Tips for Families and Nannies

Are you weighing au pairs vs. nannies to hire? It’s a good idea to get informed about both your options before you make your choice. Both types of childcare have pros and cons and it’s important to weigh your decision carefully to figure out what option works best for your family. Here are a few things to consider when you’re weighing an au pair vs. nanny.

  • An au pair is a foreign young person who comes to the United States to work in exchange for housing under a prescribed set of guidelines and weekly stipend.
  • A nanny is a broader term to refer to anyone a family employs to look after a child or children in the household.
  • Nannies are typically residents of the United States.
  • Nannies can be live-in or live-out, while all au pairs must be live-in childcare providers.
  • Au pairs may or may not have prior childcare experience, so it’s important to check with the agency if a candidate has worked with children before.
  • Nannies can provide full-time or part-time childcare for your family, depending on your needs.
  • Au pairs typically provide up to 45 hours of childcare a week.
  • Both au pairs and nannies can provide household upkeep services. If you’re working with an au pair agency, it’s important to find out exactly what services an au pair will provide. If you’re screening a nanny, you can discuss individual job duties with an applicant.
  • If you’re looking for an au pair, you must find one through one of the approved U.S. Department of State agencies.
  • If you’re hiring a nanny, you have a range of options. An online database, such as, word of mouth, nanny agencies, and job boards are all places you can find a nanny.
  • Au pairs may speak little English causing a language barrier.

If you’re considering an au pair for your household, the good news is that the guidelines for how much you should pay her are pretty clear. However, there are other fees besides the stipend that you have to pay an au pair. And these fees will vary from agency to agency. To give you an idea of how much it will cost you a year for an au pair, we’re showing the current fees and costs of Au Pair USA, whose fees are in line with a number of other agencies.

For 2007, the fees for Au Pair USA include a $250 application fee, a $2,500 placement fee, and a $3,900 program fee. The application fee covers the processing of the paperwork. The placement fee covers the cost of recruiting and screening an au pair. The program fee covers the cost of the au pair’s visa, partial travel expenses, her coordinator, and training program.

In addition to application fees and expenses, you also have to pay a stipend to your au pair. An au pair caring for children over 2 years of age should be paid $130.05 a week. An au pair caring for children under 2 years of age should be paid $164.05 a week. The current educational supplement, which is applied towards your au pair’s education is $500.

Weighing in on the decision over whether a nanny or au pair works better as a childcare solution for your family isn’t easy. If you’re looking for reasons why hiring a nanny is better than an au pair, read on.

  • Childcare isn’t a decision to make lightly. When you decide to hire a nanny, you can meet an applicant face to face in an interview and see how that person interacts with your child.
  • If you decide to hire a nanny over an au pair, you can limit your search locally. Friends, neighbors, and other family members all make excellent places to start looking for a nanny. You can also use an online nanny database, such as, get a list of approved childcare providers through your local college or university or post an ad in your local paper.
  • When hiring a nanny, you can be more flexible about the qualifications you’re looking for. Whether it’s a certain number of years of experience, CPR certification, or the ability to work part-time hours, you’re not limited to a prescribed search criteria set up by an au pair agency. Nannies do not necessarily have limitations in terms of duties, hours, commitment period, schooling, etc. as aupairs do.

One way to get childcare help is through an au pair agency. Au pair agencies in the United States must be a program run by the U.S. Department of State. There are now 12 au pair agencies which provide au pair services to families looking for childcare. Each agency varies somewhat in the way an au pair is selected for a family.

However, typically, you can contact one of the au pair agencies by phone or through their Website. A coordinator will get in contact with you and inform you how their program works. The coordinator will then match you with an au pair based on your time frame and requirements. Or you could receive a list of au pairs to choose from. Some of the au pair agencies you can choose from include Au Pair in America, Cultural Care Au Pair, and Au Pair International.

If you’re a family in need of more affordable childcare for up to 45 hours a week, the au pair program is a viable solution for your needs. An au pair program matches your family with a screened childcare provider who will live in your home in exchange for a monthly stipend. Typically, the au pair is young person who wishes to live in the United States for a time period while watching a family’s child or children. An au pair may reside in your home for just the summer or for up to two years.

Au pairs must have their own room, the provision of food, one and a half days off every week, and a full weekend off every month. Part of the expense of paying an au pair includes an amount towards the au pair’s educational expenses. An au pair has proficiency in conversational English and typically has a minimum amount of childcare experience. Au pairs have a standard weekly stipend that the host family pays.

Hiring a nanny isn’t necessarily right for every family situation. Sometimes, an au pair does make a better childcare choice. Here are some situations where an au pair makes better sense:

  • If you want temporary childcare just for the summer, an au pair could work out best. Au pair programs provide temporary childcare during the summer months.
  • You’re comfortable with a live-in situation and want to welcome a foreign student as part of your family. If you’re interested in offering your home as a host family to a young person from another country so that you can have childcare, an au pair might be better for you.
  • You’re looking for an affordable option and are comfortable with having an au pair agency screen an applicant for you. Nanny wages can vary widely. However, on the whole, an au pair is affordable option. The monthly stipend can be less than some nanny wages when you compare the cost of a live-in nanny.

