Essentials of Writing a Nanny Contract

nanny reading story to little boy

Hiring a nanny is a serious undertaking that requires careful consideration and due diligence. A nanny must be very trustworthy, seeing as this person will be given the responsibility to care for your children. Once the right person is found, it is important that nothing disturb the relationship you’ve spent time cultivating. A contract’s purpose is to help maintain business relationships and to prevent unnecessary disputes that could lead to premature and complete termination. A contract allows disputes to be dealt with in a fashion that could maintain the relationship.

Oftentimes there is confusion as to what is expected of different parties in an agreement. Dismissing a nanny can be a disheartening event because unlike many business agreements, there is a lot of emotion involved. The nanny is a person who spends her days with your children and makes sure they grow up happy and healthy while you work to support them. For this reason it is important the contract you create covers all possible contingencies in order to prevent any problems in the future.

In order to simplify the contract writing process, the first topics that will be mentioned involve simple but often overlooked details that should be included in every contract. The start date is the day the nanny will begin working. The new nanny should have a clear idea of what day she will have to come to work. When writing the contract it is important to offer ample time to allow the nanny to get her affairs in order and to prepare for the new position. The pay of the nanny should be written in very clear language and discussed beforehand. Pay is often based on level of experience and previous earnings. Pay frequency should be mentioned in the contract so that there is no confusion about when payments will be made. Trust is an important part of any business relationship, so maintaining a regular pay schedule is important.

You may also wish to include statements in your contract that can help you find the best candidate without having to deal with unnecessary legal problems. For example, if you wish to hire a nanny but are unsure of her qualifications, you may write a clause in your contract allowing for a trial period. This will give you the freedom to dismiss a nanny that does not meet your expectations while performing her duties. You may also wish to guarantee that certain tasks are completed on a regular basis. If you require your nanny to take your children for a walk each day, for example, you can clearly state your wishes within the contract.

In the unfortunate even that the nanny is performing at a level below your expectations be sure to include language that discusses the behavior that would certainly lead to dismissal. Although it may be clear to you what would constituted inappropriate behavior, if it is in writing, you could dismiss the nanny without fear of legal retaliation. Even if you don’t have the foresight to name all possible negative behaviors the law would still protect your right dismiss, but by thinking through all the possibilities and putting them in writing, you create a more stable and controlled working relationship.

About the Author:

Nathaniel Hammons is an attorney based in Wisconsin with a simple mission; to help parents and nannies form long lasting and legally sound relationships. All too often, parents find themselves confused or overwhelmed by the legal process of hiring a nanny. Nathan’s focus is providing professionally written legal contracts that promote his mission. Visit My Nanny Contracts to learn more.

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