There’s been an interesting conversation on one of the RV blogs I follow about “nomad nannies.” Newbies to the world of RVing have been wondering about the possibility of special services, specifically childcare. It began with a gal kicking around the possibility of becoming a nanny (offering her childcare services) to fellow RVers. She wondered if anyone had an interest in this type of service and how she might connect with folks who needed childcare.
The “nomad nanny” idea has merit
Here’s how JW phrased it: “My idea is to pair up with a workcamper and follow the same itinerary for a specified amount of time so the workcamper could have consistent work while traveling and exploring, and the family could have consistent childcare.”
In other words, JW would travel in her own RV. She’d follow a family wherever they went. When childcare was needed, she’d be right there to help. Such an arrangement would demand that at least part of the nanny’s travel expenses be covered, right? Food, gas, park fees, and everything else is not getting any cheaper. All of these factors would need to be figured into any arrangement between the two parties well in advance.
Hold on, there. Don’t go packing your nanny’s suitcase just yet! Several folks reminded blog readers that many campgrounds do not allow campers to conduct a business from their RV. Is childcare a business? I would think so. It’s not as overt as selling craft items from the RV site picnic table or setting up a barbershop outside your RV maybe, but you’d still be providing a service for payment. And isn’t that the definition of a business?
Why don’t campgrounds welcome RV-operated businesses? I imagine it’s because of the liability issue. The campground doesn’t want unhappy customers to involve them in any litigation against the nanny or craft seller or barber. That just makes sense.
Connecting nomad nannies with families or vice versa
Suppose an RV camper wanted to babysit children within the campground? Here’s what Tina said: “I owned and operated a licensed, private daycare center for years. I get a little lonely when my husband goes fishing. I’d love to take care of little ones again in our RV. Do I just put a sign on the CG bulletin board? Or post a sign in one of our RV windows?”
Here’s how MJ replied: “I’d start by talking to the families camping next to you and around you. Word of mouth works best for something like this, in my opinion.”
The need is there
It’s an interesting idea, isn’t it? I think about the folks who work remotely full-time from their own RVs. They’d probably welcome the chance to have some uninterrupted work time. Or the homeschooling family who might enjoy a day to explore without the kids, for once. Then there are the many single parents who no doubt need a break from time to time.
Would you really let a fellow camper watch your child?
What if a fellow camper offered to watch your children? Hmmm… What if they offered childcare and were licensed? Had a thorough background check? Had solid references? Maybe it’s too novel an idea for me to just jump onboard. But then, I tend to be skeptical. And my children are all grown. I no longer have the occasional day when I want to climb the walls because I just need five minutes of quiet. Desperation can be a powerful motivator. But still…
An alternative idea
Another reader commented: “I know of a family that turned their toy hauler garage with a bathroom into the nanny’s quarters. She traveled everywhere with the family, caring for their six-month-old baby so that both parents could have uninterrupted remote work time. She occasionally also watched the infant so that the parents could have a date night, too.”
Now that seems like an idea I might get behind. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or over on my forum.
- “Nana Camp”: 12 kids, one RV, one cabana and a whole lot of fun and games
- Reader charged extra money at campground for his kids. Could this happen to you?