The current babysitting pay rate can encompass a wide range. How much you pay your babysitter can vary widely depending on where you live, how much experience the babysitter has, how many children she’ll be watching, and what her duties will be. Babysitting rates can be anywhere from $5 to $20. Here are some considerations that affect the babysitting pay rate.

  • In general, mother’s helpers who aren’t fully responsible for the care of your children, but are there to assist you, get paid less.
  • Teens and younger aged babysitters tend to have a lower babysitting pay rate as well.
  • Major metropolitan areas tend to command the highest pay rate.
  • The babysitting pay rate may be higher in cases where a babysitter has more years of experience, is caring for more than one of your children, and has specialized training such as CPR certification or early childhood education.
  • Babysitters who have a greater degree of responsibility, such as driving your children or teaching them a specific skill can command higher rates as well.
  • If you’re wondering what the going rate is for babysitting, check with friends and neighbors, other parents, and parenting boards for the current going babysitting pay rate.

Finding babysitters when you’re traveling presents its own set of challenges. You need to find a childcare provider for your little one, but you have to do so from afar. Although finding babysitters when you’re getting ready to go on the road isn’t the same as looking for childcare locally, there are some things you can do to ensure you are dealing with someone you can trust.

  • Check with the hotel you’re staying at to see if they offer a list of recommended babysitters. Always find out what type of prescreening or requirements the hotel has in place for babysitters on their recommended list.
  • Do some research to find out what babysitter agencies are available in the area. Here, you can also be thorough and find out what sort of prescreening measures are in place for individual childcare professionals.
  • Use word of mouth. See if a friend of a friend knows someone in the town you’re visiting and can refer you to a reputable agency or a babysitter.
  • Use an online database, such as, that lets you search and browse through potential babysitters based on area.

If you have a number of potential candidates lined up for a babysitter interview, you could be on your way to hiring someone qualified to look after your child. To ensure you hire the best possible candidate for your child, it’s helpful to be prepared. Here’s a list of five questions you should ask at a babysitter interview.

  1. Ask what experience your babysitter has had and whether she has any experience with a child in the same age group as yours.
  2. Ask for references that include past babysitting jobs that an applicant has had.
  3. Find out your babysitter’s schedule and availability, making sure it coincides with your needs.
  4. Find out if your babysitter has had any CPR training and is familiar with what to do in case of an emergency involving your child.
  5. Ask what type of philosophy your babysitter has in taking care of children.

Sometimes, figuring out where to find a babysitter to look after your children can be a challenge. Whether you’re a parent who just needs a night out or you’re looking to find a babysitter on a regular basis, there are numerous places you can look.

Online – Going online is one of the easiest ways to conduct your search for a babysitter. At, you are able to view the profiles of numerous candidates interested in a babysitting or nanny position – many of whom live in close proximity to your home.

Agency - Various nanny agencies offer a service that will send a pre-screened babysitter to your home based on your preferences and required hours.

Neighborhood – If you don’t need a professional babysitter, but just want someone to play with and provide basic care for your child, looking in your own neighborhood is an option. Responsible teens looking for part-time work may be interested in babysitting for you.

Friends and Family – Let your friends and family know you are trying to find a babysitter and would like to see if they can refer you to someone. Finding a babysitter through someone you know can be a good starting point for childcare.

If you’re thinking about getting someone to look after your child, you want to make sure that person is mature enough to handle the responsibilities you require. A babysitter hire should be at least 11 years old if she’s looking after your baby, cites the American Red Cross. However, keep in mind that the maturity level of each individual young person is different.

Other experts feel a teenager who is at least 14 years of age makes a better choice for a babysitter. If you’re merely looking for a mother’s helper who will assist you with various tasks throughout the day while you’re at home, most teenagers and preteens will be qualified to handle the job. Other parents may feel more comfortable with an adult babysitter. Regardless of age, the best thing to do is take the time to talk to a potential babysitter hire, get to know her personality and maturity level, and ask for and check references.

Finding a babysitter can be a little overwhelming. But figuring out where to look and what to look for when finding a babysitter doesn’t have to be difficult. Having a checklist of what to do and what not to do will help you in your search. Here are three tips about how to find a babysitter.

  1. When finding a babysitter, give yourself ample time to conduct your search. Settling for someone you’re not sure about can leave you uneasy about your child’s care in your absence.
  2. Think for the long-term. Even if you think you’ll just be needing a babysitter for an evening out every so often, it pays to think for the long-term. Having a reliable babysitter you can trust can save you the hassle of repeating your search every time you need someone.
  3. Do your homework. When it comes to finding a babysitter, this means asking for references, doing an interview, and seeing how the babysitter interacts with your child or children.

If you’re preparing to hire a nanny, putting together a childcare contract will ensure both parties are clear about everything from job duties to wages. If you’re not sure what you should put in your childcare contract with your nanny, check this basic list to make sure you have all the important items covered:

  • Spell out the hours you expect your nanny to work.
  • Include the benefits, if any. These items can include paid vacation days, health insurance, and sick days.
  • Include job duties down to specific items. Make sure you and your nanny have discussed household duties such as whether or not she’ll be doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning in the home. If she will be taking care of the household, include those duties in the childcare contract.
  • Include the specific wages and when you expect to pay them. For instance, if your nanny can expect payment on the 1st and 15th of each month, note it in the childcare contract.
  • Include verbiage about every special situation you can think of. For instance, if you expect your nanny to drive your child to and from preschool, note whether you’ll be covering gas expenses and for how much.

