Read these 46 Nanny Contracts Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Nanny tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you're new to nanny contracts, don't freak out. The best way to get started is to begin with a template or a sample nanny contract. Just do an Internet search or check out the resources available at sites like nannies4hire.com where registered users can access a nanny contract template for assistance. It's not how the contract looks that's important, it's what's in it that matters most. In fact, it's all about the details.
When developing a nanny employment contract be very specific. For example, don't just put “light housekeeping” on paper, write something like, “make beds daily and vacuum daily.” Being that specific eliminates miscommunication. If the kids need to be picked up from school everyday at a certain time, or driven to soccer practice, write out the details in the nanny contract. If a nanny were to ask who, what, where, when, why, or how, the answers should be found right there in the nanny contract.
A nanny contract is a lot like a collective agreement, except the nanny isn't unionized. It should be a means to protect the nanny's interest as well as your own. The contract is a good place to examine and detail how you'd like the nanny to handle certain situations. For example, if your child develops flu-like symptoms, do you want to be notified immediately, or do you have other instructions for the nanny? What about minor household mishaps like a washing machine that suddenly breaks down? Do you want to be called for every little thing that might go wrong, or will you leave general recommendations and trust the nanny to do her job?
Do a rough draft of the nanny contract first. After writing it all out on paper, you may realize you've added too much or too little. Just remember, the nanny contract should be a working document. Give your nanny a chance to read it over in private and then discuss any changes or revisions that might be necessary before she signs it.
When you're screening a nanny, don't forget to look for recent first aid and CPR training experience. While it's important to gauge the amount of experience a nanny has, ultimately you need to feel confident that she can handle emergencies that might come up. Whether it's a deep scratch or a broken bone, your nanny should know how to handle the situation.
If you've screened resumes and narrowed down your choices, don't hesitate to contact someone if they don't have recent safety training. Why miss out on hiring a nanny who's perfect for the family? You can always make safety training a requirement for the job and include it in the nanny employment contract. You can either make it a requirement for the nanny to get the training on her own, at her own expense, or include it as a “benefit” and arrange for the training yourself. The benefit of arranging the training yourself is that you get to specifically choose the training package and the trainer.
On the topic of training, you might want to consider adding professional development in general to the nanny agreement. How much post-secondary education does your new nanny have? A great benefit and incentive for her might be to include partial tuition toward early childhood education courses! Training these days is all about lifelong learning, so get behind your nanny and support her every step of the way.
If you're thinking about hiring a nanny for the first time, give some thought to the strengths you're looking for. Do you need someone creative and funny to entertain the kids, someone strict and no-nonsense, or a nanny with a personality that falls within these two spectrums? Don't rush into hiring a nanny. Take your time to find a good fit for your family's needs. Unless you already have someone in mind, maybe on a reference from a good friend, your first point of contact is going to be through an ad or an online profile. In fact, online sites like nannies4hire have a great reputation and offer you the chance to narrow down your choices based on whether you want to hire a nanny full-time, part-time, live-in, live-out, etc.
Another great thing about sites like this is that it's free to look. Consider it a lot like window shopping. You can scan a limited number of profiles to get a sense of who you might want to contact. To get contact information on any of the nannies, you then have to subscribe as a member. The level of services you get depends on whether you choose a premier, platinum, or gold subscription. What's the difference? Basically, the more you spend, the more you get. For $299 you get 99 days of service including comprehensive background checks. By the way…background checks are a good idea and if you've never done them before, it might be worth it to you to have the pros handle the details.
Finding the perfect nanny is like finding a hidden treasure, just make sure you're hunting for quality, not fool's gold.
Hey, hiring a nanny sounded like a great idea at the time. While the thought of someone shouldering childcare and household responsibilities lightened your mood, the thought of creating a nanny contract did not.
