Received Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I am an experienced nanny who moved from a full-time to part-time position in January of this year. (The reason that I went part-time is because I wanted to spend more time with my daughter.) The nannying job that I currently have is around 10 hours a week, so I am searching for a supplemental position for approximately 20 more hours per week. I found a family of an infant who seems like it will be a very good fit and we are in the process of negotiating hours, benefits, etc. We have decided on pay, hours, and other details, but we are still talking over vacation and personal days. Given my nannying experience, etc., when I am working full-time, I usually ask for 3 weeks of paid vacation/sick/personal days, as well as national holidays. In addition, I am paid for any days that the family doesn't need me, due to their vacations, family in town, etc. As a courtesy to the families that I work for, I usually try to coordinate my vacation days with theirs, so that they don't end up being in a childcare bind.
The prospective family that I am in negotiations with, gives their current nanny 1 hour per month as paid vacation/personal time in exchange for working 7 hours a week. The mother has offered me 3 hours per month of paid time off in exchange for working 18 hours per week. Although math is definitely not my strong point, I just did some quick calculations and figured out that it would amount to about 4 1/2 paid days off per year. Since the mother is self-employed, she mentioned that she would be willing to be flexible whenever I wanted to take unpaid time off. However, if they don't need me due to family visiting, etc., she either offered me to have the time off unpaid or to work different days in order to make up the lost income --- which isn't exactly ideal for me either way...I would probably have to take the days off unpaid, since my schedule wouldn't be flexible enough for me to makeup the missed work hours. (BTW, her rationale for not being able to give me more time off is that she's self-employed and so it would be cost prohibitive for her to have to pay me in addition to paying for substitute childcare.) Of course, everyone knows that times are hard right now and I know that I should consider myself lucky to have an otherwise great job offer, but the paid vs. unpaid time off issue may be a problem for me financially. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!