Hiring a nanny is a serious commitment. As an employer, it’s your
responsibility to clearly communicate the terms and conditions of employment.
Upon a job offer, present your nanny with a working draft of your proposed
agreement. You and your nanny should then work to solidify a mutually agreeable
One of the most common reasons that nannies leave jobs is because
the parents make unexpected, and in the nanny’s eyes, unreasonable requests.
These requests could involve extending the nanny’s hours without prior notice
or adding additional housekeeping duties to her responsibilities. On the other
hand, one of the most common reasons that nanny employers become dissatisfied
with their nannies is that they feel like they are being taking advantage of.
The nanny may ask to have overnight guests, make long distance phone calls or
expect to use her work vehicle for personal use.
The problem here in both situations is that there is a lack of
clarity with regards to expectations. Good communication is the most important
part of the parent-nanny relationship. Parents and nannies who communicate well
provide a nurturing environment for the children and are able to successfully
work together. Having a detailed and mutually agreeable work agreement is the
first step in making the nanny/employer relationship work.
Once you have a mutually agreeable work agreement, it should be
signed by both parents and the nanny. All parties should have original copies
on file and should refer to them should questions about the terms of employment
arise. If the contract needs to be amended, all parties should work together to
develop the amendment, which should also be signed.
A functional nanny contract includes a detailed statement
outlining your nanny's duties, role and responsibilities, as well as your
definition of quality care in relation to your goals for your children's growth
and development. A work agreement should state your nanny’s start and end dates,
pay period and compensation (along with any deductions for applicable taxes,
social security, and health insurance and who is responsible for those. It's
also important to check into your state's requirements for disability,
unemployment and worker's compensation insurance).
Furthermore, the contract should specify hours, and whether or not
you expect some flexibility in terms of when you will return home each evening
or when you need your nanny to be on-call. When you specify hours, you need to
include how many hours per week qualify as overtime, and what additional pay
your nanny will receive for additional work.
Some other issues that make sense to include in your nanny
- Overnight care-how
often it is expected, and what additional pay will be provided per hour.
- A detailed travel
schedule for the year that includes when you expect your nanny to leave
town with the family, what provisions will be made for your nanny's
comfort while traveling, how many hours of work will be necessary while
out of town, and what additional pay will be provided.
- An agreement
concerning the nanny's mealtimes, and what food items will be provided for
the nanny in accordance with her dietary needs.
- An agreement
concerning the children's dietary needs and what meals the nanny is
expected to prepare.
- Rules for use of
the nanny car, including provisions for automobile insurance.
- A schedule of
regular meetings between the parents and the nanny to encourage ongoing
- How sick days
will be handled.
- How many vacation
days she will get after an agreed on period of work and any other fringe
A detailed, comprehensive nanny contract is especially important
if you are hiring a live-in
nanny, but should be just as much of a priority for any type of
household employee you are considering hiring. Since your children's happiness
is the most important thing, a fair contract will ensure that everyone
concerned gets the most out of the loving care a nanny provides.
eNannySource.com provides a Family-Nanny work agreement with all
Gold and Platinum level accounts in our Nanny