Of course, nothing says you have to get into nanny contracts, but it's the best way to protect yourself against misunderstandings. It's also a great reference for your new nanny to use. Keep in mind that a signed nanny work agreement or nanny contract can evolve and change over time. Assume that your nanny will be employed with you for a long time to come and make room for adjustments to the contract. The best way to do this is to set a contract renewal date when you and your nanny can revisit the document and make any changes. For example, when you first write the nanny work agreement, it may detail nanny job responsibilities that involve picking up the kids from school. Well, a year from now, that may not be necessary anymore. Setting a date and time to have another look at the nanny work agreement will keep things up-to-date. It'll also give your nanny an opportunity to talk about issues like increased pay, benefits, and vacation.
Think back to the worst employment experience you've ever had. Was your boss an overbearing dictator? Did your boss ever ask for your input or your suggestions in the workplace? What about flexibility? Was your boss willing to work with you when personal or family problems arose?
Now put yourself in your new role as boss. That's right…boss. If you're going to hire a nanny, you're going to be the boss now. To help get things off on the right foot, spend some time with the nanny going over a nanny employment contract. Talk to the nanny about responsibilities you're adamant about, and other issues where you're more flexible. There will be some things you'll negotiate on, and some things you won't. Asking the nanny to participate in the process of creating a nanny contract will open up the lines of communication and get your working relationship off to a great start.
Remember, your nanny is going to have to sign off on the agreement so it's best that she completely understands the contract. Getting her input into the nanny agreement is one good way to make sure there are no misunderstandings. It's also a good way to clear up any potential issues before they become big problems. Working collaboratively on nanny contracts is a good way to get to know your new nanny and her own expectations. In fact, you'll learn a lot about each other throughout the process. Try to be flexible where you can, but don't be swayed when it comes to the types of nanny responsibilities you feel most strongly about.
You're smart, so why second guess your instincts when it comes to hiring a nanny? You'll be able to get a good sense of how professional the nanny is from the interview. Ask your questions, listen to the responses, and carefully watch the nanny's reactions. Still not overly confident about the interview process? The following are some questions you should ask with examples of reactions that should put you on high alert:
1) How do you feel about doing some light housekeeping?
Bad response: “Oh my God, the last time I used a duster I got it caught in my hoop earrings!”
Good response: “I don't mind at all!”
2) It might be necessary to drive the kids to and from appointments, are you comfortable with that?
Bad response: “Sure! As soon as all of the charges on me are dropped.”
Good response: “No problem at all, I have a perfect driving record.”
3) How do you feel about signing a nanny confidentiality agreement?
Bad response: “I totally understand the importance of confidentiality. My last employer had a big-time gambling problem that she didn't want anyone to know about.”
Good response: “I understand your concern and I don't mind signing a confidentiality agreement.”
4) Suppose my five-year-old son suddenly spiked a high fever and became sick. What would you do?
Bad response: “My great grandmother swore by a hot mustard pack to the back of the neck, so I'd probably try that first.”
Good response: “I'd get him to rest, give him fluids, and check his temperature. I'd contact you or his pediatrician for advice.”
So you see? It isn't that hard to conduct an interview. When hiring a nanny, trust your instincts. The person you hire is going to be in your home, responsible for the health and well-being of your kids. Don't ignore any red-flags that come up during the interview. If you think you may have found the perfect nanny but can't be sure, invite her back for a follow-up interview. Sometimes the second round of questions will give you the answers you're looking for.
First time hiring a nanny? Let's assume you've got the perfect candidate in mind. Maybe you've already offered her a job. Pat yourself on the back for getting this far in the process. The only thing left to do is draw up a nanny agreement.
When you decided to hire a nanny, chances are you had some specific responsibilities in mind. Sure you needed someone to help watch the kids, but maybe you had visions of someone who could do a little light cooking and maybe a little dusting here and there. In that case, it's a good idea to create some type of nanny agreement that outlines your expectations for the nanny, the pay, any overtime expectations, etc. A nanny work agreement is really just a signed document outlining all of the things that were covered in the interview. If you decide to add something that wasn't already discussed, make sure to point it out to the nanny before asking her to sign the agreement.