Finding a nanny for your child is a burdensome but necessary task if you need outside help to look after your little one. If you’ve decided that finding a nanny is the way to go, here are some words of advice to make the process go more smoothly:

  • Resign yourself to the idea of a nanny. Finding a nanny doesn’t just take effort on your part to conduct the search. It also involves being mentally prepared to accept someone into your home as a caregiver for your child.
  • Outline your expectations and the role of the job clearly. In order to avoid misunderstandings and confusion down the line, it’s essential you are upfront with an applicant from the start about what her role as a nanny will entail.
  • Ask specific questions during the interview. In order to find the best possible caregiver for your child, be prepared to ask questions about how a potential nanny might handle specific situations – this includes addressing how she would handle things like crying spells, emergencies, and tantrums.
  • Check references. When you’re finding a nanny, checking references is an all-important task. Having a good gut feeling about a potential hire is good. Seeing good chemistry between the nanny and your child is good. However, investigating a nanny’s previous relationship with her employers is essential to getting the full picture.
  • Make sure you run background checks such as criminal histories, driving records, credit reports, etc.

There are numerous ways you can find a nanny to care for your children. Online sites, such as, nanny agencies, and word-of-mouth are all possible starting points to find a nanny. However, if you’re looking to find a nanny you can explicitly trust who will provide loving care for your child, you have to dig a little deeper than just the surface. Here is how to find a nanny you can count on:

Make a list of your requirements. Before you start the interview process, it’s a good idea to figure out what you’re looking for in a nanny. Think about the hours you require, the amount of experience you’re looking for, the type of childcare philosophy, and whether any household duties will be involved.

Ask the right questions. These could include things like the number of years she has had as a childcare provider, what type of training has she had, what ages has she dealt with, and what her ideas are on childrearing.

Include your child. Whether your child is an infant or of school age, it’s a good idea to have your child present during the interview. That way, you can get an idea of how a potential nanny will be interacting with your child.

When you need childcare, a nanny finder service may be what you need to find quality childcare. Here are some ideas for a nanny finder service when you need childcare.

Nanny agency – A nanny agency is one way to find a prescreened nanny. A nanny agency typically checks for things like previous employment history, references, and criteria that match your needs. You’ll save time, but pay a lot more. A nanny agency can charge several hundred to a few thousand dollars in fees.

Advertisements - Advertisements are another way to find a nanny. You may pay as little as $25 for an advertisement on an online job board. However, there are no guarantees the candidates you get will be an ideal match, so if you’re in a hurry and worried about whether the pool of applicants will meet your standards, advertisements may not be your best bet.

Online nanny referral service – An online nanny referral service can be the least expensive way to find a nanny. Many online sites offer a free search with the potential to upgrade for a fee. Simply browse the database, contact the candidates of your choosing, and start the interviewing process.

Part of the process of hiring a nanny can include coming up with a job description so that potential candidates can assess whether a nanny position with your family is an ideal match. In order to come up with the best possible pool of candidates, being clear on what you’re looking for in your nanny job description is essential. Here are some of the things you should think about.

Before you write a nanny job description, first sit down and write a list of essentials that your nanny must have. Then create a secondary list of “pluses”, which include things you would like your nanny to be able to do, but aren’t essential.

The nanny job description should clearly identify key important areas that you’d like your nanny to have. These include what types of hours you’d like your nanny to fulfill, whether she’ll be live-in or live-out, the age of your child or children, the amount of experience she has, and whether you require any special certifications like CPR training.

Next on the order is listing items that would be perks for your nanny to have. For instance, it would be a bonus to have a nanny who is bilingual if you want your child to learn a second language at home.

Finally, narrow down the list of applicants to a nanny who meshes with your family’s lifestyle, it’s also a good idea to briefly indicate your childrearing preference. For instance, if your family is very laid back and easygoing, it’s fine to include that in your nanny job description.

So you’ve done a search for a nanny for your home and you’re getting ready to conduct interviews. What should you look for when you’re screening a nanny? When you’re screening a nanny, three things are helpful in the hiring process: being prepared, asking investigative questions, and paying attention to the details.

Being prepared – The process of screening a nanny can be a flurry of events. You’ve done a search through online referral services, such as, nanny agencies, or through friends and family. You’ve scheduled times to speak with several different candidates. But before you get to the interview stage of the hiring process, be prepared with a list of what your expectations are and what you’re looking for in a nanny.

Ask investigative questions – Standard questions such as a nanny’s availability, the amount of experience she’s had, and even why she’s interested in being a nanny can give you an overall picture. But don’t forget to dig deeper and address any concerns when you’re screening a nanny. Ask questions such as how a nanny would deal with emergency situations, how she views her role as a nanny, and what some of the most difficult situations are that she’s faced working as a childcare provider.

