Received Friday, January 15, 2010
Hello ISYN readers,
I'm a veteran nanny with 15 years experience and a new mom with 2 years experience. I am finally embarking on my first nanny job since having my little girl and will be bringing my child along to work with me daily. From past experience I know how important the nanny/parent working agreement is and I'm trying to write one up but am feeling some "writer's block". It's been so long that I just can't seem to get into the right frame of mind. So, as a regular reader and admirer of all of your comments and advice, I'm asking you all to give me some of your wisdom. Any reminders of what should be included in the working agreement, some good links to generic working agreement forms, advice regarding having your own child on board, whatever you have to offer. I've been looking for a job for a long time now, this one is in the final stages of the hiring process and I'm getting nervous and could use some support from fellow nannies.
Some background about my situation. I have a 2 year old girl, the family I'll be working for has 4 children....18 month old boy/girl twins, a 4 year girl and 6 year old boy. The family is moving here to Pittsburgh in a few days. The interview process was initiated through an agency I've worked with for many years. The family and I have exchanged numerous lengthy E-mails discussing absolutely everything under the sun, including,(but not limited to), schedules, duties, transportation, personalities, benefits, expectations, how the daily routine will include my daughter, etc. etc. etc. I spoke on the phone to both parents for over 2 hours and we have a face to face interview planned for this week as well as a follow up interview in which my child will meet their children. Assuming all goes well, I will start on January 25th,(yes, just a little over a week away!). We have agreed to a long trial period of one month to 6 weeks just to be sure we are all comfortable with the situation,(that being that my own child will be present and it's my first time performing this job with my own child present and their first time hiring a nanny who'll be bringing her own child). I'd like to write up an agreement for the trial period and then a permanent agreement to be signed upon completion of the trial period. The reason for 2 separate agreements is there are a few decisions that need to be ironed out after they've been in town, at thier new jobs for a couple weeks...such as the exact daily hours and working out the pick up times and transport of the two older children. I just feel like it'd be easier to start with a temporary agreement now and firm up the permanent one as we get there. The mother will be working out of her home office which is offering us some flexibility in the routine. Unlike some nannies, I don't mind parents working at home, I've worked for many families with this being the case and USUALLY haven't had a problem with it. For what it's worth, the mother has been sooooo nice thus far. She seems easy going, willing to cooperate and communicate with me on all issues and really seems to share MANY of my philosophies on child care/discipline/development.
I will have 8 hour work days,(aprox. 9-5/10-6), Mon. - Fri. I'll care for the twins all day long, the 3 year old from 1PM on and the 6 year old from 3PM on. The respective preschools are both within 1 1/2 miles of the home and may be picked up on foot, in my car or the employers car, with or without the toddlers......that's all to be worked out in the first couple weeks. When summer comes the 3 year will continue with her preschool all week and the 6 year old will likely go to camp most of the day. The starting offer is $14/hr....I'm thinking of asking for a little more, not really sure considering I'm bringing my own child. That hourly wage is typical here in Pittsburgh for an average sized family, although I think 4 kids is above 'average'. They are offering 2 weeks vacation and paid holidays, wage reviews every year. No health benefits. I'm thinking of asking for sick days but not sure how many.
I hope I've included enough info for you all to start firing away. If you I've forgotten anything vital I apologize. I've looked at this from every angle I can think of, now I'm hoping you'll offer some angles I haven't thought of. Oh, and to Curious Dad...please, go easy on my grammar, I tried my best and I'm pretty sure all my "I"s are properly capitalized. Thanks to everyone in advance!