Nanny contracts or agreements don't have to be created by a lawyer. Just make sure the document is clear and easy to understand. You might want to include your expectations on:
Creating a nanny employment contract shouldn't cause you excessive anxiety or grief. It's really not that hard and there are plenty of sample nanny contracts to use as a guideline for creating your own. All it takes is a quick Internet search to find them. You might even know someone willing to share information on how they created their nanny contracts.
The biggest fear of completing nanny contracts is the fear of forgetting something vitally important. Well, if you've got the basics covered (salary, hours of work, specific job requirements and duties, and any bonuses or benefits you have to offer) chances are you'll be okay.
A trick to save your sanity and stop you from fretting so much over this nanny contract business is to include regular meetings into your contract. Stipulate that these meetings will be used to revisit the contract to make adjustments, if needed, including any additions, revisions, or deletions. That way, if you do forget something you wanted included in the nanny contract, you know that before long you'll have the perfect excuse to talk to your nanny about changes you'd like to make.
Using the contract as the mechanism for discussion shows respect for the nanny, and is legitimate way to track progress and make changes if required.
Let's say you're a newbie on the nanny scene and you're feeling pretty confident that you've found the perfect family to work for. You chatted via email or messenger, talked to the family on the phone, and then sat through two or three interviews with them. Everything is perfect. They give you an offer you can't refuse, shake hands over it, and go home to get ready for your first work day.
At first, everything is great! You're working a full day, doing some light housework, keeping the kids occupied with educational arts and crafts on rainy days and taking them out to the park on sunny days. Just before the family gets home from work, you peel potatoes, defrost meat, and set the table. These are all the things you were asked to do at the interview. You shook hands.
Suddenly, the family starts acting a little cool towards you. You've got the sense that something isn't right and then it happens: the family takes you aside to discuss their disappointment. They tell you that when they said “get supper started”, they really meant “have supper fully cooked and ready for when we get home.” Ouch. How were you suppose to know that?
Of course, this is just a very small reason why nanny contracts should be created and signed. As a new nanny, you might not have even thought to ask for a nanny contract before taking the job. It only takes one bad experience, however, to remember to ask for a nanny contract in your next position.
When or if you leave any clause in the nanny contract for renegotiation is up to you. However, in a healthy working relationship, giving your nanny the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how things are going is advisable. In fact, you can add two types of meetings into the nanny contract: specify that you'd like to debrief on a daily basis to discuss the day's events and again every couple of months to talk about the job itself. That's when the nanny and the employer can sit together and talk about how the job is evolving, whether the contract should be amended based on that evolution, and if you think the nanny deserves a raise, benefits, etc.
It's also a good time to meet if things aren't going as well as you'd like. Of course, just because the nanny contract says you're only going to meet at such and such a time, don't wait if there is anything seriously wrong. If you're worried about the health and welfare of your children, or feel that you're nanny is doing something terribly wrong, never wait. Deal with the problem right away.
Nanny contracts are reference points, meant to protect the nanny and the employer. It can also be used as a work plan guide, so that the employer (you) can see where or if any changes should be made.
Not having a signed nanny contract doesn't mean your life is going to turn into a Jerry Springer episode. However, having a signed nanny contract could mean the difference between an enjoyable working relationship with your nanny, and one filled with “he said-she said” arguments.
Unless you're a A-list celebrity, having a 40 page legal document created by the country's most expensive lawyer is probably a bit over-the-top. Really, you don't even need to visit a lawyer or pay legal fees for this type of contract. It should be signed in the presence of a witness (an impartial third party if possible) and the contract should be explained and discussed before asking anybody to sign it.
Just because you're a die-hard fan of Law & Order doesn't make you a lawyer (unless you actually ARE a lawyer), so don't even try to stuff the nanny contract full of “wheretoforths” and “heretowiths”. Plain, straight-forward, to-the-point language is really all that's required. You don't have to buy expensive paper. You don't need gold seals or stamps. Instead of thinking of them as nanny “contracts”, just think of it as a letter of understanding. Really, that's all it is. Nanny contracts are really just letters that explain the job description so that everyone is clear.
