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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.