Paying attention to the details – When you’re going through the interview process, listen to not only what the applicant is saying, but how she is saying it. Is she giving you canned answers that you want to hear? Is she enthusiastic about working with children? How well does she interact with your child? Paying attention to the little things could well mean the difference between hiring a nanny who is adequate and one who will be an excellent caregiver for your child.

Run your background checks - Make sure you run background checks such as criminal histories, driving records, credit reports, etc.

If you’re considering adding a live-in nanny to your home, you’ll find that there are some perks to having a childcare provider live with you. Though it’s not for everyone, if you’re considering a live-in nanny, here are the advantages of live-in nannies:

  • Having a live-in nanny is more affordable than one that is live-out. You can negotiate a lower salary in exchange for the provision of housing arrangements for your live-in nanny.
  • You have more flexibility in working out a schedule that works. Having a live-in nanny means no commute time for your childcare provider and the possibility of creating a more flexible work schedule that works for both of you.
  • Your nanny can become part of the family. If your goal is to have a full-time nanny who is more like an extended family member than an employee, a live-in relationship is one way to facilitate this.
  • You can get a better idea of how your child interacts with your live-in nanny. Since you and your live-in nanny will likely both be in your home during the same time, you’ll have the opportunity to gauge how well she interacts with your child – more so than if you have a childcare provider who doesn’t live in your home.

Full-time nannies can make an ideal solution in homes where both parents work full-time. How much you end up paying in a full-time nanny salary depends on a number of factors, such as where you live, the amount of experience your nanny has, and whether she is a live-in or live-out nanny.

A nanny who lives outside of the household may get a wage of $350 to $800 per week. Full-time nannies typically receive less in wages when they live at your home. When you look at full-time nannies who get paid an hourly wage instead, wages may vary from $5.50 an hour to $20 an hour. Some full-time nannies get paid health insurance, as they are employees. Childcare costs can also include such on the job perks as gas mileage, food allowances, bonuses, traveling with the family, health club memberships, a car and tuition assistance.

If you’re about to hire a full-time nanny, it’s a good idea to think about ways you can maintain a positive relationship with her. There are several things you can do to make sure you and your full-time nanny are on the same page:

  • Get a clear idea of what you expect of your nanny and make notes for your own use.
  • Discuss the role you expect your full-time nanny to play in your child’s care. Talk about your childcare philosophy. Go over details like typical work hours, vacation days, pay, and daily duties.
  • Write out a contract that outlines the points you’ve discussed with your nanny, go over it with her, and give her a copy to keep.
  • Make house rules. Let your nanny know what you expect the house rules will be in your home, such as foods your child may eat, whether or not your nanny can have guests over, and whether or not she can use the house phone line for personal calls.
  • Keep lines of communication open once you’ve hired her. Whether it’s a quick chitchat on a daily basis or a more formal meeting every month, it’s a good idea to address any concerns you or she may have.

If you’re new to the world of full-time nanny childcare, it can be challenging to navigate through the process of figuring out what you can expect your nanny’s job will entail. In reality, the role your full-time nanny plays in caring for your child or children will largely depend on the full-time nanny responsibilities the two of you agree upon when you hire her. And as your needs change and your child grows, that role can change over time. This list covers typical full-time nanny responsibilities you can expect most childcare providers will offer.

Your full-time nanny will be responsible for taking care of your child in your absence during agreed upon work hours. These duties include care such as feeding, bathing, changing diapers, maintaining a routine, putting your child down for naps, and ensuring the well-being and health of your child.

Some childcare providers also provide extra services which not all nannies will be able to give your child. These include driving your child to and from school or other classes, teaching your child another language, errands and taking care of household chores.

If you’re hiring a full-time nanny, it’s important to know some of the legal issues surrounding your hire. For starters, the U.S. government requires that you check to make sure your nanny is legal to work in the United States. She either needs to have a social security card or a green card so that she can pay the taxes required on the federal and state level.

One of the first steps you can take towards making sure you hire your full-time nanny the legal way is by getting federal and state employee numbers. You’ll need to go to the Internal Revenue Website and fill out the SS-4 form.

You’ll also need to verify whether your full-time nanny is authorized to legally work in the United States. One way of doing this is by going to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Website. The l-9 form lets you know how you can verify employment eligibility of your nanny.

When it comes to assessing whether or not your full-time nanny is doing her job well, you can always look for signs she’s doing a good job without being there the whole time she’s watching your child. Here are some ways to judge your nanny’s job performance:

  • Watch how your child reacts when he first sees her. When your full-time nanny is doing her job well, your child will look forward to spending some time with her.
  • Your full-time nanny is prompt and reliable. In general, your nanny should be arriving to work on time and working the days you have agreed upon. It’s not just a sign of job performance, but could be an indicator of how much she is enjoying her job.
  • Your nanny keeps you informed. One way to assess whether your nanny is doing a good job is to look at the type of feedback she gives you. Does she willingly volunteer information about how your child is doing and any difficulties she’s encountered? A diligent nanny makes an effort to keep the parent abreast of the child’s general well-being.
  • Your child and home are clean and well looked after. Your child should generally be in good spirits, have clean diapers, and have clean clothing. Your household should be well ordered, showing that your nanny is picking up after your child.

