Employer of the Year! How to Be the Best Employer for Your Nanny
Hiring a nanny gets you more than an addition to your parenting team! Your family gains an employee.
No matter if you are new to the world of nannying or a seasoned household employer, the professional connection between a nanny and a family can be complex.
If you hope to build a strong and long-lasting relationship with your nanny, there are a few things to consider. Here are a few pointers to becoming the kind of employer any nanny would want to work with!
Understand Your Role and Responsibilities
Nannies are, per IRS standards, employees as opposed to independent contractors (check out this 20-point checklist). Is your nanny paid more than $2,300 in a calendar year? If so, you are a household employer who must register for an EIN, secure an I-9 Form, and much more.
As an employer, you are responsible for paying your employee on time, deducting taxes, submitting them to the applicable government agencies, tracking benefits, providing feedback, and maintaining open communication with your employee. Ensure that you gain and maintain a comprehensive understanding of your responsibilities as a household employer.
Do the technical details have your head spinning? Our Guide to Becoming a Household Employer can help and is launching soon!
Consider your Nanny a Part of the Team
Your nanny can influence your children's ideas, beliefs, and perception of the world. Whether intentional or unintentional, your nanny becomes part of your parenting team, and together, you can raise outstanding individuals.
Throughout your relationship, nanny and family will celebrate successes, work through challenges, and should approach the task of raising children as a united front. Working as a team means sharing the responsibility of caring, loving, disciplining, and following through with strategies that facilitate positive development.
Maintain open communication to ensure your strategies are aligned and consistent. Provide space and time for two-way communication including sharing new ideas, providing constructive criticism, and creating a united plan to approach the ever-evolving world of raising little humans.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Long-term nannies inevitably become a part of your family! After all, they spend most of the day caring for, teaching, and developing relationships with your children and supporting other members of the family. While it is always a pleasure to see healthy, growing relationships, remain considerate of the professional relationship that brought you together.
Resist oversharing information with your nanny or asking about her personal life, and be considerate when your nanny is off duty. If anything needs urgent attention, reach out to her! But simple situations such as finding a favorite toy can be dealt with by sending a text. Any other situation can wait until the next day.
Maintain a leadership role while fostering a feeling of autonomy by avoiding micromanaging! Instead, set clear expectations, house rules and ensure your nanny commits to and understands their scope. In any case that things do not go as expected, take the time to talk to your nanny and kindly point out what she can do to improve.
Maintain Consistent Communication
Good communication is critical to growing and maintaining any healthy employee-employer relationship. However, we know a busy schedule can represent a challenge.
Preplan and agree on a time to meet weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly to discuss children's progress, obstacles they are facing, and successes they've had. Start a journal or gain access to a nanny app (Nanny Notes is a good option) where all parties inform each other of the schedule for the day, children’s behavior and improvements, completion of tasks, and reminders.
Consistent communication ensures that all parties are on the same page and working together. It also helps address issues, answer questions, gather suggestions, or plan strategies, which is a great way to show your nanny how valuable her input and experience are. Learn how to achieve effective communication in your nanny-family relationship here.
Many nannies go above and beyond to help their nanny families run a smooth household, but additional tasks that are not included in their daily duties are a kind gesture from your nanny. These acts let you know that your nanny has your back and understands your needs. However, be mindful of this and do not expect these additional tasks t