Hiring a live-in nanny is much different than hiring a live-out nanny. For one thing, you're going to be sharing your space with this person day and night. For that reason, you might want to consider customizing the nanny employment contract to reflect this situation. A live-in nanny shouldn't be at your beck and call 24 hours a day, but there is a certain expectation that she'll be available evenings and weekends. Make sure to set aside personal time for your nanny and stipulate whether she'll be allowed guests in your home. Do you mind if she has overnight guests in your home? If she comes from away, are you willing to foot the bill for occasional travel to her home town? These are the kinds of things you should think about and include in the nanny agreement.
Generally, a live-in nanny is expected to do more housekeeping than someone only available certain hours during the week. If you're considering a live-in nanny, keep in mind that many professional nannies come from abroad and may speak limited or broken English. The nanny may be living far away from family and friends, living in a completely different culture. For that reason, you might want to consider adding things to the nanny contract that will make life a little easier for her. For example, including the cost of a plane ticket to visit family and friends might be a great incentive and bonus for your new nanny. While the nanny is doting on your family, she may be wondering how her own family is doing, so don't hesitate to approve things like paid long-distance phone calls or even her own Internet connection as a way of keeping touch with her own family and friends.
There's always the possibility that you're going to spend hours creating a tight nanny contract only to have the nanny refuse to sign it. At that point, you've got to ask why. It could be that she was expecting a full-time job and you're only offering her part-time hours. Maybe you have two preschool children, but you had also planned on having the nanny care for your sister's baby as well.
Just because you've created a nanny contract, doesn't mean the nanny has to sign it. In fact, it's a good illustration as to why you should create nanny contracts in the first place. Imagine if you hired a nanny and she accepted the position under certain assumptions. The next thing you know the nanny has quit and you're left to start another nanny search.
If the nanny does refuse to sign the contract you've proposed, don't automatically discount her as being unreasonable or stubborn. Talk to her! She probably has good reason for not signing the contract. With a little open discussion, you might be able to tailor the contract to suit both yours needs and the nanny's expectations.
A nanny contract should address the needs of both the employing family and the nanny. Nanny contracts aren't difficult to write, and in many cases, the family will write a standard contract, ask the nanny to look over it, and then amend the contract to suit the needs of both parties. A nanny contract should have the following items included in most cases, however.
A nanny and family contract is typically a legal document that has been reviewed, signed, and even notarized by both parties. There are many sample nanny contracts that can be found on-line. These contracts usually spell out in detail what is expected of both the nanny's services and the employing family's obligations toward the nanny. In most cases, the nanny contract covers at least some of the following items:
In many cases, families and nannies seek the extra protection that documentation of a nanny contract could provide. While the nanny contract may not be that legally binding if taken to court, there are some instances in which the contract should protect the interest of both the employing family and the nanny. Immediate termination or resignation, abuse, withholding payment, lapsed insurance policies, and other issues may need to be resolved within a court of law. Because of this, it is important to document the nanny contract. This can be done in a number of ways, including the following:
The nanny salary that you choose to pay your nanny should be spelled out in a nanny contract. A nanny salary may include the following items:
A nanny contract should protect your interests whether your role is that of a nanny or an employer. A nanny contract should be read and agreed upon by all parties involved. Each party should be allowed to consult with a lawyer or any other legal representative before signing a nanny contract. Potential employers may wish to consult with or use a nanny agency for help in finding a nanny. A nanny contract should cover topics, such as:
You can typically find a sample nanny contract on-line. If you are using a nanny agency to help you find and employ a nanny, they will usually provide a generic sample nanny contract for you to use or to modify. Modification is the key to a successful nanny contract. Even if you find a sample nanny contract on-line, you'll probably need to modify it somewhat to suit your needs and the needs of your nanny. It is important that every possible issue regarding the employment of your nanny is spelled out in the nanny contract. While some issues, such as who puts the children to bed or who fixes their breakfast, may seem trivial, similar issues could cause misunderstandings and lead to strained relationships between a nanny and her employers. A nanny contract will protect the rights of both the nanny and the employer. A sample nanny contract will generally cover the following:
