A nanny contract is mutually beneficial for both parties. It’s a written agreement that describes daily hours, length of the job, pay and benefits, as well as job responsibilities. A contract is often presented to nannies upon the job offering. Nannies, you should read it over carefully and know that you can ask for amendments to be made. Remember that negotiating pay is not always possible for families, so you could instead ask for an additional vacation or sick day to be included in your benefits. It’s the beginning of a long working relationship between employer and employee. Open communication is important from day one; have a conversation about what you envision.
- Hours: Clearly define the days and hours that the nanny is expected at work.
- Length of job: This will have the dates of the contract; a year is standard. It should also state that both parties need to provide a minimum of 4 weeks notice before terminating the position.
- Pay: This part of the nanny contract should state the hourly rate and if the employee works over 40 hours that she will be paid time and a half. This section should also say which specific day of the week is payday.
- Taxes: Employers should make it clear if they will be deducting the employee’s portion of Medicare, Social Security, and income taxes, as well as if the employer will be paying a portion. This is easiest to do through a payroll service, such as GTM.
- Health Benefits: Some states, such as MA require you to have health insurance. For the employer’s records it is helpful to state if you will be offering a stipend toward health insurance or if the nanny does not require health benefits.
- Public Transportation: Some families will pay for a monthly train pass or a portion of it.
- Paid Sick Time: Each state has different requirements for what must be offered to employees. A fair amount of paid time over one year is the equivalent to one week’s hours, ie: 40 hours.
- Vacation Days: This should state whether the nanny can choose when to take her allotted vacation days or if she needs to take one week of the family’s choosing and one week of her choosing. Employers should also ask for a certain amount of notice before the requested vacation.
- Paid Holidays: Parents often give their nanny the same paid holidays that their job provides. Here’s a list of common paid holidays.
Nanny Contract Job Responsibilities
- Caring for children is your number one responsibility. It should be clear that you will work on chores while children are sleeping or at school and that while they are awake you will provide your undivided attention to their safety and development.
- Laundry: This should clearly state if the nanny will wash and fold the entire family’s laundry or only the children’s. This portion of the nanny contract can also mention if the nanny is responsible for changing the children’s bedding weekly.
- Dishes: Here, families should write if they want the nanny to empty and load the dishwasher daily, as well as wash all the dishes or only the children’s.
- Organization of Kids’ Space: This is often just asking the nanny to keep the playroom and kids’ bedrooms clean and tidy.
- Record Keeping: How does the family want to be notified of daily diapers, naps, feedings, and activities? Is there a written chart filled out each day, a white-board for notes, or an app such as Baby Connect?
- Traveling With Family: This should state if the nanny will be asked to travel with the family. If so, will she have increased pay during longer hours on trips? Nannies, you can also ask to have certain blackout dates such as your yearly vacation or ask to be given 1 month notice to plan accordingly.
- Additionally, this portion of the nanny contract can include specific feeding requests such as feeding only prepared meals versus frozen. You can also choose to include a statement that the nanny needs to prepare age and developmentally appropriate activities to provide the children enrichment opportunities.
- Inclement Weather: It’s important for the nanny’s safety that a statement is added about staying home during extreme storms. For example, if the governor asks people to stay home and off the road or if public transportation is closed. Another way to help decide if a nanny should come in or not, is a statement saying that if parents stay home due to hazardous weather and road conditions, the nanny will not be required to come into work.
- Running Late: This part of the nanny contract is important for both parties. Employers should state that the nanny needs to alert them if she is running late and after how many late days pay will be docked. Nannies should make sure that their employer writes that if they are running late at the end of the day, that after 15 or 30 minutes the employee will be paid for the additional time.
- Transportation: Parents, here’s the spot to write that the nanny agrees to never use electronic devices while driving your children. You should also add that the nanny will be added to family’s car insurance and can transport children in your car to agreed upon activities. This section may also say that parents will provide car seats to be installed in the nanny’s car if she drives them in her own car and that the gas mileage will be paid for.
- Discipline: This should state parents’ discipline strategy, such as positive discipline. Nannies should never spank a child even if that is part of a parent’s strategy.
- Television: Parents, do you allow your children to watch TV and if so how much per a day?
Safety & Confidentiality
- Vaccines: Parents agree to ensure the children are up to date on their vaccinations, unless health reasons dictate otherwise. The nanny also agrees to stay up to date on her vaccinations, unless health reasons dictate otherwise.
- In Case of Emergency call 911 and then call both parents. This section may also include emergency contacts and who the children can and cannot be left with, such as grandparents.
- CPR Training: Parents should write that the nanny agrees to maintain valid training for child/infant CPR and First Aid. Parents could also add that they will reimburse the nanny for re-certification.
- Smoke-Free Household: Parents if this is important to you please include it.
- Photo release: Parents do you allow your child’s picture on social media? If you have a specific photo sharing app that you only want the nanny using, point that out.
Nanny Contract Review
- 6 months: Halfway through the contract is a good time to discuss what’s working well and what could be improved. Nannies, I know it can be difficult to talk about concerns to your boss. From experience, they actually appreciate your honesty since it keeps the whole household happy and working together.
- 12 months: Time to sign next year’s contract, congratulations!
- This section of the nanny contract is not necessary. However, it is important that if something important comes up before the yearly contract signing that you schedule a meeting together so that everyone is on the same page.
Remember that a nanny contract is written for both parties. It is a way to set clear lines so there are no confusions. Take your time when writing or reviewing it to make sure it is equally favorable and forms a positive relationship. When working with Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny’s placement director you will be given tips on preparing for an interview, nanny contracts, as well as resources to help guide you through the hiring, taxes, and the employment process. We’re here to help!