Hiring My First Nanny

Hello. I am hiring my first full time nanny and I want for it to be mutually beneficial. I am not working with an agency. I wanted to know what you, this audience thought of what I am willing to pay and what I expect:
Hours: 7AM-6PM M-TH, Friday, 8AM-8PM, without exception.
Holidays:I will provide a calendar of days off that are offered, but we are looking at only five paid holidays per year.
Live in or live out: Nanny can live in or out, or stay over when convenient due to weather. We have a beautiful guestroom in our finished, expansive basement that could be hers and hers alone. It has a full bathroom with shower that is private.
Prepare breakfast and lunches for 3 year old and 7 year old. The 7 year old takes her lunch. Lunches need to be made with care and attention and reflect healthy choices and creativity. We do not used processed foods, but cook with whole ingredients only. For example, cookies are okay, so long as they are made at home with certain flours and ingredients.
Get both children ready for the day. I leave for work any time between 7-8. I need the nanny to focus on the children during that time so I can get myself ready and out the door. The children's outfits will have been set out and pressed the night before. The nanny will help the children dress, groom themselves and clean up after themselves. The nanny will also help the children to make their beds.
Walk my 7 year old child to school. Return with the three year old and do some sort of craft activity or in appropriate weather conditions, I encourage my child to be outside at the park, etc. Lunch should be between 12-1 every day and my three year old will take a nap, not longer than one hour. I am looking for a nanny to pack a lot of learning activities into the day. My 3 year old will start a half day morning program in the Fall.
Friday-I have adjusted the day for a late start on this day. After picking up the oldest, take public transportation to a public location selected by my ex husband. There, he will usually have an early dinner, ice cream and/or do an activity with the children. You would bring the children home by 8PM on Friday and would be off at that time.
Errands: Dry cleaning, grocery shopping, bakery, deli, etc. as needed.
Expectations: When my three year old is in school in the Fall, I would hope to be able to ask you to complete additional errands, such as gift shopping for classmates, Holiday decorating, teacher's gifts, etc.  I do not expect you to work every minute that you are on the clock but hope that you would want to be a part of running an efficient household.
Housekeeping: The nanny will help the children make their beds daily. The nanny will clean up after cooking prep and after each meal. The nanny will not leave dishes in the sink or dishwasher. You are not expected to clean, but you are expected to keep the house clean. We have a housekeeper that works 20-25 hours per week. If a child smears jelly on a window, than I would expect the window be cleaned. I would not expect you to clean windows. I would not expect you to dust, but I would expect that there would be many activities that would require you to vacuum or sweep up after. I would also expect that you help to keep the children's rooms and play areas organized.
Room and Board: Given the hours you are working, you may choose to eat all of your meals at our home and within reason procure the foods you like while shopping or during errands. While we have a room available and offer it to you either as a FT or PT live in, it is important that I know your intentions. For example, if you live in but go away with a friend for the weekend, I would expect you would advise me, not to keep tabs on you but for the security of the household.
Absolutes: No smoking or drinking during work hours. No questionable music or media. Use appropriate language and manners at all times. No visitors in the home without prior consent. My children will not go into any homes or locations or ride in the vehicles of any person not known to me. I expect that you would have a cell phone and would use it appropriately. It is very important to me to hire someone who likes doing things with a 3 year old as my 3 year old loves to go to the zoo, library, playground, to paint, have play dates, etc.
Salary: $600 for the first 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, salary will go up not less than $50, dependent on performance. Future salary increases will occur every six months, but may be nominal.  I do not pay for sick days, but I will pay 1/2 week's pay every 6 months for not missing any days. In addition, I will pay one week's pay for a full year of being on time and not requiring to leave early. The paid holidays will be Thanksgiving, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas, Christmas Eve and New Year's Day.  You will be paid  for one week's vacation in August. After one year of employment, you will be entitled to two weeks per year, so long as the time is scheduled one month in advance.
Required: American nanny, 4 years of college, 3 years plus of professional childcare or teaching experience, non smoker, physically and emotionally fit.

Thoughts? Anything I need to clarify?
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Philly Nanny said...

As someone who has nannied full time for 5 years, I would never in a million years even consider this position. Too many hours, HORRIBLE pay (that's $10.71/hour), zero flexibility. Nope. Never.

bess said...

I think that all nanny hours are too long. Is this on or off the books?

Anonymous said...

For 56 hours of care, you need to be paying overtime, sure $600 a week is legal, its also in every state de-valuing a nanny for those hours. I will speak on terms of California, an area near San Francisco. An experienced nanny with a 4 year degree, for 2 children costs 18-25 an hour-- just child care; add on cooking +1-2/hour, add on house chores add 1-2 per chore an hour. I do have to say you sound like your going to be an employer who discriminates: physically fit, american, and emotionally fit. I'm a thin nanny, I can run and keep up with kids; but I've also seen larger nanny's do the same.