One of the most important aspects of the nanny contract is the outlining of a payment schedule. A nanny can be paid in two different ways, and each method has its advantages. A nanny on a salary pay schedule gets paid every month (or two weeks) a set paycheck, no matter how many hours she worked. There are normally a set number of hours that a nanny will work per week. A salaried nanny is paid even when she is given an afternoon off so her employers can spend some extra time with their children, or when she needs a sick day. Paying a nanny salary is a way for employers to simplify their accounting; however they are responsible for paying for hours that their nanny may not work. A nanny can also be paid at an hourly rate. At the end of the pay period, the nanny's employers will calculate the total hours worked and pay her for her time. Paying a nanny an hourly wage does create more paperwork for her employers, but it allows them to only pay for the hours their nanny actually works. Regardless of whether a nanny is paid by salary or by the hour, the rate for overtime hours should be established in the contract. Even if a nanny is a live in, she should not be expected to work above and beyond her set hours for the week unless there is some sort of compensation. Many parents choose to have a specific number of overtime hours worked into the nanny salary.
While a nanny contract should cover a detailed description of the nannies duties and her interaction with the family, there are some areas that should never be in a contract for legal reasons. This especially applies to contracts for live-in nannies. The employers have no right to specify where the nanny can go on her time off. They are also forbidden from insisting that the nanny go with them to religious services. There are also some requirements that are not necessarily illegal, but are excessive. It is not advisable to include specific instructions on how to do simple household tasks, such as folding the towels or washing the dishes. The family must understand that the nanny has her own way of doing these things.
Since a nanny is a household employee, there is a level of trust and intimacy that exists between a nanny and her employers that is not present within a normal employee/employer relationship. For this reason, nanny contracts often include stipulations regarding the termination of employment or notice given by the nanny. The contract can specify the length of notice that a nanny must give before leaving her position. This can be anywhere from two weeks up to one month. The reason for an extended period of notice is so the family can secure another childcare provider and prepare their child for the nanny's leaving. If the parents choose to terminate a nanny's employment than they should provide at least two weeks or a severance package equal to two weeks salary. This allows the nanny to secure employment without being put in a financial bind.
Special attention should be paid to the portion of the contract that deals with absences and illness. There are two main considerations when deciding these contract terms. The first is whether or not the nanny will be required to work when the children are sick. If the family would prefer to stay at home with their children when they are sick, than the nanny will either have a day off without pay or a vacation day. It is important to remember that not paying the nanny for days when the children are sick and she is not working is penalizing her for a situation that is out of her control. Most families, however, choose to have their nanny care for the children when the children are sick. The other situation to cover in the nanny contract is the nanny's sick time. There should be a set number of paid days per year that the nanny can take as sick days. Anytime over this will be unpaid sick leave. The nanny and family should also discuss if the nanny should call in sick the previous night before her missed day, or if she is able to call in the morning.
Even though the older child will be in school for six hours a week, you will also be in charge of taking care of the newborn. Newborn care is often much more taxing that caring for older children. Depending on your comfort level with the family, and your areas' standard nanny salaries, asking for a 15 to 25 % raise would be within reason.
There are several reasons why a nanny contract should be drawn up. Nanny contracts can be drawn up by a lawyer or legal aid, or the employing family and the nanny can confer together before writing a mutually acceptable nanny contract.
Occasionally amendments or changes must be made to the nanny contract. At the start of the nanny's employment, the parents can choose whether or not the nanny can suggest or make changes to her own contract. It all depends on the level of trust that the parents' have with their nanny. Some common changes made to a nanny contract are a change in hours and a change in pay scale. The contract can stipulate a yearly or semi-annual review at which time the nanny may be given a raise. The family may adjust the hours that they need the nanny depending on changing work or school schedules. Also, if the employers are expecting an additional child, the contract will need to be renegotiated.
