Time Off for Your Nanny
A nanny, like any other employee, needs time off. This is especially key with a live in nanny. Unless otherwise agreed upon, your nanny is not there as a babysitter for your child when you go out to dinner or away for a weekend. If you do ask her to do these things for you, in addition to any regular work hours, she will need to be compensated, either with extra pay or with time off during the week.
Taking Your Nanny on Family Vacations
If you ask your nanny to travel with you and your family, you should pay all her costs for the trip (transportation, lodging, food, entrance fees, etc.) as well as her regular salary.
When Hiring a Nanny, Remember that Communication is Key
I cannot stress how important this. Set aside time every week to talk with your nanny about what has been happening and how she's feeling. Let her know you want to know if she feels unhappy or overwhelmed. Listen to ideas she may have about how to make the house run smoother or on issues concerning your child. Let her know what is expected and, if she is falling short, try to find out why. Talk to her, get to know her and include her in your life. She is a partner in raising your child, not just a babysitter.
Family/Nanny Trial Period
Be sure to give yourself a trial period during which either of you may end your association with no questions asked or obligations. After that, decide on terms of notice that must be given by either party if one decides to terminate the association. Spell out clearly what is and is not allowed in your home and around your child (especially important for a live in nanny) and what the consequences could be. Lay out who will pay any costs not already discussed like long distance phone calls, extra phone or PC connections, weekend use of a family car, etc. The more in depth you are, the better.
Hiring a Nanny Can Turn into Something So Much More
In the end, I chose to leave my nanny job. I met a wonderful man and we were married in the family room of the house I had lived in. The young girl I had cared for was one of our flower girls. A year later, I was back (along with a daughter of my own) to help when the current nanny had to leave on very short notice. I was there to help my young friend when her father passed away unexpectedly. Her mother, a therapist, was there to help me when a serious depression hit, leaving me just steps from suicide. Both of these women, for my little girl is now grown, are an important part of my life. In fact, after seven years away, I'm back again! This time I'm not a nanny per se. Instead I help run the practice, working side by side with the woman who hired me 13 years ago to help raise her daughter. You see, without one another our lives would have been, but they would not have been nearly as rich as they are now. I had a boss and a young charge. Now I have a family.
Articles in this series
- Part Two in this Series gives one mom's perspective on the extra benefits provided by a good nanny, beyond the typical nanny jobs.