Watch children for one or more families at a time as a nanny or through a nanny sharing arrangement

Expected pay: $5-$25 per hour

Husl$core: $$$

Where: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston

Requirements: None listed on the site, however, each job may have it’s own

Review: The concept behind NannyLane is both simple and attractive. You, the nanny, offer to watch children for one or more families — possibly trading off watching at the home of Family#1 on one week; the home of Family#2 the next. Both families pay you, but at a somewhat discounted rate. However, because you’re paid by both families, work for both families, and are watching more children, you should earn significantly more than if you were working for one family alone.

NannyLane allows nannies to post profiles and search for jobs for free. Parents pay when they hire a nanny through the site. Theoretically, it should be a great deal for the nanny and the hiring families. The problem is that some families are, well, cheap. Instead of offering to pay, 60% to 70% of the normal hourly rate, they want to pay 50% (or less) of the normal rate — giving you no extra pay for the extra work. When I looked at jobs listed on NannyLane, six of the 20 Los Angeles area families listing positions were offering to pay less than $10 an hour. One proposed to pay $4.60 an hour — less than half of minimum wage– and that was to watch their three children. Another offered $3 per hour. It’s worth mentioning that a few of the other child care sites also had below-minimum-wage offers, but the offers on this site — possibly because parents have unrealistic expectations about the economic benefits they should receive from nanny-sharing — hit a new low.

NannyLane suggests that parents pay better. But it does not demand minimum wage nor do any negotiating on behalf of the nannies. It’s essentially a job board. That said, it’s free, so there’s no downside to checking out the opportunities listed on the site. If, however, they ask you to pay for a premium membership, just say no.

There are plenty of other options if this doesn’t suit you and there’s no reason to sign up at just one babysitting site. Other options you might like:  Urban Sitter,  Care.com, Sitter City, and hybrid drive/babysit sites such as HopSkipDrive

What their users say:

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