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Sunday, July 1, 2012

How to Hire a Nanny

How to Hire a Nanny

First you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want a nanny or nanny share (where 2 families share a nanny to save costs)?
- How many hours will I need a nanny for?
- What kind of education background am I looking for in my nanny (nanny school graduate, college educated, has a degree in early childhood education, took some classes, is a mother, is a grandmother)?
- Will I need a nanny with a car, or will she need one made available to her? Would I be OK with nanny taking children on public transit?
- Do I care if my nanny prefers to be paid under the table or do I want someone who will do their taxes?
- Do I want an English speaking nanny? Or do I want my child to have the benefit of learning two languages?
- Do I care if my nanny is a US citizen?
- Will I provide food for my nanny, or do I want her to bring her own?
- Do I want my nanny to be CPR and First Aid certified? Would I be willing to pay for nanny to receive this training?
- Do I want a nanny who would be available for weekend babysitting?
- Will I need my nanny to do any household duties? Some nannies charge extra for doing chores around the house.
- Do you mind if nanny uses her cell, computer, etc while child is awake? While child is napping? Do you mind if your nanny naps while child is napping?
- Do you want your nanny to sign a contract?

Cost of a nanny:
- Educated nannies in this area generally start at about $12/hour, but you can do a weekly salary if you and your nanny prefer. 
- Taxes can be taken out by you, where you would need to get him/her a W2 form, or you can pay your nanny and let them decide whether or not they want to pay their taxes.
- Be aware of other costs like things your nanny buys for your child (meals, activities, etc), gas money, food for nanny to eat, etc
- Many people offer their nanny 2wk paid vacation (1wk of their choosing, 1 of yours), paid holidays, and a couple of sick days as well. Many families pay the nanny for the week days they do not need her (ie: the random Friday off)
-Will we be providing insurance? Most nannies get their own insurance, but you may run across some who will expect you to provide insurance.

- Nannies can be found at a variety of places: nanny schools, colleges, nanny agencies, ads, parenting forums, word of mouth, etc
- You could start this several months in advance (if you are picky in requirements), but it may be easier to find someone closer to the date (like a couple months before). Also you would be able to see how the nanny would interact with your child
- Make sure you lay out all your cards at an interview so your nanny will know what she’s getting into. Mention pay, hours needed, expectations, etc.
- Ask your prospective nanny about what they expect as far as pay, time off, overtime, etc
- Give your prospective nanny situations and ask them how they would handle it. Tantrums, crying that won’t stop, illness in the child, illness in the nanny, etc
- Ask your nanny what they plan to do with your child during the day
- Make sure you check your nanny’s references and run a background check.
- Ask references questions like: Was she ever late? If there was one thing you could change about her, what would it be? What was your favorite thing about her? How long was she in your employ? Why did she leave?

The process of finding a nanny is arduous, but having a nanny you can trust to take care of your children is well worth the effort.


  1. Remember, it is illegal to pay a nanny "under the table" they are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Nannies must be paid at least minimum wage with time and a half for overtime in excess of 40hrs by law. You must pay the employer percentage of unemployment taxes, and file employer taxes with an employer ID etc. If you choose a weekly salary, it must at least be equivalent to minimum wage. I have had the wonderful privilege of having two nannies work for us, one is still currently working for us and we love her. (two, as our first was with us a year before a move necessitated finding a new nanny) We pay her higher than the above recommended, but this depends on your area. We give her 3wks PTO, 6 days paid holidays, sick leave, expenses, health coverage, Christmas bonus, computer, internet and guest privileges. We think it is very important to have a contract with our nanny. Also, I strongly feel that it should not be part of a nanny's responsibilities to be doing housework. She is there to care for and love my children when I can't be there. I do not want her distracted by chores. Our nanny is college educated, US citizen, with a degree in education, good teaching experience in both the school setting and in private tutoring and was with her last family nearly 6 years. A good nanny is worth her weight in gold. We love ours!

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