So you’ve decided to hire a nanny—congratulations! Deciding on how to manage child care within your family is no simple task. What can seem not so simple (and potentially overwhelming) is everything that comes after that decision. But it doesn’t have to be! We’ve broken down the process of hiring a nanny into four phases to help you find success with minimal stress.

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Phase 1: Finding the One

Finding someone who you feel comfortable taking care of your kids requires some thoughtful planning. Start by making two lists with your partner: your must-haves and your nice-to-haves. Knowing what you want and what you’re willing to adjust to is the important first step of finding a nanny. Here are a few questions to get your lists started:

  • What’s our family’s schedule? Do we need a full or a part-time nanny?
  • What qualifications are we looking for?
  • What are our expectations of the nanny beyond basic child care duties?

Once you know what you’re looking for, you can begin your search. Thanks to the magic of technology and the hard-working team at Sittercity, you don’t have to pin a flyer to your local coffee shop community board and hope for a call. You can post a nanny job with your exact details for qualified nannies in your area actively looking for work to see and apply to. Or, you can search by date, time, location, rate, years of experience, and more. Browse detailed profiles of quality nannies to simplify your search and narrow down your favorites.

Phase 2: Agreeing on Details

So everything looks good on paper and you’ve exchanged some messages with a potential nanny. Now is the time to have an in-person conversation during an interview. This is a great opportunity for you to ask your nanny all the questions you have, but also for the nanny to see if your family is the right fit for them. In order for it to work out, it matters that everybody agrees on how it will work out.

After you’ve called their references, and ran a background check for extra peace of mind, you might be ready to offer them the job. If that’s the case, it’s best to get the exact details of the job in writing, like in a nanny contract, to make sure that everyone is on the same page. We have an example contract here that you can download and use.

Consider including a form of performance reviews within the nanny contract. Ongoing feedback and constant communication are critical to any nanny/family relationship. Think through what’s best for your family and be upfront about how you prefer to communicate in the future. This will help to avoid misunderstandings and set up a solid foundation for your relationship.

Phase 3: Setting Up Your HR Team

Becoming an employer is not something that families set out to do when looking for help with child care. We completely understand. But when you’re providing an opportunity for someone to earn an income of $2,200 or more in a calendar year, that money is subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes. It may seem tempting to pay your nanny “under the table” and you both can avoid the cost and hassle of paying taxes. However, when you take into account the financial and legal risks of avoiding taxes and the benefits of taking the proper legal steps, paying your nanny “under the table” is really just not worth it.

That’s why Sittercity has partnered with GTM Payroll Services. They know that the responsibilities of hiring a nanny is a full-time job in and of itself. That’s why they offer a suite of benefits to make this process so much easier for busy parents. This includes:

-Comprehensive Payroll Services—Including FREE Direct Deposit
-Tax Filings (Quarterly, Annual, State, Federal)
-Workers Compensation
-Secure 24/7 Access to All Your Data
-Employee Online Access to Pay Stubs
-Compliance with Tax and Labor Laws
-Tax savings health benefit accounts
-Timekeeping App
-Retirement Plan

That’s the beauty of it—they handle all the details and you can reap the benefits of a Dependent Care FSA, and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

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Phase 4: Integrating Them Into Your Family

Whatever the details, nannies play an important role in the family dynamic. Be sure to have conversations with your partner and close family members about how you view the role of the nanny in your family. Understanding this will guide you on how to introduce your nanny to your household and family environments. Not sure how to do that? We have a list of ideas on how to make their first couple of days with you go as smoothly as possible.

One more thing to consider is finding a backup nanny. Finding another nanny after you’ve already found “the one” may be the last thing you want to do, but it will certainly pay off when you need them most. At the end of the day, nannies are people too. They can get sick, they have their own family obligations, and they might have other work to support their income. Just as you need flexibility with your work schedule, a nanny may need that as well. Save yourself the stress in the future and have your backup ready to go.

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