Hiring a nanny, for many, is a logical step for a family. Some families are looking for someone to come in and take care of their children when they’re at work. Others are looking for just a little extra bit of household help during the day. Or, a family could be looking for a nanny to be with the family full-time, even accompanying them on vacations and trips. It could be all of the above as well!
Many more families are hiring nannies each year, looking for a bit of extra help around the household, so there’s no shame in searching the field for yourself.
It’s a big step for many, deciding whether or not to bring someone else into the picture. For better or for worse, this person can become an extension of your family depending on how much they are around.
Before taking the plunge, it’s important to avoid these mistakes so you don’t end up regretting your decisions later.
Rushing Through the Early Stages
When finding someone to look after your child, potentially live in your home and perform a whole other myriad of activities like preparing meals and running errands, you’d obviously like to find the perfect individual. Sometimes, though that can just take too long.
Whether you’ve gone nanny hunting on your own or are using an agency, it’s important to find someone who you know will match up with your, your home and your children. You don’t want to end up with a nanny who prefers to be indoors all the time if your child is always looking to run around outside.
Make sure and go through the interview process with due diligence and even consider a trial period. Rome wasn’t built in a day and chances are the perfect nanny isn’t going to descend from the heavens at a moment’s notice.
Additionally, you’ll want to be able to manage expectations about the nanny before coming in. If you rush about it, you may end up assigning the nanny to do too many jobs, way over the required amount. The last thing you want is for a nanny to walk out on you in the middle of the year and you’re left scrambling, trying to not repeat the process of before.
Saving the Finances for Later
Chances are, you’ve gone over your finances and budget for the nanny and have an idea of what you could be paying. You’ll want to set up required hours, frequency of pay and find out how much you can afford. It also helps to do a bit of research to see what the expected pay is, so you’re not undercutting your nanny or throwing the bank at them.
You also want to make sure you’re paying your nanny legally instead of under the table payments. This guarantees a bit more respect from both parties and keeps everyone honest.
While these are important steps, it’s equally as important to have your taxes figured out. You’ll need to find out if you have to pay the nanny tax, what that entails and how to go about reporting it on your taxes. Don’t wait till the end of the year to try and get everything in order, keep track of payments and be putting it together as the year goes by. If it gets confusing, search out someone who can help you.
Be smart and get ahead of it all so you’re not scrambling at the very end. Your nanny could be there only a short time and you’d hate to try and track them down to verify payments at a later date. It always helps to have a paper trail!
Not Making a Contract
This mistake kind of rolls the last two mistakes into one, but it’s vital you make a nanny contract. Not only can you lay out the financial rules for the nanny, but you’ll be able to also lay out expectations, job responsibilities, hours and so much more. That way, everything is out in the open and easy to read.
It will also make any disputes easier down the road. If you feel the nanny isn’t holding up their end of the contract, you can review the contract together and see what needs to be changed for the future.
At the end of the day, this person will have a big hand in taking care of your most prized possession, your children, and you need to place the highest value possible on a potential caretaker.