Spring break has fast approached us, and not alot of the parents will be traveling with their children. So for those who are scratching their heads on what and how to entertain their young ones, please go to www.tipjunkie.com and enjoy the ideas they have to offer.
ETIQUETTE AND NANNY CONTRACTS September 14, 2013
by guest blogger Nathan Hammons, Esq.
A nanny contract is simply an employment agreement between parents and their nanny. Many parents, and nannies, have never seen one. For that reason, a nanny contract can be intimidating.
A nanny contract, however, doesn’t need to be scary. In fact, it’s a great tool for both parents and nannies. It addresses items like pay, work schedule, and job duties, as well as other important topics such as time off, job benefits, and even driving privileges.
Because it’s such an important tool, nannies and parents should strongly consider using a nanny contract.
That said, there are good ways and bad ways of approaching nanny work agreements. Here are some useful tips.
#1 – Don’t Presume
If you’re a parent, don’t presume that your nanny has seen or used a written work agreement before. And if you’re a nanny, don’t presume that the parents have seen or used one, either.
#2 – Educate, Educate, Educate
Don’t start by giving the other person a contract to sign. Rather, say you’re interested in using a nanny contract and that you’d like them to consider it.
Next, point the parents or the nanny to an independent resource. You can find many good resources on the web by simply Googling “Nanny Contract”. Alternatively, if you’re using a nanny placement agency, ask if they could spare a few minutes to explain nanny work agreements.
#3 – Give the Other Person a Sample
After everyone’s been educated about what a nanny work agreement is and the benefits of using one, find a good sample or template agreement online. It’s usually best to use one in Microsoft Word format so that changes can be made, if needed. Give the sample to other person (the nanny or the parents), and give them a day or two to review it.
#4 – Have a Face-to-Face Meeting
Next, have a face-to-face meeting so that you can review and discuss the nanny contract. Walk through it line by line, and fill in the blanks.
If you’re unsure of something, such as whether the nanny should have driving privileges and who should pay for her car insurance, revisit the issue after you’ve had time to think about it.
#5 – Distribute a Completed Contract
The parents should next complete (i.e., fill in the blanks) the nanny contract and send it to the nanny for review and signature. The nanny should be given at least a few days to review it and consider it.
If you’re a parent, don’t give it to your nanny and say, “Sign here”. She’s a professional and should be given time to review the contract by herself, in the comfort of her own home.
#6 – Agree to Reasonable Changes
The parents and the nanny should agree to reasonable changes to the work agreement, if needed.
For example, the nanny might agree to work the Fourth of July in exchange for having Thanksgiving off. Or the parents could agree to give the nanny 5 days of paid time off, provided she notifies them at least 2 weeks before taking a vacation.
#7 – Schedule Time to Discuss the Work Agreement
After you’ve signed the nanny contract, don’t forget about it.
Rather, once or twice a year, perhaps during an annual performance review, review the nanny contract to make sure everything’s in good order. If any changes need to be made, make them by amending the nanny contract.
#8 – Raise Issues Early
If the parents or the nanny aren’t following the nanny contract, raise the issue early. Otherwise resentment will grow, and it will be harder to reach a resolution.
If you need to raise an issue, do it in a professional way, trying not to point fingers at the other person. For example, say, “Our nanny contract says this, but we’ve gotten in the habit of doing that. Let’s discuss what we should do in the future and whether the contract should be changed.”
In conclusion, don’t be intimidated by a nanny contract, and ask for help if you need it. It’s well worth it in the long run.
Nathan Hammons is an attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s also a father and the creator of MyNannyContract.com, a website with information about the legal issues of nanny care and a professionally written nanny contract. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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ENCOURAGE MORE– be a better encourager in 2013. Nothing contributes to a child’s development than encouraging words and actions. Children are always looking to be affirmed and acknowledged in everything they do. So make it your duty to show them you care by using encouraging words.
HUG MORE– you might not be the affectionate mother or caregiver but affection has always seemed to nurture the emotional aspect of every human being in a positive way. I hardly hear of kids going bad due to lots of hugs and kisses. So in 2013, hug your children more.
TALK MORE./[+”\- find out more about your children by talking to them. I always encourage a conversation with the children I care for by asking questions about their weekend/ school. Don’t rush the conversation and don’t accept yes or no answers. You will be surprised how open they can get. Also when talking to your children, don’t shut them down or tell them how crazy that sounds. Keep the lines of Communication open with your children and using words such as ” that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard” is no way going to improve your communication.
EAT TOGETHER MORE- a family that eats together stays together, this year find time and ways to gather round a table and eat together. Something about that just seems to bring bond between you and your kids. If you are a caregiver, try doing lunches or snacks together, it’s amazing how kids feel a lot more drawn to you during these times.
EXPRESS YOURSELF MORE- Parents or caregivers, don’t shy off by telling your children you love them. As a nanny, I make sure I let my child(lol)know that I love her when I drop her off to school. Even if the morning has been hectic with temper tantrums and emotional sighs, I still let her know I love her because at the end of that day, that’s all that matters.
So parents and caregivers, sit back, relax and enjoy life…
Cheers to 2013!!! Now let’s make a positive difference in their lives.
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