10 Reasons Every Nanny Employer Should Have a Comprehensive Nanny Contract

As an employer, you invest a lot of time and energy into finding and keeping the right caregiver for your family.  You want to develop and maintain a successful employment relationship and often that’s more complicated and difficult than it seems it would be.  There are lots of tools and strategies for helping your nanny / family relationship thrive; a clear, comprehensive nanny contract is one of the most powerful. 

Here are the top ten benefits you’ll receive from developing your own customized, comprehensive contract. 

  1. It helps you seal the deal. Hiring a nanny is a time consuming, expensive, and often stressful process.  When you find the right one, you want to finalize their commitment to your family right away.  However, smart nannies don’t give that final commitment until all the contract terms are agreed to and the contract is signed by both parties.  Having a contract template that covers all the issues in-depth and gives you the language and guidance needed to customize it to fit your unique needs allows you to quickly finalize your hire and move on to welcoming your new nanny. 

  2. It’s a conversation starter. There’s a lot to talk about with your nanny around how things will work on the job and within the employment relationship.  Some of those topics can be hard to bring up because they’re sensitive or just unfamiliar.  Working through a contract template enables you to bring them up in a neutral, professional way. 

  3. It helps you clearly outline the care you want for your child. Providing great care is your nanny’s number one job but every parent defines quality care in a slightly different way.  Your nanny contract allows you to give your nanny specific direction around your expectations and priorities so your child receives the care you envision.  

  4. It protects you from claims of wage theft. By clearly defining your nanny’s regular and overtime rates, stipends, and policies around guaranteed hours, on call hours, overnight care, rest and lunch breaks, and other wage related issues, you make sure your nanny is paid correctly on all fronts. 

  5. It clearly outlines your obligations and responsibilities to your nanny and theirs to you. No “I assumed you pay for ____.” or “I thought you’d be fine with ___.” or “I didn’t realize you needed me to do ____.”  A clear contract will make sure your nanny understands what they can and cannot expect from you and what you can and cannot expect from them. 

  6. It helps you talk about and set on duty guidelines around issues that aren’t related to quality care but are important to you (e.g. limitations on cell phone use, permissions needed for play dates). Even the best caregiver can get these wrong without specific guidance. The inclusion of clear, respectful guidelines in your contract will avoid misaligned expectations and friction in the employment relationship.

  7. It acts as your HR manual and allows you to flesh out the details of policies. There are a lot of details that go into guaranteed hours, paid time off, your family’s sick policy, and other employment issues.  Since you don’t have an HR department in charge of developing and relaying all this information, it’s up to you.  Your nanny contract will outline all these important details and makes sure you and your nanny are on the same page. 

  8. It gives you the language needed to create a flexible schedule while also providing guardrails around your nanny’s required down time. Many families worry a contract will take away the scheduling flexibility they need.  The opposite is true; it guarantees flexibility by clearly defining the boundaries of your needs, giving your nanny a realistic view of the most you’ll require and what downtime they’re guaranteed.  

  9. It shows your nanny you recognize them as a professional and are ready to treat them as one. A family that welcomes a comprehensive contract is a green flag to nannies.  It shows you understand and accept your responsibilities as an employer. 
  10. It avoids ongoing negotiation throughout the employment relationship. When you don’t have a contract that nails down all the details you need to easily navigate employment issues, questions about how things work will work continually come up. This drip, drip, drip approach makes it feel like there’s always a problem needing to be solved and usually, each side has made assumptions about the “right” outcome.  It’s a formula for dissatisfaction and frustration and slowly erodes the employment relationship.  

A comprehensive nanny contract is one of the best investments you can make to hire and keep a quality caregiver.  The A to Z Nanny Contract has helped thousands of nanny / parent teams work successfully together.  It’s a nanny favorite and guaranteed the best in the business.  Get all the details here.

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