At Care.com, we work really hard to help make families lives easier – through finding caregivers (for kids, parents, pets and homes!). But we also aim to make the parent-caregiver relationship work as well – so you can keep this help as long as possible!
Here are some of the most common concerns we’ve heard from nannies and babysitters. We all know that once we have a great sitter and nanny, we want to make sure they are happy. So if there’s anything they’re not telling us – we want to know. See if there’s anything on this list you might want to fix – or at least, talk about.
1. I thought you’d pay for holidays.
Nannies need some time off too, and since they rely on a weekly amount from you, it’s often assumed their time away will be paid. This works for holidays and public holidays (some of which you might not get off yourself). It’s best to spell out which holidays your nanny will have off in a nanny contract (see this sample contract) so no one is surprised on say, Commonwealth Day.
2. I don’t like folding your underwear.
To be honest, do you like strangers folding your undies? If laundry is part of the job, be clear about whose laundry it will be or just have her stick to the kids’ hampers. Your stuff is too personal.
3. You came home late and didn’t pay extra.
Babysitters and nannies don’t work as a flat-fee service. You need to pay hourly, and often you need to pay overtime.
4. I need gas reimbursement.
Sometimes caregivers ask for gas money to get to your house – that’s not necessary. But if she’s driving your kids to all of their activities, you should reimburse the suggested automobile allowance rate, per kilometre.
5. I’m having a health crisis.
No one wants to get too personal with their employer, but caregivers are human too! Sometimes nannies and beloved sitters are just like family. If you treat her this way, she might be more apt to tell you when something is going on. This way you can create a backup care strategy if she can’t come in one day.
6. Your neighbor tried to hire me away from you.
Nanny poaching is alive and well. If you have a good nanny, she is bound to get job offers from friends. If it’s just to babysit, good friends will contact you for permission. But a traitor might offer her more money to be her nanny. Let your nanny know to come to you first.
7. Your child called me a %@#%!$.
Everyone wants to know how their kids behaved while they were gone, but it’s not always easy to tell a parent when a child is misbehaving. As a sitter, you don’t want to seem like you don’t have things under control or get a child in trouble. If you’ve witnessed your child name calling or being aggressive towards a sibling, ask the sitter if she’s noticed something similar. It can ease the stress of being a tattletale.
8. I need a raise.
Are you paying your sitter or nanny enough? Make sure you use our babysitting rate calculator to know the going rate in your area. But also make sure you’re not being stingy. Caregivers should get a raise each year and with each additional child. You need to make sure you take care of the person who takes such good care of your family.
9. I don’t clean bathrooms.
Most sitters and nannies don’t consider themselves housecleaners. If this is a job requirement, make sure to spell that out and agree upon it before hiring. Or, hire a housekeeper!
How would you feel if your sitter or nanny raised one of these topics? How would you handle it?