Whether you need someone in your home full time to care for your children while you are at work or you just want an extra pair of hands around to help you raise your littles, there are plenty of things to know before hiring a nanny. Aside from their childcare style, qualifications, and personality, it is equally as important to take stock of the business part of the equation.
Just like any other profession, nannying is a job. The occupation comes with all of the same financial and scheduling considerations that any other job would hold — a pay rate, taxes, vacation time, holidays, insurance, and more. This is not a teenaged babysitter who comes over once a week for date night that we're talking about here. (Although they can be absolute life savers!) Nannies are qualified professionals who deserve to be treated as such. After all, you are trusting this individual with the life and development of your child, so setting up their employment correctly is only fair.
Although they will likely end up feeling more like a part of the family, simply put, when you hire a nanny, you become their employer and they become your employee. If you know anything about running a business, you know there is a lot to consider before hiring employees, and the same can be said for hiring a nanny. These nine things to know before hiring a nanny will help ensure both you and your nanny are on the right track.
Insurance Coverage For Your Nanny
MacCleery tells Romper that workers' compensation insurance coverage for nannies "is required in about half of the states and highly encouraged in all.
"Families take on additional liability by having someone work in their home, and a workers’ compensation insurance policy is the best way to protect them financially and legally should an accident occur," MacCleery says.
Additionally, some nanny agencies, such as The Nanny Authority, require employers to provide health insurance for their hires. Many times, the same payroll company who processes your nanny's pay can help get workers' compensation insurance set up for you and recommend a broker to work with you on setting up health insurance.
What Their Specific Childcare Duties Look Like
Like any employer, you will likely have a list of responsibilities you expect your nanny to manage. This should be communicated in writing at the outset of employment so that everyone is on the same page.
"We strongly encourage a written terms of employment offer letter be created, so that both nanny and family are in agreement with expected duties," Greenhouse tells Romper.
Just like with jobs in other industries, these duties can be negotiated just like a pay rate or time off, but should be addressed up front to manage expectations and avoid potential conflict later on.
What Sick Time/Time Off Looks Like
"Nannies absolutely deserve time off for their hard work, whether it’s paid holidays or sick time, and should definitely be communicated when outlining the nanny contract," MacCleery tells Romper. "In general, nannies typically receive two weeks of vacation time, but it is up to the family’s discretion."
As far as how that time is structured, Greenhouse says, "The industry standard is two weeks of paid vacation (one week of the nanny’s choice and one week of the employer’s choice), two to three sick days, two to three personal days, and federal holidays."
How Holidays Work
Just like with a standard 9 to 5 job you might work at an office, knowing how holidays are handled with your nanny can help everyone stay on the same page.
"Generally, all major holidays are given off with pay; however, many families require their nannies to work on holidays, for which they are given equal time off and/or an additional day’s pay," Greenhouse tells Romper.
However, some agencies and specific employers (aka you, the parent) handle holidays differently. "Most nannies receive paid time off (PTO) for all federal holidays," Thomason tells Romper. "If they are required to work a specific holiday, they are to be compensated double time."
What Their Contract Should Include
"Nanny contracts should be extremely thorough and include everything from the duties and expectations of the job, number of hours per week and schedule, PTO, details of a health insurance stipend if offered (typically, families contribute to the candidate's monthly premium or cover it in full), and any other benefits and/or incentives," Thomason tells Romper.
Basically, anything and everything your nanny needs to know about their job should be included. This will help both the employer and employee know what is expected.
"The employer should also supply their hire (nanny) with a household binder/pamphlet that includes all info on the children, emergency contacts and medical information," Thomason adds.
Eva MacCleery, Director, Care.com HomePay
Lindsay Thomason, CEO/Founder, The Nanny League, Inc
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