If you’re going to hire a nanny and wondering whether she has to undergo any licensing procedures - the answer is no. However, you can check to see if there are other requirements an applicant meets has when you’re about to hire a nanny.

First aid and CPR training is something highly qualified nannies should be capable of. Find out whether your nanny has had first aid and CPR training. Coursework in childhood development are also pluses. Another qualification you can check is whether a nanny has received a certificate for passing the nanny credential exam. It’s an in-depth 90-minute exam that covers issues like child development, safety, and professionalism. The International Nanny Association gives the exam and recommends it for nannies with at least 2,000 hours of job experience.

Preparing nanny contracts may seem like they involve a lot of legal verbiage, but they don’t have to be complicated documents. In fact, nanny contracts aren’t legally required. But they do make the working relationship between you and your nanny much clearer. Here are some things you should know about nanny contracts:

  • Nanny contracts set the ground rules for the type of relationship you will have with your nanny and outlines the expectations you have.
  • Nanny contracts are important because they provide a measure of protection in case you have an issue or dispute with your nanny in the future.
  • You can write your own nanny contract or you can obtain a sample version online. The International Nanny Association provides a guide to negotiating a nanny agreement. There is a sample contract available to registered members at
  • The nanny contract should have both your signature and your nanny’s signature. Make a copy of it for yourself and your nanny.
  • A nanny contract doesn’t need to be set in stone. You can make a clause in the contract that states you’ll review the contract in 6 months or a year for possible revisions.

If you’re thinking about hiring a nanny, you need to start by making an assessment of what your childcare needs are. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start the process of hiring a nanny:

  • Do you need full-time care or part-time care? If you’re looking for part-time care, what days and hours do you need?
  • Do you want a nanny who lives in the home or outside the home?
  • What duties will you require of your nanny? Will she provide just childcare or will she also provide household services as well?
  • How much can you afford to pay your nanny? Is the pay reasonable considering the market and the hours you require?
  • What type of qualities are you looking for in a nanny? Does she need to be upbeat and enthusiastic? Should she be flexible and accommodating?
  • What type of skills and experience do you require? Should your nanny be CPR certified and have an early childhood education background?

Interviewing a nanny is one of the key defining factors in making a decision on whether a nanny is the best person to care for your child or children. Before starting the process of nanny interviews, find out some techniques that will ease your decision and help you pick the best person for the job.

  1. Think about what you expect of your nanny and be prepared with a list of nanny interview questions prior to the interview. There is a sample list of interview questions available to registered members at
  2. When you describe your expectations, such as salary and childcare duties, gauge whether the applicant is a good fit not only by how she answers, but by how she reacts.
  3. Ask for and check all references if the nanny seems like a good candidate.
  4. Conduct a second interview to make a more informed decision about whether the nanny is a good match.
  5. Have your child present so you can assess how the nanny will interact with your child.
  6. Trust your gut instinct and intuition, as they are good indicators of whether a nanny is right for your family.

During the nanny hiring process, you’ll want to find out as much information as you can. References are one way to gain insight into your potential nanny’s previous work history, but if you want to be very thorough, you can conduct a nanny background check. A nanny background check can confirm information such as a nanny’s previous employment history, her educational background, driving record, criminal history, credit report, Social Security number trace, etc. If you do decide to conduct a nanny background check, be advised that the applicant is entitled to a copy of the report.

To ensure you’re hiring a nanny who is a suitable caregiver for your child, you can take some measures to screen your nanny. These are some of the measures that a reputable placement agency takes in order to make sure their nanny candidates meet the minimum standards for employment. If you’re not using a placement agency that conducts a thorough screening process, it can be worth your while to do some of the legwork yourself.

References – This includes checking a nanny’s previous employment history and personal and work references.

Background check – This includes taking a nanny’s fingerprints, checking for a criminal record, checking the driving record, and verifying a nanny’s health.

Work eligibility – Checking work eligibility involves verifying either citizenship or proof of legal eligibility to work in the United States.

Full-time nannies can expect to receive some benefits along with their standard weekly or hourly nanny pay rates. For both live-in and live-out full-time nannies, benefits can include two weeks of paid vacation per year, paid days off during major holidays and health insurance. Live-in nannies get the additional benefit of room and board, including their own room and sometimes a private bath, as well. Some nannies get use of a car and a cell phone, too. These benefits typically apply to nannies who work 40 hours or more a week. Some nannies can work up to 60 hours a week. In exchange for hours in excess of 40 hours a week, nannies get paid overtime or paid time off to compensate them.

Hiring a nanny involves adhering to employment regulations just like any other workplace situation. In most cases, nannies are classified as employees and not independent contractors. In order for nannies to be independent contractors, they need to provide their own hours, place of business and their own work tools when they work. Employees, on the other hand, have their hours, place of work, work tools and responsibilities set by their employer. Because by nature, a nanny typically works out of a family’s home and works based on the schedule the family requires, it makes it difficult to qualify a nanny as an independent contractor.

Figuring out the tax requirements in your nanny’s pay doesn’t have to be complicated once you break down the amounts by category. If your nanny is an employee, you’ll usually withhold anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent of her pay in taxes. Here are all the components you need to be concerned about when it comes to nanny taxes.

