First the basics…cover these early and if you feel like you should create a contract, do so. One nanny I knew signed one and kept things very black and white when it came to dealing with her “Nanny Family”. Her contract included vacation, sick days, hours, wages; all that would be in a normal employment contract, it kept the details clear for both sides. While it does feel impersonal to do so, if you are the type of person who prefers things to be in writing, it could provide the peace of mind you are seeking. On the other hand the family I worked for told me in the beginning that if I ever wanted out all I needed to do was say the word…they weren’t interested in having me work for them if I didn’t want to.
What does the nanny actually do, day in and day out? What is she going to do with my kids all day & how is she going to get there?
Activities: Is there a Lil Gym class or ballet lesson? Is she going to swim classes? Where is it? What time? Directions! When I was a nanny the parents would choose the class and then I picked what time worked best, which meant the parent’s had their kiddo in soccer (Lil Kickers—2 year olds “playing” soccer is too cute), but I chose for him to go in on Tuesdays at 9 A.M., etc. I also found free sing a longs at the zoo twice a week that became part of our routine, look in your area there are usually free classes/activities that change on a seasonal basis at: Zoos, Museums, Planetariums, Aquariums, Beaches, Parks and Rec Centers.
Car/Transportation: Every family has different needs, but if you are providing your nanny with a car-you are covering insurance/gas etc. If she is providing her own car, you might want to pay her a little extra if she will be driving your lil’ one all over town. (Sidenote: While I was nannying, my kiddo on more then one occasion puked all over the backseat. Be nice offer to pay to have her car washed. That smell does not leave quietly!) This also brings up the issue of car seats – if she has her own car, spring for another seat. While it is an added expense, never having to secure it in and out of her car will save you both time and sanity. What about public transportation you ask? Depending on the age of your children this could be a viable option, but if she has to navigate the depths of public transportation with a diaper bag and stroller you may want to think about options like Zip Car or IGo instead.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/juliryan/3303931113/