You should be offering Sick days, even if your nanny takes extreme caution to not get your kid's cols, she will, and it will be your kids she got sick from 9 out of 10 times. I take care of myself, wash my hands, take vitamins, ect; last year I was sick 4 days (one of my charges had a fever I wasn't told about--flu). You should offer more Holidays, 5 for that amount of work is laughable; 4th of July, Labor day, Memorial day, all fun BBQ days! 2 weeks vacation would seem more fair then 1, given the work load your needing; a 56 hour work week will create burn out.

Housekeeping: Not allowing a dish to be left, not even in the dishwasher; that's reticulated. Trust that your nanny if dishes are her responsibility will take care into ensuring ALL dishes will be put away for you on the weekend, but please do the same for Monday. Sweeping and Vacuuming, just ask her to clean up the mess; if you have a 20-25 hour house cleaner waiting a day for a vacuuming wont matter.

andrea said...

as a nanny.. this is totally unrealistic. Unless you're looking for an undocumented worker. I'm currently working on my degree and once I have it, I probably won't be doing this anymore. ::correction:: I won't be.

Ashley said...

As a professional nanny of three years (and a teacher before that) I have to say that while it seems that you have the best of intentions, $600 and even $650 does not seem to be appropriate compensation for the service that you are requesting. The hours alone sound exhausting, and as a nanny, I personally could not consider taking a position with these hours, even for more money. Asking a caretaker to work anything more than 50 hours a week is asking an awful lot. Considering that the children will be in school- is it at all possible to have her hours start after school pick-up?

The offer for a private room is reasonable and very thoughtful, considering that it would not be factored in as part of the nanny's income.

I think that other than the hours, your requests for responsibilities is reasonable, as long as cooking will not interfere with the caretaking responsibilities.

Generally, when a nanny agrees to extra services such as running errands, it's logical to keep requests to errands that pertain to her time spent with the children. Picking up food for dinner, gifts for a classmate, etc. Picking up family groceries and dry cleaning are definitely extras and should receive extra compensation. Again, would it be possible to have the nanny's hours start closer to school pick-up? Errands for an hour or so before school lets out, then caretaking responsibilities once children are home?

It's good of you to recognize that nannying and housekeeping are separate jobs. Some people do not recognize that it is unreasonable to ask a nanny to do both jobs. It's practical to request that the nanny clean-up after meals and activities and to do her best to make sure that the house is left in the same condition as it was on arrival.

These are all obviously very fair expectations. Every parent who hires a nanny should be certain that the person taking care of their child/ren has strong character and is capable of being a good role-model.

Paid Holidays:
In addition to the ones that you have already listed, Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor day should also be added. And you should consider letting the nanny leave early on New Year's Eve, if it falls on a weekday. If you need someone for New Year's Eve, it is a good idea to hire a sitter specifically for that occasion.

These are a nice idea, however, I think that it is more important to offer fair wages, even if it means eliminating the bonuses. I'm content with my hourly rate (I've received a 4% increase each year) and my employers surprised me with a Christmas bonus the first year that I started with them and have given it to me every year since. I'm content and couldn't ask for more.

Sick Days/ Vacation/ Paid Time Off:
When I created my family-nanny agreement, I stated that I did not expect to be paid on sick days. However, in return, the family must pay me for any unexpected days when they do not need my service. Likewise, I do not request vacations, but the family pays me, even when they are on vacation. I know that they need to have a reliable caregiver who will not call off unless absolutely necessary and will not request vacation when they need to work. They return the favor by understanding that this job is my main source of income and I cannot afford to not be paid if they are out of town.

Be careful when listing requirements so that they are not discriminatory. Consider being open-minded when searching for candidates. You may be delightfully surprised by some of the people that you meet. Try screening candidates through an application process, then meet with your top candidates based on their qualifications.

Again, you may want to reconsider the hours, if possible and certainly the wages. Perhaps try a Google search for some nanny salary calculators or searching for salary information on the International Nanny Association website.

I wish you the best in your search for a nanny!

NannyTastic said...

I would need at least $620, sick days, two more holidays, another week of vacation, gas reimbursement, and an allowance for museum fees, art supplies ect. Personally, however, I wouldn't quality being that I am not "physically fit." Be more realistic about the search.

Anonymous said...

For $600 a week, I worked a 40 hour week (M-F, 8:30-4:30), did minimal housekeeping (basically, keeping the house as neat as it was when I arrived) and only the baby's laundry. I had 10 paid vacation days. I had full use of the family's car and a credit card to use on outings (where I was encouraged to help myself to a nice lunch). I also received very generous bonuses and gifts.

I would roll my eyes at your offer.


jendavidhirsch said...

You are asking for a greater than full time commitment. Plus, double the commute time and expense? I would say, offer 20 per hour, at a minimum, cover 1 part of the transport (train cost, gas, etc) and pay overtime above that ghastly schedule at $40.