Here's a what would you do. I have roughly 6 more months on contract with my current family. I will not call it a great match. It's ok. The parents and I tolerate each other, and I like the kids. I've started looking for jobs because a) The job market is tough and ideally I'd like to have another fulltime gig in place before this one ends. b) I'm looking for a part time job because the pay isn't that great and I'd like to be able to save more and pay off my debts. All that to say, there is another job that I've gotten a call back for that would be more pay a week. Good hours and a longer contract. Now, I haven't been hired yet, so I am a bit ahead of myself, but would it be wrong of me to take the job and leave my contract early if hired? - Anonymous


a mom said...

this is exactly why contracts are ridiculous in terms of including a length of employment in nanny situations. In most contracts in the real world, breaking the contract would incur a penalty by the contract breaker- either the employer or nannies will demand a severance if terminated (without cause) mid-contract...but if the nanny wants to break the contract and leave before the period is up, there really is nothing to stop her from doing so. In the business world, bonuses are often paid in installments over the following year and if you leave, you forfeit the remaining payments of last year's bonus....this isn't typical in the nanny world and in most cases the contract only benefits the nanny and not the employer at all. Yours is a perfect example....if I were you, yes, I'd leave and take the better paying should always look out for yourself 1st, who wouldn't? No "contract" can force a person to work for someone else so the fact that you signed a piece of paper agreeing to work for them for a year really means wouldn't hold up in court. Most employers of domestic help know this and the offering by them of a contract is just another benefit to the employee as is a bonus or health insurance. If you aren't happy, move on. I think you owe them a minimum of 2 weeks notice as a courtesy and if they are normal, intelligent people should consider it as leaving on good terms

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I think it is unfair that nannies must sign contracts when most other jobs do not. Even a cashier at McDonald's does not have to sign a year-long contract. No one would accept most jobs if they were bound over for a year. It is just unfair. Life changes, needs change, etc.

Legally you can leave at will. Morally though, I would give two weeks notice just to leave on "good terms" if possible.

Remember: You are your own advocate and if you do not do what you feel is right for you, in the end no one but you will suffer.

Also, I do not think your current family can sue you in a court of law over a nanny contract. I have yet to hear of a civil suit against a nanny for leaving before her contract is up.

Jessica said...

I would wait and see that you actually have the job. Then I would try to talk to my current employer about why its not a great fit. They might feel the same way and want the contract to end as well! Did you try to fix your current situation before looking for another job? Sometimes a simple conversation/open communication will fix most issues but if there are huge differences in opinion/job expectation and you tried to talk to them then it definitely time to end the relationship.

Also try to learn from this experience. Did it not feel right and you took the job for the money? Is that what is happening now? No professional nanny does this job for the money they have a passion for working for children in the private setting and love what they do. They also know what a difficult job they have and charge accordingly. During interviews talk about the big stuff. Their philosophy on raising kids, how they discipline, and why they need a nanny. Have a contract that outlines job description, expectations, hours, pay and vacation/sick/personal days. I would also read suze ormand books about financial planning.

Susannah said...

I have to respectfully disagree that professional nannies do not work for money.

That is a myth about all aspects of childcare that I wish would cease to exist.

This attitude is one reason why nannies and other care providers are disrespected and paid horrificly low wages.

You can have a passion for a job and still need money.

We all need to work and be paid to live.

Susannah said...

If you have the other job I would resign and take the job.

It sounds as though you have no interest of continuing with your current family after 6 months ( if that is an option)

Good luck to you, You seem very level headed.

Jessica said...

Allow me to clarify if you are a professional Nanny you should be paid WELL very well. I said you should charge accordingly for being a true professional. Its up to Nannies to decide what they are worth. The reason why their are low paying "nanny jobs" is because "nannies" accept them. Usually these situation are people who cant afford day care think that a Nanny is an affordable option. If you cant afford to go out to eat what makes you think you can afford a private chef? The "nannies" that accept these job are usually poor girls who are not trained, unprofessional and have no child development knowledge who do it for the little money offered. I wish we had Nanny Certification in the US. So actual nannies were seen as the professionals they are.

katydid said...

Well since you don't have a job yet I would not do anything.

If you are offered the job I would take it. Why?

1. It seems as though you are not satisfied with your current position, and that happens. It isn't anyones fault nanny or family , or a lack of responsibility or maturity it just isn't a good fit.

2. it does not appear from what you wrote that there is an opportunity to continue with your current position beyond the 6 months.

3. You have new responsiilites in your life that this new job will allow you to attend to .

If you do get the job I would give at minmum 2 weeks notice.

Good luck and don't feel guilty.

1234 said...

Well OP makes no mention of what her current salary is. She could be taking home $500 a week which isn't great but better than the $250 being offered alll to often.

Maybe this new job offers $800 or more a week.

The new job seems like a good move for someone who wants to be able to put more in savings and pay more on their debt.

katydid. said...


I do wish there was a standard certification and training for nannies in the states.

ericsmom said...

Well you have to be happy. Why stick around if you are miserable. Finish your two weeks if possible. As common courtesy.

Life is short no need to make it shorter

MissMannah said...

Does your contract have a specification about leaving early? Mine is a year-long contract but states that either the nanny or the employer can end the relationship early for any reason, but each have to give a 1-month notice. I figured this was pretty standard. Also, you shouldn't have to stay for another 6 months if you know it is not a good fit. That is unfair to you and ultimately to the children too.

nycmom said...

I agree with Miss Mannah and this is how we write our Work Agreements also. Of course you should leave if you are miserable and a much better opportunity comes along. But you should do it professionally and give appropriate notice, usually two weeks minimum. However, I would not tolerate being treated horribly during that two week period and would leave earlier if that occurred.

Future nurse :) said...

I really struggled with this when I left my family, and I didn't even have a contract. I finally came to the realization that when I'm unhappy I'm not as good of a nanny, and that is unfair to the kids. They deserve a nanny who loves her job and enjoys being there. That rationale is what enabled me to find the strength to leave, because the kids deserve an amazing nanny, and I want what is best for them. Idk if that makes sense, but it's what helped me. I will also say, I felt immense guilt over the time I could give as my notice. Like horrible about it. It turned out they found a replacement rather quickly and let me go a week into my notice. So. Give the notice you can, but ultimately they will look out for them and only them so you have to look out for you. Like so many people have said through the year I've read this blog, at the end of the day you are just an employee, and they will find someone else to replace you.

Lyn said...

I would try and explain the situation to your mb/db before accepting another job. Maybe they would be willing to give you a raise since you've been with them for 6 months? If they like you enough and want to keep you on they may.

OceanBlue said...

I say if you are offered the job take it!

It doesn't seem you are happy at your new position, and you are looking for a longterm relationship which is what I assume this new job has.

I also agree with nycmom, that if your employers start treating you unkindly you should not stay even for two weeks.