A contract is important in a nanny share because it outlines the specifics of your relationship—with the other family and with the nanny. When you have an agreement to refer back to, there’s less confusion for everyone. It gives the families the opportunity to get on the same page when it comes to specifics and expectations of the arrangement. It also provides clarity for your nanny and a chance to have concrete answers to their questions.
The families involved should have a discussion about these details prior to interviews. That way, most of these details can be discussed with your nanny during the hiring process so that everyone can come to an agreement on these points before their first day on the job. A work agreement simply puts these items in writing to be signed by all parties.
Here are some things you’ll want to be sure to include in your nanny share agreement:
Schedule & Location(s)
The most basic thing for everyone to know is when and where the working hours are. While seemingly simple, many other questions arise as you consider specifics. Like:
- Where will the nanny work? At one family’s home or rotate between homes? Which days are at which locations?
- What hours is the nanny expected to work and on which days?
- Will the hours be the same for both families?
- Is overtime a possibility? Is the nanny available for that if it comes up?
- Is there a set end date or is this ongoing with termination notification outlined in the agreement?
There are 4 rates per family to detail in the contract. This gives each family the flexibility to utilize the benefits of the nanny share as well as having the nanny available for additional hours.
- Nanny share hourly rate
- Nanny share overtime rate
- Individual family hourly rate
- Individual family overtime rate
Remember, for nanny shares each family typically pays two-thirds of the nanny’s typical hourly rate. Just make sure you’re paying at least minimum wage, which is the highest of the federal, state, or local rates.
For more details on how payroll, taxes, and insurance work in a nanny share, our partner GTM Payroll Services offers free, no-obligation consultations for families entering a nanny share. You can speak with a household employment expert and get answers to all your nanny share questions.
When & How
This is your nanny’s job. Outlining how (check, cash, direct deposit) they will be paid and when (ex. the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month) is critical information for the employee to know and for the employer to be held accountable to.
Be sure to do your research! Some states, like New York, require domestic employees to be paid every week.
Be specific with your expectations. When kids are in the mix, there are a lot of things that can come up or evolve quickly. When your agreement is clear about what the nanny’s job is and isn’t, it will help everyone navigate those situations with clarity and understanding.
Remember, you’re hiring a child care professional. If you’re interested in adding other types of domestic duties (cooking, cleaning, etc.), your compensation should reflect those job responsibilities.
Benefits, Paid Time Off (PTO), and Sick Leave
Will you offer health insurance or a retirement plan? How much time off will the nanny receive? Will you put restrictions on their time off? For example, will you require them to use some of their PTO when you go on vacation? How many sick days will they receive? Some states specify a minimum number of sick days for domestic employees.
If workers’ compensation insurance is required by state law, then both families must purchase a policy. Workers’ comp will help cover part of your nanny’s medical bills and lost wages if they get hurt or sick while on the job.
For more details on how to manage nanny benefits, our partner GTM Payroll Services offers free, no-obligation consultations for families entering a nanny share. You can speak with a household employment expert and get answers to all your nanny share questions.
This might feel obvious, but it’s always good to outline how unexpected expenses will get covered if they come up. Food, special activities, shopping trips, etc. This is for the nanny and for both families to be on the same page.
How will everyone be on the same page? You could set up a shared calendar with the families and nanny. Not only for where the children will be cared for that week (if rotating homes) but also for any appointments, lessons, vacation time, and more that all parties need to be aware of.
Who does the nanny contact if they’re sick? Who will contact the nanny about last-minute schedule changes with the families? What happens if a kid is sick? Try to think of as many scenarios as you can. Sorting through it all now may feel like a lot of work, but it will save everyone the stress of having to make decisions on-the-fly.
Schedule time to talk among the families on a regular basis and discuss how the nanny share is going. Are everyone’s needs being met? What are the concerns? Any issues with the nanny? Any foreseeable changes that could impact the arrangement?
Also have regularly scheduled performance reviews or official check-ins with your nanny. Checking in about day-to-day info when their shift begins or ends is great, but isn’t enough to talk about bigger subjects. When you have official, dedicated time together, you can talk about how the kids are doing, how the nanny is doing, and where improvements can be made. This is also supportive of your nanny—having official time with you gives them the appropriate time to surface issues with you as well.
Will you allow your nanny to post photos of your children on their social media accounts? Do you agree with your nanny share family on expectations of privacy? What happens when one family says it’s ok but the other feels it’s inappropriate for their children to appear on the nanny’s accounts? Discuss with your nanny share family, come to an agreement, and document your expectations in the contract.
Ending the Agreement
What happens if one of the families decides to leave the nanny share? How much notice should be given? What if the nanny quits? How will both families move forward with childcare? It seems weird to plan the ending before it begins, but when you plan the ideal ways for something to end, it helps avoid it ending in a messy way.
For more details on how to manage nanny taxes and payroll, follow our Nanny Tax Guide. GTM Payroll Services also offers free, no-obligation consultations for families entering a nanny share. Call (800) 929-9213 to speak with a household employment expert and get answers to all your nanny share questions.