  • Half of the Social Security and Medicare
  • Federal Income tax
  • State Income tax (in some cases)

When it comes to Social Security and Medicare, you only need to take out nanny taxes during each pay period. If you and your nanny decide to do so, you can withhold federal income taxes on her paycheck.

If your nanny works overtime, you should plan on compensating her for her time. Nannies who work more than 40 hours within a 7-day workweek must get overtime pay, according to the federal government. You should plan on paying overtime pay for nannies at a compensation rate of 1.5 times your nanny’s hourly wage. Overtime pay for nannies can be built into the salaries. For instance, a nanny who works a 50-hour workweek might get a lump wage based on an hourly rate of 40 hours plus 10 hours of overtime pay. A nanny can work as many hours as you and she agree upon. Although nannies who are live-in often get paid less, they do have the right to get pay equal to that of a live-out nanny.

If you’re in the process of setting up your nanny’s paycheck, don’t forget that paying taxes is part of your obligation along with the nanny salary. Nannies must pay Social Security taxes as well as federal income taxes on their nanny salary. As an employer, you’re also obligated by the federal government to pay Social Security taxes on your nanny’s salary. In many states, employers of nannies must also pay the state unemployment taxes, as well.

If you’re having a tough time figuring out how to deal with the set-up, there are services that specialize in handling payroll. Paying taxes for your nanny can be much simpler if you decide to let an outside agency handle the process. One such agency, GTM Household Employment Experts, handles payroll and paying taxes specifically for nannies and their employers.

Nanny wages vary across the country, depends on the amount of experience a nanny has and whether you provide housing for her.

According to the 2012 INA Nanny Salary and Benefits Survey:

  • The national average hourly rate for babysitting or short-term assignments is $16 per hour.
  • The national average gross weekly salary for full-time live-out nannies is $705.
  • The national average gross weekly salary for full-time live-in nannies is $652.
  • National Gross Weekly Salary for Full-Time Nannies Based on Years of Nanny Experience
    • Full-time nannies with less than 1 year of nanny experience earned on average $521 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with 1 year of nanny experience earned on average $529 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with 2 years of nanny experience earned on average $603 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with 3 years of nanny experience earned on average $600 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with 4-5 years of nanny experience earned on average $626 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with 5-7 years of nanny experience earned on average $630 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with 7-10 years of nanny experience earned on average $677 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with 10-15 years of nanny experience earned on average $709 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with 15-20 years of nanny experience earned on average $713 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with 20 plus years of nanny experience earned on average $734 gross per week.
  • National Gross Weekly Salary for Full-Time Nannies Based on Years of College Experience
    • Full-time nannies with 2 years of college experience earned on average $611 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with a bachelor’s degree earned on average $633 gross per week.
    • Full-time nannies with a master’s degree earned on average $725 gross per week.

Living with your nanny is a big decision – one that involves welcoming someone with open arms into your home. In order make sure you keep relations with your nanny in good shape, follow these rules of etiquette.

  • Be clear from the start on all job duties and what you intend her role to be. That way you’ll run into fewer problems down the line with expectations from both sides.
  • Create clear ground rules about what is and isn’t allowed in the home. Ground rules may include anything from your stance on having guests over to using the kitchen supplies for personal use.
  • Respect her privacy and establish time with the family separate from the nanny. Although your nanny is living with you, it doesn’t mean she has to be involved in every aspect of your life. Some space and separation will make for a better relationship.
  • Be clear on your childrearing philosophy. This can include everything from discipline to maintaining a type of atmosphere and environment you want for your child.

If you currently have a nanny and have mixed feelings about whether or not you should keep her in your household, here are five warning signs to watch out for. Any one of these should be cause enough for you to give pause about keeping your live-in nanny.

  • Your child seems apprehensive around your live-in nanny and is reluctant to go to her.
  • You make repeated requests to your nanny and she doesn’t follow them.
  • Your child seems prone to getting into accidents with your nanny, signaling a potential lack of attention.
  • Your live-in nanny criticizes the way you raise your child.
  • Your live-in nanny seems reluctant to share information about her day with your child or seems to be giving you contradictory stories.

Once you’ve lined up a number of good candidates for the interview, make sure you’re prepared to ask the right interview questions that will land you the best live-in nanny for your home. These interview questions will help screen out the nannies you don’t want and narrow down your list to the nannies you do want to hire.

  • Ask a nanny candidate whether she is looking for full-time work as a live-in nanny. It seems obvious, but you’ll want to know right off the bat whether she is looking for the same living arrangements you are.
  • Ask a nanny candidate how much experience she has had with young children and what ages. How much experience you need to look for is a personal decision. However, you want someone with enough experience to make you comfortable. The more experience a candidate has, the more you’ll likely pay in salary.
  • Ask about her role in her previous jobs as a nanny. You’ll want to get a sense of how skilled she is at her job and her level of expertise.
  • Ask your nanny whether she has any specific training or certifications. This can include CPR training and early childhood development education.
  • Find out why your nanny is leaving or has left her previous position. You’ll find out a lot about a nanny candidate’s preferences and whether she’ll be a good fit for your home.

