You’ve found the perfect nanny for your nanny share. Now, it’s time to make it official with a contract. Creating a nanny contract will help keep both families covered by setting expectations with your nanny from the start.
A nanny contract is just like any other employment contract—it lays out all expectations, intentions and needs for the job. At Guidepost at Home, we employ our nannies as W2, full-time employees and each one has a contract that details what is expected of them in their role. These contracts are not only helpful in setting expectations from the start, but they're also a useful tool for both our team and the nannies to refer back to if any questions come up along the way. For instance, if we asked a nanny to start walking a family's dog, that nanny could go back to her contract and remind us that dog walking duty was not part of the original scope of the job. (Do you want your nanny to walk Fido? You're going to want to make sure that's in your contract.) Nanny contracts keep nannies accountable on what's expected of them and keeps both families in the nanny share accountable in their roles as employers.
Not sure where to start? We've taken all of our experience with nanny contracts and broken down the nine most important areas yours should cover. We've also created a template to get you started. As always, individuals are encouraged to consult their own legal counsel for a professional opinion.
1. Location of Nanny Share
Since a nanny share takes place in your home, it’s important to set expectations around where you expect the nanny to show up for work every day. If one family is hosting, then their address should be listed. If care will alternate between two families’ homes, then both addresses should be detailed as well as the schedule (so alternating every 2 days, every week, etc).
Provide as much detail around the weekly schedule of the nanny share as possible. You should also include the total number of hours you’ll guarantee the nanny each week.
3. Nanny Compensation
Ah, the all-important compensation section. This is where you’ll detail the hourly wage you have agreed upon with the nanny. You should also detail the overtime rate you will pay (yes, you have to pay overtime if the nanny works over 40 hours a week!). Also make sure to include when you’ll pay them (1st and 15th of the month, every week, etc.) and how you’ll pay them (via check, direct deposit, etc). You should also address how you’ll compensate the nanny if the children are kept home sick or there are last minute scheduling changes.
We kept this section in our template pretty simple to cover the basics. But you should also consider adding sections on:
Raises & Performance Reviews
Will you be offering an annual cost-of-living raise? Detail that here. You should also detail how you’ll handle performance-based raises. It’s a good idea to set aside time to discuss the nanny’s performance on a regular basis. This helps keep everyone striving for the same expectations and it’s important that your nanny understand how their work is being viewed (and valued!). In your nanny contract, you can detail how often reviews will happen and what types of things will be discussed (general performance, pay raises, updated job responsibilities, etc).
Will you be providing additional benefits to your nanny? At Guidepost at Home, nannies are eligible for benefits, such as health insurance, worker’s compensation, and paid time off so our families don’t have to worry about those details. If you’re setting up your own nanny share, you will have to address these in your nanny contract. Make sure to discuss with your partner family what benefits you’d like to provide your nanny (e.g. payment towards health insurance, reimbursement for public transportation / commuting expenses, cell phone service, etc.) and detail those in your nanny contract.
4. General Expenses
In this section of our nanny contract template, we’ve provided some guidance on how to handle expenses the nanny might incur while on the job. This could be anything from art supplies to museum passes to a trip to the store for an emergency diaper run.
The families should discuss how they would like to handle these expenses and then put pen to paper. One option is to provide your nanny with petty cash. Or, you could ask the nanny to submit expenses that need to be reimbursed.
5. Paid Time Off, Holidays & Sick Days
Here is where you’ll detail all rules and expectations around paid time off. You’ll want to detail how many vacation days you’re offering the nanny and when they can start taking them (e.g. if you’re okay with them requesting days off just a few weeks into care or if you’d like them to wait at least two months).
When it comes to your vacation, you may want to consider coordinating similar vacation schedules with your partner family to make scheduling easier on everyone. Typically, families will agree on one week they’ll both go away and the nanny gets that week for vacation. Then, the nanny can choose when to take the rest of their PTO.
6. Taxes, Withholding & Insurance
We know—“taxes” is a scary word! Once you create an employer-employee relationship with your nanny, it’s subject to a variety of local, state and federal laws around pay and taxation. That’s why it’s best to consult a tax or legal professional who can help you understand and comply with the laws to make sure you have the right paperwork and are handling tax withholdings correctly.
At Guidepost at Home, our nannies are W2 employees so we handle all of their tax withholdings and the paperwork involved so families don’t have that added stress. If you’re setting up your own nanny share, we strongly advise you to bring in some help. You should also consult a professional around Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Some states require you to carry state-sponsored or privately-funded insurance throughout the nanny’s employment.
7. Job Responsibilities
In this section of our nanny contract template, we’ve provided some examples on how you could detail the nanny's responsibilities. We’ve kept it focused on childcare, but if you’re also requiring other household tasks (laundry, cleaning or tidying up, pet care, etc.), you’ll want to detail those in your nanny contract.
8. Rules & Expectations
Our nanny contract also provides examples of areas where you’ll want to set rules and expectations. You should spell out rules around things like screen time (for the children and the nanny), how often you’d expect the nanny to check in with parents throughout the day, internet safety and more.
If you’re planning on using nanny cameras or any other recording device while your nanny is watching the children, you should add those details in your nanny contract so everyone is aware of and in agreement on their presence.
We’ve kept a placeholder in our nanny contract to cover termination. For this section, it is best to consult a legal professional to make sure the language you use in your contract will protect all parties. You should include details around if notice is required and the circumstances around that notice, how you’ll provide notice and how you’ll handle things like severance pay and unused vacation days.
Ready to get started? Download our nanny contract template to start customizing it for your nanny share!
DISCLAIMER: this template was created to serve as a helpful guide to drafting a nanny share contract. This document does not contain legal advice and is intended to be used as a template only. Individuals are encouraged to consult their own legal professional to review any contract and to answer questions about the responsibilities or obligations related to a nanny share.
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