Many families worry that a nanny contract will mean they could be stuck in a situation that is unsuitable. In other words, they aren't happy with their nanny, and they want out of the nanny contract. On the other hand, the same could hold true for a nanny. She may decide that her working conditions are also unsuitable, but she is afraid to break her nanny contract for fear of future reprisals and repercussions. Can a nanny contract be broken? The answer is yes.
While nanny contracts generally do protect the legal interests of both parties, they aren't usually as binding as some might believe. If the nanny contract was created by a nanny agency, then the agency should do its best to work with both the family and the nanny to correct the current situation. In some cases, this might mean that a new nanny is referred to the family, and in others, it might mean that a nanny is hired by another family. For both parties, however, there should be a notice given, preferably at least two weeks. This will allow both the employing family and the nanny to find a different arrangement that is more suitable.
New York nanny contracts will protect the legal interests of the nanny and the employing family. New York nanny agencies typically have a generic contract that may be used by the employing family and the nanny. The parties involved may need to change certain items in the nanny contract, however, to suit their individual situations. New York nannies may sign up with a New York nanny agency, and this agency will represent them as well as the employing family. For those nannies wishing to find employment without the aid of a nanny agency, a nanny contract is an essential legal document. The nanny contract should address the following issues:
Before you consider hiring a Chicago nanny, you should consider using a nanny contract. While there may be several nanny agencies servicing the Chicago area, you can protect your rights and the rights of your nanny by using a nanny contract. Nanny contracts typically cover topics, such as:
A contract for a live-in nanny will be much more detailed than one for a live-out nanny. When you have a nanny in your home 24/7, there will be many more areas to cover in the contract. A live-in nanny contract should include information about curfew, telephone usage, hours off, car privileges and the nanny's visitors. The nanny and family should also discuss how meals are going to be handled and if the nanny is responsible for purchasing her own food. While it is perfectly acceptable to have a flexible schedule with a live-in nanny, it is not okay to stipulate in the contract that the nanny be available at any time. There must be consistent and agreed upon time off for the nanny, just as there is with any other out of the home employee. A live-in nanny contract should also specify the times that the family is going to be on vacation in the coming year, and if the nanny is going to be joining them.
A nanny should not start work until there is a contract in place. The nanny contract is not only a legal document, but it serves as protection for the nanny. The contract should list payment (both regular and overtime), outline duties and serves as a point of understanding for the parents and the nanny. The nanny is protected from being asked to do duties above and beyond her normal responsibilities. Since nannies work in the home, it is common for parents to assume that they have lots of time to do things around the house. A nanny contract formally sets the boundaries between the nanny and the parent's household. If you are a nanny and a contract is not set forth at the beginning of your employment with a family, it is advisable to suggest a contract, provide examples and explain the benefits for the family.
In addition to a contract, the nanny and employers may find it helpful to have an informal suggestion list of activities and preferences. An informational suggestion list can give the nanny ideas on how the family functions and help her have a smooth transition into her position. Some ideas for a suggestion sheet include a list of the child's eating preferences, favorite activities and naptimes. Employers can also list their preferences for handling household duties related to childcare (child's laundry and dishes) and taking phone messages while the parents are at work. The sheet should also include an overview of the employers' parenting philosophy with regards to issues such as discipline, rewards, chores, etc. Since the informational sheet is not a formal document, the parents, or even the nanny, can change it throughout the course of the nanny's employment.
When you (as a nanny or employer) are searching for a nanny contract, pick one that is as detailed as possible. It may seem tedious to cover the minutiae of the nanny's duties but it will avoid problems in the long run. Some of the more detailed nanny contracts stipulate the parent's preferences on the hours of television their child is allowed to watch, the process of changing and disposing diapers and the methods to get the child to sleep. The more detailed the nanny contract is, the more secure the parents can feel with their nanny. It also benefits the nanny because she does not have to guess about parental preferences.