When you’re getting ready to put out an advertisement for live-in nannies, be careful how you word it. Putting in the right amount of information can make the live-in nanny search much easier. Here are some things you’ll want to include in your advertisement for live-in nannies.

  • Let potential nanny candidates know that you’re looking for a live-in nanny as opposed to a live-out situation.
  • Include a few sentences describing the live-in nanny’s role, including the number of children she’ll be caring for and their ages.
  • Let a candidate know how much experience you expect her to have.
  • Include your general location, so a nanny will know whether the job is somewhere she wants to be.
  • Make sure the potential live-in nanny candidates know how best to reach you, whether it’s by phone or email.

If you’re just venturing into the realm of hiring a nanny, you’re probably aware that a live-in nanny is one option for you to consider. But what exactly is a live-in nanny and what does she do? A live-in nanny, just as the name suggests, is a childcare provider who lives in your home and handles all the duties relating to the care of your child or children. These duties can include feeding, bathing and caring for your children. It typically also includes any domestic duties that involve picking up after your child. In some, though not all cases, a live-in nanny also performs general household chores like laundry, cleaning, and running errands. What domestic duties your live-in nanny will actually perform will be something you need to discuss with her from the beginning.

Contrary to some opinions, a live-in nanny is not a luxury only for the wealthy – at least not anymore. The live-in nanny is a growing trend among homes across different demographics. Just because a family might not "seem" like one that needs a nanny, don't count them out.

So who is employing live-in nannies these days? It ranges from households with high incomes to families with both parents bringing in a comfortable salary and looking to maintain their careers.

Nannies are also hired by dual income families with both parents needing to work to maintain their households and single parents who need an income as well as childcare.

A live-out nanny isn’t the solution for every single family situation, but for many families, the live-out nanny is ideal. Here are four reasons why a live-out nanny is an ideal childcare provider.

  1. A live-out nanny can be the ideal solution for allowing your child to maintain her routine in your home rather than going to day care.
  2. A live-out nanny can be a good alternative to having a live-in nanny. You still have the flexibility of childcare that meets your hourly needs, but the freedom of not having a childcare provider in your home when you’re not at work.
  3. A live-out nanny provides a consistent source of one-on-one childcare for your child.
  4. A live-out nanny provides care for your child that can keep her from the germs and illnesses that frequent daycare situations.

A nanny interview is prime time to garner as much information as you can about a nanny’s experience. The nanny interview is also a time you can get to know the candidate better. When you’re conducting the interview, keep focused on learning several key points. Here’s what you should keep in mind.

  1. When conducting the nanny interview, remember you're gauging not whether this person is an excellent nanny, but whether she would fit in well in your household.
  2. When asking questions about her experience, think about whether her experience is what you’re looking for and whether she seems knowledgeable about children in the age range of your own child.
  3. Assess how reliable you think the nanny will be, how well you think she’ll interact with your child and whether you feel you trust her with your child’s care.
  4. Gauge what the nanny’s interest in her career is and whether her future goals coincide with your needs.

When you’re hiring a live-out nanny, one all-important part of the interview process is watching how she interacts with your child. Ideally, your live-out nanny should exhibit three qualities during the interview process.

  1. Your live-out nanny should show a level of warmth. When she interacts with your child, she should show a genuine interest in your child.
  2. Your live-out nanny should behave professionally. This means she should respect your role as the parent as well as engage with your child in an appropriate manner.
  3. Your live-out nanny should be knowledgeable about the stage of your child. This means she should understand the needs and issues concerned with your two-year-old child versus your 6-month-old child.

Live-out nannies vary widely in the amount of experience and background they have. You can generally classify live-out nannies into three main categories. Here they are.

  • Nannies with babysitting experience: Nannies with babysitting experience tend to be younger nannies who have a few years of babysitting experience under their belts. These live-out nannies also include those childcare providers with daycare experience.
  • Nannies with families: Nannies with families fall into the category of more mature, older nannies who often gained experience in childcare through raising their own children.
  • Childcare professionals: The third category of live-out nannies includes those who are childcare professionals or specialists. These live-out nannies tend to have degrees in early childhood education or specialized nanny training.

A live-out nanny is a person who specializes in providing childcare for your family. Rather than living in your home as live-in nannies do, a live-out nanny comes to care for your child, mostly at your home, during set hours during the week. A live-out nanny provides emotional, social and intellectual support to your children. Her role includes all the aspects of caring for a child including play, companionship, activities, meals and clothing needs. Often, the household responsibilities of a live-out nanny are related to the care of children, but they can include the upkeep of a home in some instances. A live-out nanny should be at least 18 years of age and can have the relationship of an employee, member of the family or a good friend.

This is a simple notion, but one that some parents miss. When hiring your nanny, be honest. It's incredibly important to be forthcoming when describing the role of the nanny position, the duty requirements, the hours and living arrangements. This will be a way to ensure you hire the right nanny. It’s not that parents intentionally distort the truth about the job requirements, but sometimes parents do end up painting a rosier picture of the nanny position in order to make it more attractive to a potential hire. When you’re hiring your nanny, be honest and you won’t have the problem of nannies who end up leaving the job because the person you’ve hired isn’t a good fit.

