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Ten Essential Elements of a Great Nanny Contract

Posted on by Erin | in Nannies

Having a detailed nanny contract is an important step in creating a successful nanny/family relationship. Developing a contract, however, can be a confusing process. As you write out your nanny contract, use this list of the most important things that you should include.

  • How much notice is required. No one wants to think about the nanny being fired or quitting when they’re writing a nanny contract, but it’s an important piece of information to include. Outline how much notice either side needs to give before they end the employment relationship.
  • The nanny’s schedule. One of the great advantages of having a nanny is the ability to create a schedule that meets the family’s individual needs. This means the nanny’s schedule can include early mornings, late nights and weekend hours. Outline the schedule and any agreed upon flexibility in the contract. Avoid vague language so the nanny has an accurate idea of how often and when she’ll be working. If the nanny will be traveling with the family, it’s a good idea to talk about what the travel schedule will be too.
  • The nanny’s duties. So the nanny has a clear idea of what’s expected of her, outline all of her responsibilities in the nanny contract. Include tasks related to the children, the parents and the home. This may include things like meals, laundry, grocery shopping, errands or household management duties.
  • Compliance with tax laws. Although most nannies work 45 to 60 hours per week, employment laws require that all live-out nannies and many live-in nannies be paid based on a 40 hour work week. Any additional hours worked over 40 in a standard work week earns the nanny 1.5 times her normal hourly pay. By outlining the wages according to employment law, the contract shows compliance to the law and can help parents avoid future legal and financial hassles.
  • The discipline approach the family would like the nanny to follow. If the family has specific ideas about how the nanny should handle misbehaviors, they should be outlined in the contract. This gives the nanny a clear idea of what they expect from her. They should consider the age of their child and the variety of behaviors the nanny will face during the contract year and list specific examples to guide the nanny.
  • Benefits the family is providing. There are lots of different benefits a family can provide their nanny, including paid vacation, paid holidays and other paid time off. They can offer a medical insurance stipend, reimbursement for continuing education or professional memberships, or frequent flyer miles. The contract should clearly outline what benefits the family is responsible for. If they’re only paying for part of a benefit, for example one half of the monthly insurance premium, it should list any restrictions, like an upper limit on the amount.
  • A confidentiality clause. Confidentiality is a key issue within the employment relationship. A family should think carefully about what subjects they want to be kept confidential and include those in the nanny contract. This clause will be different for each family since each family has a different comfort level regarding their privacy.
  • The nanny’s use of her own car. If the nanny is using her own car for work purposes, either to transport the children or to do errands for the parents or household, the details of her car use should be included in the contract. If the nanny has put a limit on the number of miles she’s willing to drive, list that. Also list the reimbursement amount for the miles she drives. Don’t forget to detail who’s responsible for the cost of car insurance.
  • A list of on duty guidelines. There are lots of questions that come up about what the nanny is allowed and not allowed to do
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    while on duty. Is she allowed to be on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites during work hours? Can friends come over to visit while she’s working? Does the family want her to stick to a junk food free diet when she’s in their home? Once the family and nanny decide what rules work for them, the rules should be outlined in the contract.

  • A schedule for family meetings. It’s important for the nanny and family to sit down and have regular family meetings so they can talk about what’s happening with the kids and within the employment relationship. The exact schedule will depend on how often they talk between meetings and the personal communication styles of each party.

A comprehensive nanny contract will help the parents and nanny avoid lots of common pitfalls in the employment relationship. This is a plus to everyone involved.

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