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Nanny Employers Should Avoid These Common Mistakes
By Pat Cascio, Owner, Morningside Nannies
1. Didn’t check references carefully: When talking to past employers about a candidate, be sure to discuss your own job description and ask the former employer if they feel the nanny will be successful in your job. You should feel confident that the reference you spoke to is a past employer and not a family member or friend of the nanny.
2. Not offering a salary that is appropriate: Even a nanny that relocates from another area will soon find out that other nannies make more money then she/he does and will be looking for another job if the compensation she/he is making isn’t on a par with other nannies in the area.
3. Job duties are not realistic: Parents often think that while their child naps the nanny should be able to clean house. Nannies will do all duties related to the child to include: doing the dishes that they use and keeping the kitchen, child’s playroom and child’s bedroom neat and clean as well as doing the child’s laundry and linens. It isn’t safe to ask a nanny to be occupied with lots of other duties that may distract her or him from giving the child 100% of their attention.
4. Don’t show respect and appreciation for the nanny: Nannies work in a very isolated situation and have very little adult interaction. Most nannies work 50 hours a week and rarely have an opportunity to sit down, have a cup of tea, phone a friend, or even gather their own thoughts. Take a moment in your day to ask how she is, ask about her family or hobbies, listen to her suggestions and thank her for a job well-done.
5. No written employment agreement before work commences: A good work agreement will address all the terms and conditions of the employment relationship, including hours, duties, benefits, and compensation. Most nanny agencies will be able to provide with a guide for drawing up an employment agreement.
6. Failure to train the nanny: Every family is unique and though your new nanny may be well experienced she/he will need to learn how you want things done. It is a good idea to spend the first few days together to help your nanny meet your expectations.
7. Failure to pay salary on holidays: If you don’t need the nanny to work because you have the day off or are going on vacation, etc. the nanny should be paid her full week’s salary. Most full time nannies receive paid holidays, a few paid days for sick leave and receive 1 or 2 weeks (or more) paid vacation.
8. Failure to pay for gas or provide a vehicle when driving is required: If the nanny is required to use her personal vehicle for work purposes, you need to reimburse her for mileage at the IRS stipulated amount and you should offer to increase her insurance limits so “on the job driving” is covered. If your nanny will be transporting your child it is much wiser to provide a vehicle for your nanny’s use. That way you’ll know that the vehicle is well maintained, safe and fully insured.