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Nanny/AuPair 101

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13 years 3 weeks ago #47025 by som
just wondering-do you pay ur nanny for a holiday (like the 4th of july) when she does not come to work? what is the norm?
good luck with the au pair TexasRose :)

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13 years 3 weeks ago #47026 by TexasRose
Our au pair arrived this afternoon. :) So far so good! She must be so overwhelmed at this point. The kids were a little intimidated by her accent and her height at first. (she's like 5'11. I'm only 5'2!) But everyone seems to be settling down. She's very down to earth and because she's 24, very mature. I think this is going to work well.

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."

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12 years 11 months ago #47027 by Sally
Kim,

You probably don't need a software program tohelp you do your nanny taxes. It seems complicated but, it really is quite simple. I didn't know anything either about how to do taxes properly but I learned. It probably took me 1-2 hours to figure it out. I live in California and went online for our state's Employee Development Department (EDD). They have all the info there. I spoke to a live person at the end to confirm I got it right. You can do the same in your state.

Basically, I had to download a form to get assigned an EIN (employer identification number). I also needed my nanny's full name, address and social security number. That's it!
On each weekly paycheck, I withheld 7.5% of her salary (social security) and 0.7% (I'd have to confirm this number) for her contribution to SDI (state disability insurance). Because she earned less than 20,000 annually, I was not required to withhold or submit any additional taxes, nor did I have to send payment monthly. I was able to do it on my regular tax form due April 15th. My nanny elected to do her taxes on her own.

In terms of 'forms' I did not use anything official. Just a plain piece of paper with my family's last name as a header. I did the same for her "W-2" form given at the end of the year. It worked fine for us.

Hope you find this useful.

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12 years 11 months ago #47028 by merri
TexasRose, any news? We don't have kids yet, but when we do we will most likely have an au pair. I'd love to hear about your experience. Interestingly enough... my husband and I were both au pairs - He was in France for two years (he's English) as an au pair. I was just an au pair for a summer job in France. I'll have to ask him about how much he worked... I was pretty much 24/7, but my job was short term. good luck - hope everything is going well :)

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12 years 11 months ago #47029 by TexasRose
Things are going pretty well. It's been a whirlwind adjustment for the au pair because we took her with us on our family trip to CO the week after she started. (by car!)

It's amazing how much easier it is to run errands and get things done now that she's here. Last week I spent 4-5 hours with each of my kids individually, doing something they wanted to do. (unfortunately that meant seeing Shark Boy twice!) They were all glad to have some "mommy & me" time. :)

The au pair situation takes some getting used to because it does mean that there is now another person in our household that we need to consider when making plans, or just making dinner. I think that will get easier with time.

I'm glad she came while I'm on vacation so that we have time to iron out all the wrinkles. (like what sort of discipline we use, what to feed the kids, etc.) I will say that my daughter, also the oldest, is having the hardest time adjusting. She wants the au pair to do everything exactly the way I do it and that's just not feasible. Everyone is different. By the end of the week, though, she was settling down as well.

I hope things work as smoothly once my classes start up again on Aug 1. I'm looking forward to being able to concentrate more on school this semester and spending less time worrying about the crazy daycare and all the little household things. (our au pair straightens up the kitchen and makes snacks & meals for the kids!)

Oh, and au pairs work about 45 hrs/week.

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."

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12 years 11 months ago #47030 by TexasRose
So I'll share with y'all some things I've learned about nannies/APs.

For those who don't know, we let our au pair go at the end of July. What seemed like small personality issues that I kept glossing over became major issues the last week of July. In retrospect, what I excused as natural homesickness and unhappiness with all the changes in her life turned out to be an AP who wasn't happy with anything (including the food I made!), didn't sleep at night, and made the rest of the family miserable. My kids were not sorry to see her go!

So, like I've been told many times by other moms, sometimes you have to try out several people before you find the right one! the AP has since found another family to work for and we have found another AP. She won't be here until mid-September, but we have the daycare as backup until then.

What I learned:
-Interview lots of people, even if you think the first or second one is wonderful!
-Trust your gut instinct about people.
-Let your kids be a barometer. If they aren't adjusting to her, maybe it's her and not your kids that are the problem.
-Set your expectations clearly at the beginning and try not to make exceptions too early in the relationship. Otherwise, asking for exceptions becomes the norm. This happened to us!

I still feel strongly that having someone in our home will be much better for the kids, so I'm willing to give it another try. This will be our 3rd babysitter in the last year, but I hear that's pretty normal in the beginning. Fortunately the kids are older and not upset about it. We're learning as we go!

The new AP is from Brazil and I love her enthusiasm and her appreciation of the importance of our kids to us. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."

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