Although a nanny contract isn’t required when hiring a nanny, a contract between you and your nanny can ensure your child receives the care you expect and protect you in any legal situation that may arise.
Why a Contract Benefits You and Your Nanny
From a practical standpoint, a contract outlines everything you expect your nanny to do and any rules or standards of care you expect them to follow. It’s essentially a list of job duties and helps you find a nanny that’ll be a good fit for your family.
For the nanny, a contract gives a detailed list of what is expected. It can be daunting and frustrating to walk into a job without a good idea of what’s expected of you, so a contract can guide them in their new job.
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Legal Implications of Not Having a Contract
In most scenarios, your experience with your nanny won’t lead to any sort of legal issues. However, you need to protect yourself in case an issue does arise. A legally binding contract establishes your nanny’s identity, which can be important if you need to involve the authorities or take legal action.
Nanny contracts can also protect you in the event a nanny takes legal action against you. You can refer to the contract to see who failed to uphold the terms.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Create a Nanny Contract
It’s highly recommended that you hire a lawyer. A lawyer will help you avoid any pitfalls in your contract and ensure that it’s legally binding. A lawyer can also help you in vetting your nanny and advise you on best practices.
What Your Nanny Contract Should Include
Whether you hire a lawyer or not, you should begin with a good idea of what you want from your nanny.
Your contract should include both your and your nanny’s identification information, including legal names, addresses, and social security numbers. If your nanny has a work visa, that should be included as well.
Salary and Benefits
Include a detailed description of what your nanny will be paid and work days/hours. Detail how and when your nanny will be paid and any tax withholidngs. You should also include any benefits, like medical, sick and personal leave, paid holidays and vacation, and overtime.
You should list out any type of training you expect the nanny to have, such as CPR training and child development classes.
Be as detailed as possible when listing out responsibilities. Even if there are duties that you think are a given, such as feeding and diapering, list out your expectations. You want to be covered in case something goes wrong. Also list out expectations for outings like going to the park and activities like music class. Don’t forget to put in your rules regarding how often your child can be on a screen and when the nanny can use their cell phone. Be sure to include any expectations regarding duties like cleaning and laundry.
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Safety, Health and Emergencies
Detail all of your expectations regarding safety, such as car seat use and times when your children must be attended. What symptoms require a visit to the doctor? Specify what should be done and who should be contacted in an emergency.
Set specific times for evaluations where you can review your nanny’s performance with them. Also include time for your nanny to discuss any concerns with you.
A Legal Contract is Essential
While you may feel awkward making out a contract for childcare, it’s important and should be as detailed as possible. These details leave no room for interpretation and protect you, your child and the nanny.