Last week, we covered the first five things to include in your nanny contract. And as we pointed out, you do need a contract. Anything could go wrong. Your contract is there to protect you and the families you work with. Don’t start working without having first put together a solid contract. With that in mind, let’s look at the last five of 10 things you need in your contract and then discuss how to present your contract.
6. Baby’s Health
What do you do if the baby gets sick? Should you call the family right away? How long should you wait before calling them? Who should you call first?
You should always have a Medical Consent Form! All of the “in case of an emergency” information will be on this.
Clarify how the family feels about hospitals. Should you call 9-1-1 & wait for an ambulance? Should you transport the kid to the hospital yourself? Follow these guidelines to the best of your ability. Make sure to add in a note that you are allowed to use your discretion. Sometimes, things happen quickly and look bad. If you don’t feel capable of handling a situation, it’s always better to be safe, rather than sorry. Be humble and reasonable. Call for help when you need it.
7. Training & Physical Health Requirements
First aid & CPR are a must! You should have copies of your cards for these in this section. Also, clarify that you will stay up to date on these. Some families may require that you have certain vaccines. If you are working with babies under six months, you will need more vaccines because, without them, you could be a carrier of an illness the baby hasn’t had a vaccine for yet. If the parents do require vaccines, a specific list of those should go here.
- Do you have permission to transport the kids?
- What car seat should you use?
- Where can you go?
- How often?
- Whose car are you allowed to use?
If you are using your car, don’t forget to add your reimbursement rate in the pay section of this contract. It’d be good to discuss insurance here. If you are driving their car, will their insurance cover you or are you expected to have insurance that will cover you?
When you have adorable children, you are bound to take at least one million pictures of them a day. Am I right?!
Make sure you have permission to post, show and share those pictures.
Make sure to respect boundaries in this situation. Some families I’ve worked for have only allowed me to share pictures on my personal Instagram account because it’s private. Other families give me permission to use their kids’ pictures on my website and for my business social media accounts. I usually, in turn, give them free access to all the pictures I take of their kids. This gives them “free photo-shoot pictures” and gives me adorable, free little models.
State here that you are aware that any personal information obtained on the job will not be shared with others. Being the nanny, you will have access to a ton of personal information. You will:
- know passwords
- see paperwork laying around
- hear conversations
- see mail
- get keys
The list goes on…
Respect their privacy. They are trusting you. So, don’t blow it. Keep the things you hear, see and get to yourself. This is the one part of your contract that should be upheld despite the end of the contract date or termination.
This respect for privacy goes both ways.
Nanny cams need to be discussed. Where are they and who has access to them? Some are on a closed-circuit loop that only have one monitor like this one. While other, popular cameras, like nest can be accessed by multiple people, communicated through and replayed later. Start building the trust that is needed in any good relationship by being open and honest about each other’s privacy.
10. Probation & Termination
Include your probation period here. This time is usually two weeks or one month. Having a probation period allows you and the family to make sure that you guys fit well together. During this time, either side can decide it’s not working out and walk away with no hard feelings.
Performance reviews can be a great place to re-evaluate the contract, discuss any concerns from either side and discuss rate raises. These help keep the communication open and maintain a good working relationship. Reviews can be done however often you’d like from once a month to once a year.
Side Bar: Amending a contract is easy, just discuss, agree, write & sign. Any changes made to the contract should be discussed and agreed on by all those involved. Make sure their are both sets of initials by the revisions. You can amend a contract for any reason. The most common include: new additions to the family, change in schedule, increase in rate or new expectations.
How long are you planning on working with the family? Make sure to put in how long this contract will be valid, an actual date. Maybe you want this contact to be good for a year, six months, three years.
Include a brief statement about how this contract interacts with future nanny share contracts. If you later do a nanny share with this family and another, it can be noted here that this contract will be overruled by that one. If the nanny share ends, this contact resumes as the active guidelines.
Your termination clause should clarify how much notice should be given from either side. This is because, as a self-employed nanny, you too can decide to end your time with the family. In my contract, I like to also include a compensation if the notice isn’t fully given. For example, if the family doesn’t give me the full length of notice time mentioned in our contract, they have to allow me to work the full notice time or compensate me accordingly. It also works both ways. If I don’t give them enough notice, I pay them back what I would’ve made during that time I’m leaving. It’s the least I can do, considering they will probably now have to take time off from work to stay home until they can find another nanny.
Keep in mind this contract is as much of a protection for you, as it is for them when I say this next part:
You need to give a list of reasons why the family can end the contract on the spot. These would include, harm to the child or a breach in contract.
How to Present Your Contract
During the interview, take a printed copy of your contract and fill in some of the information as you go. Towards the end of the interview, when you start asking your questions to fill in the missing pieces, tell them what you are doing. Simply say:
“I just have a few more questions to fill in some of the blanks here in my contract”.
Usually they will be impressed that you took the initiative to come prepared. Then, you can let them know that you will type it up and email over a copy.
Pro Tip: Save a copy of the original contract you typed up before you send them a copy. This will make any changes obvious, even if they don’t get color coded.
Let them make any changes, they think should be made, in a different color. After discussing the changes, print and sign the copy. From here, you can scan, email it to them and let them sign, scan and email it back to you or you can simply print it out and bring it back on your first day.
Make sure you sign the same copy. Don’t forget to date it. Scan and upload it to your shared google file or add it to your nanny binder. This is where all of your important nanny documents, daily logs, activities, meal plans for the kids and business related spreadsheets should go.
Now, that’s done! Enjoy your time with the little one!
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