Why Has It Been Harder for Nannies to Find Great Nanny Jobs?
This week we have been discussing the results of the Be the Best Nanny Newsletter monthly poll in which we asked nannies why they think it's harder to find great nanny jobs?
Those who participated in our poll answered that illegal immigrants are the number one reason nannies can't find stellar nanny positions. Next, nannies blame the bleak job market on the economy and American citizens that are paid illegally in cash, working off-the-books, for hurting the credibility of nannies in general. The results of our survey show that nannies think so many teachers being laid-off nationwide has led many educators to join the nanny job market as well.
The next reason nannies who to our survey think great nanny jobs are harder to find today is because so many in-home childcare providers don't have written contracts.
A guest blogger, Nathan Hammons, Esq. shared the following reasons nannies should have written work agreements with our readers below. Click here to see more about written work agreements.
Why Nannies Need Written Work Agreements:
# 1: Legal Protection
When a nanny and one
or both parents sign a nanny contract, it becomes legally binding. That means
one side can sue the other for failing to live up to a promise in the contract.
For example, a nanny could sue for not being given agreed to wages or
benefits (e.g., time off, health insurance, etc.). Or the parents could sue if a
nanny discloses family secrets or quits without notifying the parents as
required by the contract.
It’s worth noting that, in many situations, a
lawsuit is not worth the time or money. Nevertheless, people are more likely to
fulfill a promise when it’s in a legally binding contract. For that reason, it’s
much better to have a nanny contract than not to have one.
What’s the number one reason why parents and
nannies get into disputes? Miscommunication.
You know the story. One
person says something, and a month later the other person remembers having heard
something else. Or they don’t even remember a particular detail of the
While there isn’t a cure for miscommunication, having
things in writing is an excellent start.
That’s why a nanny contract is
a great tool for preventing disputes. First, it helps ensure that everyone is on
the same page for the important issues (e.g., job duties, wages, scheduling,
etc.). Second, if a question later arises, it can often be answered by
re-reading the nanny contract. Even if it can’t, the process of reviewing the
contract – calmly and professionally – can help ease tensions.
3: Address Important Issues
Parents and their nanny naturally
want to discuss the most important thing of nanny care – the children.
But nanny care involves much more than that. It also things that aren’t
exciting – like scheduling, benefits, preparing for emergencies, transporting
the children, and more.
Having a good nanny contract can help ensure you
don’t miss something important. For example, does the nanny have to work
Veteran’s Day? The nanny contract can answer that. Whose car insurance will the
nanny go under? The nanny contract can answer that, too, as well as the many
other important questions that arise with nanny care.
Stated another way,
a good nanny contract acts like a checklist – go through it from beginning to
end, and you’re much less likely to miss an important issue.
Promote Mutual Respect
A thriving parent/nanny relationship is
based on mutual respect. The parents respect the nanny as a professional
caregiver with needs and wants, and the nanny respects the parents as
individuals who, while busy, care deeply about how their children are raised and
A nanny contract enhances mutual respect. It sets roles for
parents as the employer and the nanny as both the employee and professional
caregiver. It helps everyone plan ahead through the setting of work hours,
schedules, etc. Lastly, because it is a legal document (see above), it raises
the level of professionalism.
In sum, the benefits of having a nanny
contract far outweigh the pains of putting one in place.
This post is
the first article of a five-part series on nanny contracts. Nathan Hammons is an
attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s also a father and the creator of MyNannyContract.com, a website with
information about the legal issues of nanny care and providing a professionally
contract. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: This post provides
information only and not legal counsel or advice. If you need legal advice,
please consult an attorney licensed in your state.