Same Old Question, Different Day... Help ISYN Readers!

Received Thursday, August 5, 2010
perspective and opinion I need some advice what I need to do. I am getting ready to start with a new family in about 3 weeks. I want to sit down with the parents before hand to square away the details but I am unsure what all I need to set up in the contract (I have never done a contract before and have learned that they are needed). Here is some information about the family: They have a 2 month old son and a 4 year old daughter. It is an unset schedule with 20 to 30 hours a week. It will be on the books $400 a week. The 4 year old will need rides to and from preschool. They want me to stay long term (preferably until the son enters preschool) and I am want the same.

My question is what all do I need to make sure that I cover with the parents? Also this is the first time they are doing taxes (their previous nanny was an undocumented woman from Mexico according to the parents) so what do they pay for and what do I pay for? Do I need to charge for mileage and gas since we will be using my car (I am not sure where her school is)? Also I have seen posts on this blog mention petty cash for everyday expenses. How do I bring this up with the parents and what is the normal amount used? I have also seen posting about bonuses. I have been a nanny for 4 families and while I have been told that I am an awesome nanny and I stay until the kids are in school, I have never received a raise or bonus. Should I be expecting such things on my anniversaries? Am I forgetting anything else? I want to make sure I do things right with this family so that I can stay with them for many years. Sorry for all the questions. Thank you in advance for any advice you give me.


Floordweller said...

I hope you mean $400 net, and not gross.
I would also make sure you get it in the
contract about paid holidays and vacation time.
And yes make sure you do ask for gas and
Mileage, I use my own car and I never asked
for it and I wish I had. I hope your new job
goes well for you, I don' t agree that you
always need a contract, I have never used
one and have been a nanny for 20 years.
I think what we need more of is trust. Just
As my employers trust me with their children
I trust them to stick to our verbal contract.
Btw I have been with them for 7 years!

OP said...

Just FYI for the area I am in (Middle of NC), $400 is about pretty good 20 to 30 hours a week...

Lola said...

Usually when people comment about bad grammar I think they are being picky. In this case, I am sorry OP, but there are some glaring errors in your post. For example: the first sentence, the third sentence, and the last sentence of the first paragraph. I am not meaning to be a jerk. I just thought I would point it out to you, perhaps you are not a native english speaker? Now, on that note, be sure to present yourself to this family with strength, grace, and your best manners. Hold your shoulders straight and head high. Regardless of your education, have them believe you are well informed and sharp witted. That way they will not try to get one over on you and will take your requests seriously. Make sure you get what you want! (in your contract and wherever else) I commend you for coming on this site to gather information so you will know your stuff, as it seems you may have gotten 'screwed' in the past. Knowledge is power! :)

another nanny said...

Make sure your contract covers:
-Hours and pay
-Overtime/overtime pay
-Paid/unpaid holidays, vacation, sick time
-Any other benefits (like if you are supposed to receive health insurance, etc)
-Your duties...for instance, are you responsible for any housekeeping duties? Which ones?
-Notice period for leaving

I'm pretty sure you can find a sample contract either on this site or with a Google search.


I wouldnt agree to a contract with a span of hours, that is how you get taken advantage of

MannyLuc said...

I agree with the poster above. Make sure the contract says $400 covers up to 30 hours (or whatever you negotiate). Overtime beyond 8 hours per day or 30 hours per week is paid at time and a half, etc.

I didn't negotiate daily overtime with my current position, and when you're on the 12th hour you sure and heck will wish you had!

MissMannah said...

I'm with MannyLuc, I didn't cover overtime either and ended up working 55 hour weeks instead of our agreed-upon 35. Floordweller said she "trusts" her employers to stick with the verbal contract--that's all well and good but unfortunately most employers aren't trustworthy when it comes to pay. I couldn't even get my employers to stick to the written contract because they also put in there that they could nullify it at any time without just cause. Make sure if your employers want to do something like this, they also promise you severance pay so you won't be totally screwed. Also, if you decide to use a "sample" contract, be sure to read it over very carefully because I've noticed that a lot of them out there are designed to protect the parents' rights more than the nanny's.

MissMannah said...

Here is a very basic fill-in-the-blank sample contract that you and the parents should look over and amend or add to as your needs see fit:

MannyLuc said...

No verbal contracts! No assumptions!

Some parents take advantage of their employees good will to get them to bend agreements to drive, work overtime, come in on weekends, etc. Instead of constantly feeling like you're fighting an impossible battle and endangering your job to get the treatment you deserve, do the legwork up front and get it in the contract.

It will turn out better for everyone.

a nanny said...

Don't forget to add that you want the contact revised yearly to discuss advances in pay, changes in hours or duties and in the event of additional children.

You can look up a mileage fee (that includes wear & tear) on Google, there is a standard! Have them make an estimation based on expected miles but keep track & put a line in contract that mile overage will be submitted & paid weekly!

Make sure your duties unrelated to general child care are very specific (like load the dishwasher daily or clean playroom on Fridays).

Include PAID sick days, all paid/unpaid holidays and in the event of bad weather or death in the family.

Make sure you add that you will be paid weekly regardless of if the family needs you, like if THEY go on vacation, take an early weekend or have family in or their own emergencies.

Add something about how much notice you require to work extra hours.

MB said...

There are sample nanny contracts on the internet. Here's one:

I have always had a contract. After my first nanny job I learned how much easier it is when things are agreed upon and spelled out in advance.