Advice on Acceptable Duties
We have had a nanny for our daughter since she was 3 months old. I work from a home office, so I wanted her home with me, but I need the help during my business hours so I can actually get work done. She is a very bright, inquisitive, and active toddler and our wonderful nanny keeps her engaged, safe, and happy while I work. Our current nanny has been with us for just under a year and her employment contract is coming up for renewal. We intend to give her a performance bonus (one weeks pay), a $1/hr raise, and a gift from our daughter (still not sure what yet, but something personal and more sentimental than pricey). First, does this seem like a generous enough way to say, "thank you, you are appreciated and we love you"?
On the other side of the coin, our daughter is turning two next month and we are looking to place her in part-time daycare (two days a week) just to get her interacting with other children more regularly. Unfortunately, we live in a very remote area that has very few age-appropriate venues and activities (almost none really) for toddlers. She isn't getting exposure to other children as she would if she was able to go on field trips to the zoo, museum, etc. or regular playgroups (none of those things exist here). Even the parks are only usable part of the year due to extreme temps. Our nanny agrees that part-time daycare would be of benefit to our daughter for socialization and variety as it takes constant innovation to keep her from getting bored (we only live here because my husband is military). So, with daycare comes two days a week where our daughter won't be home and we have no other children for our nanny to watch. I have been thinking about ways to keep paying her for the same number of hours, because I know she cannot afford to take fewer hours (she's currently with us 30 hours a week), but we still work within the confines of a household budget and I really feel like we just can't pay her for two full days where she literally has nothing to do. Particulary when we have to make room in the budget for the daycare expenses as well.
Under her current contract, our nanny is only responsible for caring for our daughter (no housework expectations beyond loading dishes into the dishwasher, wiping up meal messes, and putting away toys). All other housework I have always handled by myself. Anyway, I would be very pleased to have help with daily housework duties and am thinking that daycare days would be a good opportunity to have her still come in and help with all the chores that I typically tend to - laundry, dusting, cleaning floors, toys, and maybe even cooking dinner for the family. I recognize this is essentially changing her job, because our family's needs are changing, and I really do not want to offend her in anyway. I respect her as a childcare professional and would like to work something out that keeps her happy and with us. But also would love the help to keep the house operating effeciently, giving me more time to enjoy my daughter and husband. So, to all the nannies, would you find such a shift in duties offensive? If not, are there certain housekeeping duties that would be deemed unacceptable (for instance, bathrooms?) Are there any nannies out there that do housework (beyond child-specific chores) as a regular part of their jobs and if so, what are those duties? Do you find them to be fair and reasonable? Is cooking for the entire family reasonable to add to the list (she cooks wonderful lunches for our daughter)?
I know our nanny needs to work to meet her family's budget and savings goals (she has a daughter in high school that's off to college next year). I also know that her job with us is going to be difficult to match with another employer in this area, but I don't want that to be the reason she stays with us. I want her to be happy. We pay significantly above average for our area, because we can, and we have tried to structure as generous a benefits package as possible. She gets paid holidays, vacation (tied to ours, but its about 4 weeks a year), flexible scheduling (when she needs time off, we have always accommodated), paid sick days, holiday and performance bonuses, and then gifts for birthday, Christmas and the occassional thank you (because, have I mentioned we LOVE her). She's on the books. If we add housework to the mix of duties (to be done only when daughter is not home), is it fair to keep her at her current compensation rate with the annual raise and performance bonus I mentioned above? Thanks for considering this request. I hope to get feedback on it.
at 11:04 AM