4 Things Every Parent Should Know

Hiring a nanny?  Here are 4 things you need to know:Nanny Contract

#1: You Need a Nanny Contract

You’re not legally required to have a contract or agreement with your nanny.  But you really should have one.

Nanny care involves many issues — wages, taxes, vacation, transportation, background checks and more.  If you don’t address these issues up front and in writing, you’re inviting problems down the road.

#2: You Can’t Trick the IRS

Think you can avoid nanny taxes by calling your nanny an independent contractor?  Think again.

The IRS purposefully looks beyond labels.  In most cases, parents exercise a great deal of control over their nanny, telling them when and where to work, how to care for the children, etc.  Thus, in most cases nannies are classified as employees, and nanny taxes must be paid. So grumble and complain, then hire a good accountant or nanny tax company and pay your taxes.

#3: Beware Free Nanny Contracts

You can find a free nanny contract on the Web.

But be careful — most weren’t written by professionals that know both nanny care and legal contracts. Thus, most of the free ones are confusing and incomplete, or so long they’ll never be read and used.

Instead, have your attorney write a nanny contract, ask if your placement agency has one written by lawyers, or use our nanny contract.  Don’t spend thousands on your nanny, only to invite trouble by spending $0 on a poorly written nanny contract.

#4:  If You Have a Nanny Contract, Follow It

Yes, legal contracts can be scary, boring, or both. But a well-written nanny contract is actually easy-to-understand and helpful.

So before hiring your nanny, take 15 minutes and read your nanny contract from front to back.  Ask your nanny to do the same.

A month or two later, read the nanny contract again.  If you’ve been following it, pat yourself on the back. If not, either follow it or change it, having your nanny agree to any changes in writing.  Do this again at the end of the year. As a result, you’ll be a better boss, your nanny will be happier, and your children will receive better nanny care.