Busy? Here’s a 60 Second Guide to Nanny Contracts.
:60 What is a nanny contract?
A nanny contract is an employment agreement between parents and a nanny. It’s not legally required, but it’s highly recommended. A nanny contract can be as long or as short as you like. It depends on what the parents and nanny agree to. We suggest having one 4-6 pages — long enough to cover all the important issues, but short enough to be practical.
:50 Why have a nanny contract?
Nanny care involves all sorts of things — work hours, job duties, house rules, wages, overtime, time off, taxes, and more. Parents and their nanny can easily forget to address one of the important issues when the nanny starts work. That’s a recipe for trouble, as it might result in a disagreement down the road.
A nanny contract also helps avoid misunderstandings. Several months down the road, it’s easy to forget or misinterpret what was said in a 10 minute conversation. When it’s written down, though, the parents and the nanny just have to re-read the nanny contract.
:40 Where do I find a nanny contract?
There are several places you can find a nanny contract. First, you can find a free one on the Web. While that’s better than having no written contract at all, we don’t recommend it. Why? Most of the free samples we’ve seen are written poorly and miss important issues, and it’s clear that they weren’t written by a professional with knowledge of nanny care and legal contracts.
Another option is having your attorney write a nanny contract. That option is fine, but your attorney may not have experience with nanny contracts. In addition, this option may cost you a few hundred dollars, as legal fees are expensive.
A third option is asking your nanny placement agency for a nanny contract. This option is also fine, but nanny contracts of some placement agencies are no better than the free ones on the Web. That said, be sure to ask whether the nanny contract was written or reviewed by an attorney.
A fourth option is to purchase a reasonably priced, professional written nanny contract. We’re biased, of course, but we recommend this option. Our nanny contract can be found by clicking here.
:20 I have the nanny contract — now what?
Now that you have a nanny contract, what next?
Grab a coffee or other tasty beverage, and sit down and read it from front to back. If you have any questions, direct them to your attorney or nanny placement agency. Then fill in the blanks and send it to your nanny — but don’t sign it just yet! Set up a meeting with your nanny so you can discuss any questions he or she might have. Then, at your meeting, go through the contract section by section, making sure you and your nanny are on the same page. If you agree with everything, sign the nanny contract, and have your nanny sign it as well.
Next, make a copy of the nanny contract for your nanny, and store the original in a safe place.
:10 Anything else?
There’s one more thing to do — review your nanny contract periodically. When your nanny is first hired, read the nanny contract after a week or two and make sure everything’s in order and that you’re following the contract. Then review the contract again after a few months, again making sure you and the nanny are following the contract. Then review it one more time at the end of the year. If the nanny contract needs to be changed, be sure to get the changes in writing, signed by both you and your nanny.
Best of luck with your nanny care!