Those seeking a NJ nanny can typically find them in several ways, including the following:
A nanny contract is a written business document that is designed to protect both the nanny's and the family's interest. When employing families and their nannies do not enter into a contract, confusion and misunderstandings could occur. Arguments over vacation time, nanny duties, paid leave, benefits, and overtime could result. The nanny should understand and agree to the conditions outlined by the employing family before she agrees to sign the nanny contract. On the other hand, the employer should also consult the nanny on specific items, such as salary, benefits, insurance, and paid leave, before having the nanny contract drawn up. Once a nanny contract has been read and agreed upon by both parties, the nanny contract can then be signed and notarized. Both parties should receive a copy of the signed and notarized nanny contract.
A nanny contract can protect the personal and legal interests of both the nanny and the employer. The nanny contract should be agreed upon and signed before the business arrangement begins.
There are times when nanny contracts aren't necessary. For example, if you're hiring a relative, friend, or local college student for a very short-term nanny position, you may not require a contract. Yes, there's always the chance that misunderstandings and miscommunication can occur. Hiring for short-term employment might mean having a live-in nanny for two weeks while you're on vacation, or hiring a nanny to work the summer months in your home.
Nanny contracts aren't always necessary, but if you feel better about having one, consider something short and sweet. A sample nanny contract for a short-term nanny position might look like this:
NANNY CONTRACT between (name of employer) and (name of employee).
This contract is to confirm that (name of employer) is hiring (name of employee) to work as a nanny in our home from (start date) to (end date). The total amount of hours worked per week will not exceed (hours) or fall below (hours). The rate of pay will be (hourly rate). Job duties will include (list job duties).
That's it! Just ask the nanny to sign the contract, give her a copy to keep for her records and you can just file your copy away. If you really know the person you're hiring, you might decide not to do a nanny contract for really short-term positions. The decision is yours to make, whether you decide on no contract, or a mini contract.
When creating nanny contracts, it's sometimes easy to lose sight of the people they're really meant to protect: the children. It's easy to get bogged down in the weeds with details while forgetting to include clauses like “Must continue upgrading through safety courses, early childhood education workshops, and other professional development opportunities.” Pay and hours of work per week are important, but don't forget to think about the kids while you're creating the nanny contract.
The ideal nanny employment contract is very detailed and includes much more than the basic pay rates, hours of work per week, benefits, vacation, sick time, etc. Those things cover the Human Resources side of things. If you keep your kids in mind as you're writing the nanny contract, you won't forget their needs in the process.
The fact that your little boy has asthma is something you might take for granted. You've dealt with it so long now that you just know what to do. However, you might want to be very specific in the nanny contract when it comes to conditions like this. Maybe the nanny should check for smog alerts before venturing out with the boy, or maybe you'll want to ask her to pick up prescriptions at the drug store and make sure the boy's puffer is close at hand on scheduled outings. These are things you've been automatically doing for some time, but the nanny is new at this, so make sure to be very specific in nanny contracts.
Keep your children and their unique needs in mind when writing the nanny contract.
There's no law that says you absolutely have to create a nanny contract; but don't be surprised if the person you're interested in hiring asks to see one. Having that contract eliminates any misunderstandings. For example, let's say you hire a nanny and tell her that you'll be paying her $10 per hour and that she'll be required to work 30 hours per week. A couple of weeks go by and she starts complaining that you promised her 40 hours of work per week. With a signed contract, you can refer to it anytime you want as a reminder of what was said and what was signed.
Everyone hiring a nanny (whether it's the first time hiring a nanny, or the tenth), should have a signed nanny employment contract right from day one. Sometimes there's a sense of security and/or complacency when it's a close family friend who's being hired as the nanny. Just because you're best friends with the nanny's mother doesn't mean you shouldn't take the time to create and have signed a nanny contract. It's not just for your own interests; it protects the nanny as well. It's important to have that contract as a reference point for periodic job assessments, or renegotiation.
