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Five Essentials for a Nanny Contract

Reality finally set in that this is my last month of maternity leave and no matter how much I wanted to ignore it was finally time to find childcare for Emerson. After weighing multiple options including daycare, a joint nanny share, daycare and nanny combo, we finally decided to go with a full-time nanny. Beings that I work primarily at home this allows our family the most flexibility. I will have someone here to tend to Emerson 100% but it allows me to interact with Emerson as much as possible when my schedule allows.

I embarked on a nanny hunt, lasting about several months. We exhausted our internal resources including friends, residents in our buildings, and mother support groups. It turns out people are very protective over their childcare providers, rightfully so. I don't know if I would be so forthcoming if I had a wonderful nanny situation, I wouldn't want anyone to steal them away. So I finally resorted to It proved to be a good resource, lots of information and articles, a good pool of childcare providers in my area. However, it was daunting nonetheless. You have to dedicate time in the day to weed through the responses, conduct initial phone interviews and then finally drill down to a pool of candidates you want to meet on-site.

I am pleased to report that we've selected a good candidate and she begins a trial later this week. I have all my fingers and toes crossed that she works out, that Emerson takes to her and she provides the best care for Emerson possible. As we began to finalize our decision we discovered that a Nanny Contract was the next step in the process. You are probably thinking a contract, duh you are hiring a full-time employee so this is logical yes. Well for this new momma it was not intuitive for me. So like any professional who has faked their way through things I naturally took to Google to guide me. From my research I've outlined the five major essentials that are necessary for any Nanny Contract. These also will help guide you in terms of what is important for you and your family and help ensure that you and your nanny are on the same page in terms of expectations.

5 Major Essentials in a Nanny Contract:

  1. Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work Hours and Schedule

  1. What days and hours are they working

  2. What do they get paid for overtime

  • Responsibilities

  1. List of basic and additional duties

  2. Emergency duty plans

  3. Any reoccurring obligations

  • Meals

  1. Will you provide meals and snacks

  • Activities

  1. What types of activities to do with child

  2. What activities are not allowed

  3. How are you going to handle activity payments and allowances

  4. Compensation and Benefits

  • Pay: Salary plan in detail

  • Frequency of Pay: List dates of payments and re-imbursements

  • Overtime: How will the over-time be covered

  • Benefits: What if any extra benefits and perks are you covering under the pay

  • Family Vacations: Provisions and compensations in case your nanny accompanies you on family vacations

  • Paid Vacation Days: What paid vacation days will you support

  • Sick-time: How many paid sick days will you allow

  • Reviews: Schedule and annual review and detail raise options at that time

  1. Transportation

  • Outline details of nanny use of any personal transportation vehicles and/or gas reimbursement

  1. Discretion and Confidentiality

  • Outline restrictions on information sharing about family matters

  • Sharing and mentioning about your family on social networking websites

  1. Notice and Severance

  • An “at will” contract: When, why and how any party can end the work arrangement

  • Severance and the terms and conditions on how you will handle severance pay

I hope this proves useful to you. And remember; only you and your family can decide what childcare situation will work best. There is no right or wrong way of going about things, you can only do the best you can with the means in which you are given.

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