For some people, the word “contract” makes people queasy. Sounds too legal for them. Not to worry! Anyone in the process of hiring a nanny should have a nanny contract. That might mean searching for sample nanny contracts on the Internet, or seeking help from someone who's done it before. It doesn't have to be fancy; it just has to be done.
Feeling a little nervous about hiring a nanny? If this is your first time leaving your kids with a babysitter or nanny, your anxiety is completely understandable. If you've got a vivid imagination, you might envision a spring-break “nannies gone wild” scenario taking place in your living room. Relax! If you hire a nanny through a professional agency and take the time to do background checks, you should have nothing to worry about.
This is all good talk, but when it comes right down to leaving your kids with someone you barely know, all reason can go out the window. Of course, once you develop a good working relationship with the nanny, your fears will gradually ease. The best way to get to know your nanny in a non-threatening way is to invite her to join the family for an outing. Do something fun and bring the family, including the nanny, to an amusement park. Take a picnic to the beach, play a few rounds of mini-golf, or anything along those lines. The outing shouldn't be a chance to watch your nanny “in action.” It's not suppose to be a period of observation. You just want to give everyone a chance to get to know one another. It's especially important for the kids to feel comfortable with the nanny outside of the regular structure and routine of the regular work-week.
Leave all talk of nanny contracts and nanny job responsibilities behind. The day should be all about getting to know each other while having fun as a family.
If this is your first time hiring a nanny you may have heard people talk about a nanny confidentiality agreement. You might think of a confidentiality agreement as something signed by health care workers, or people employed by the government. You might think there's nothing terribly exciting going on in your house, at least nothing exciting enough to have the nanny sign a confidentiality agreement. But think again. There's probably a lot more going on in your house and in your family than you realize. If you're not sure whether a nanny confidentiality agreement is appropriate for you, ask yourself the following questions:
I (nanny's printed name) understand the necessity of discretion and confidentiality for all matters pertaining to the (insert family name) household and will not discuss (by any means, including electronic messaging) any personal information related to the (insert family name) family.
An Internet search will generate other sample nanny confidentiality agreements to choose from as well.
Hiring a nanny might seem like the logical thing to do. In fact, it might even be an absolute necessity. It's easy to understand how families on a budget might have second thoughts about hiring a nanny, especially if the amount of money being earned outside of the home translates directly into a nanny's wage. There's no question that a professional nanny's wages are well worth the extra expense, but let's face it…you probably don't want to sacrifice every extra dollar you earn only to find yourself feeding your family cat food at the end of the day. The solution? Nanny sharing! Get together with your neighbors, close friends, relatives, or any other family looking to share the services and expenses of a professional nanny.
The ideal situation would involve working together with someone you know really well. Maybe your best friend is in the same situation as you, or you have a neighbor who could use the services of a professional nanny. How you make it work is completely up to you, but here are a few suggestions to consider:
Nannies4hire Tip: A nanny contract is an easy way to protect all parties involved when hiring a Los Angeles nanny. Besides compensation and benefits, a contract may also outline what will happen in special cases, such as the nanny needing to take an emergency leave of absense.
Whether you are hiring a nanny through an agency or on your own, a contract between yourself and the nanny is essential. As the employers of a nanny, it is in your best interest to develop a contract. If you hire a nanny through an agency, you will be required to sign the contract provided by the agency. The contract establishes rules for the nanny while she is living in your house (or working in your house) and outlines the duties that she will complete. It can also include a description of the nannies perks and benefits, such as time off, sick days, car privileges, gas expenses and work hours. The contract will also include the pay rate. Establishing a contract up front with your nanny will avoid any miscommunication at a later date about your nanny's duties and responsibilities. Many parents choose to hire a nanny without using a nanny agency. They may follow the referral of someone else and handle the hiring by themselves. In these cases it is advisable to create a contract for your nanny. When you are creating your own nanny contract, keep in mind that there are several areas of your nanny's job that you need to cover. The process of developing your own contract can seem overwhelming but there are many online resources that can guide you through the steps and remind you of sections that you need to cover.