When you’re hiring childcare for your home, it means you have a range of childcare providers to choose from. If you expect to be home most of the time and just need a pair of helping hands, find someone who needs a mother’s helper job. A mother’s helper job entails someone who helps with childcare duties while at least one parent is typically at home. Although the parent is usually in charge, mother’s helpers may take care of the children for brief periods and act as a family assistant. Mother’s helpers may be live-in or live-out. They may also help with household duties. Mother’s helpers may have little experience or several years of experience.

Once you’ve hired a mother’s helper, make sure you file her taxes appropriately. Mothers helpers are typically employees and not independent contractors. Mother’s helpers usually fall under the employee category because they work out of your home under hours that you’ve agreed upon. In addition, the work that mother’s helpers perform is dictated by you as the employer, putting her under the employee status.

The penalties for failing to comply with the government’s standards for filing can be great. The IRS slaps a $500 penalty tax on top of the interest you owe. There are also civil penalties that can amount to anywhere from 20 percent to 75 percent of the unpaid taxes.

Undoubtedly, a mother’s helper can provide a valuable service to a family by providing a level of relief and assistance to a parent. When trying to figure out how much to pay a mother’s helper, consider that mother’s helpers often get less than their nanny counterparts, given the same years of experience. This is because a nanny is typically in charge of the care of the children in the family while a mother’s helper assists a parent who is at home.

The 2006 International Nanny Association Salary Survey showed that the bottom 20 percent of nannies surveyed earned $10 per hour. Wages always vary based on factors like geographical location, supply and demand and the skills and experience of the mother’s helper. One way to get an idea of how much to pay is to find the going rate in your area for mother’s helpers by checking with other parents in your neighborhood or joining a local online parent’s board.

Maintaining a good relationship with your mother’s helper starts right from the hiring process. When you’re hiring a mother’s helper, be clear about the job requirements and your expectations. And hire someone who you think clearly meets those job requirements and expectations. Once you’ve hired a mother’s helper, make sure you create a contract that outlines her job duties and make a copy for her and yourself.

In order to form a good working relationship after the hiring process, maintain an open level of communication with your mother’s helper. Spend a few minutes during the day or each week to have a conversation about your childcare and household needs. It’s always important to address any issues or concerns at the onset, rather than waiting for them to become unmanageable.

When you’re interviewing mother’s helpers, keep in mind that you’ll be spending a lot of time with this person and potentially leaving your children in her care. During the hiring process, make sure you conduct a thorough interview with all of the mother’s helpers you speak with. Here are some basic questions to cover at the interview that will help you eliminate candidates that aren’t a good fit for your family.

  • Ask why a candidate has decided to seek work as a mother’s helper.
  • Ask why a candidate has decided to leave her previous position.
  • Ask a candidate to describe her role as a mother’s helper in the previous household where she worked.
  • Ask a candidate to describe what would be her ideal role in the household.
  • Find out what a candidate’s career goals are for the future are.

If you just need an extra pair of hands and not someone to be in charge of looking after your little one, a mother’s helper can be the ideal solution. Not sure where to find a mother’s helper? Here are some places to find a mother’s helper.

  • In your neighborhood: A mother’s helper can be a pre-teen or teenage girl that you know in your own neighborhood. Since you’ll be in charge, hiring a more mature professional isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • Online database: Using an online database of childcare providers, such as, helps you sort through numerous candidates with a range of experiences. You can even find a mother’s helper in your area.
  • Agencies: Some nanny agencies and agencies for household help have a roster of candidates who are mother’s helpers. You’ll likely pay a hefty fee, but the candidates do come prescreened.
  • Advertisements: You can submit your own advertisement to find a mother’s helper. Try your local papers, an ad at a nearby college or an online site.

If you want to be thorough in your nanny background search, there are some areas you can check beyond the basics. Here are some areas of further research you can check in your nanny background search.

Character reference – Find out some personality traits about the applicant such as whether she’s warm and loving around children and whether she’s organized and punctual.

Drug testing – Drug testing is a way to make sure that an applicant is free from the use of illegal substances in her system.

Higher education verification – If you’re looking for a nanny with college credentials, you can check to see whether the information she’s given you is accurate.

Sex offender/child abuse registry – You can verify whether an applicant has a criminal record involving children.

When conducting an interview, make sure you don’t venture into the realm of asking illegal questions to a nanny. It’s always best to keep the questions focused on items that relate to the candidate’s role as a nanny and how she will perform her job duties. The following is a list of illegal questions you don’t want to ask a nanny during an interview.

  • Don’t ask your nanny what her maiden name is.
  • Don’t ask your nanny if she has ever been arrested. However, you can ask if she has been convicted of a crime or has felony charges pending against her.
  • Don’t ask your nanny what year she was born.
  • Don’t ask your nanny what country she has citizenship with. However, you can ask if she is a U.S. citizen.

During a nanny reference check, plan ahead with a short list of questions you want to ask previous employers so you can get a good idea of whether an applicant would make a good childcare provider for your family. Here’s a rundown of the basic questions you should cover.

  • During the reference check, ask if your nanny’s previous employer would hire her again and then find out why or why not.
  • Ask what specific things the nanny was skilled at versus areas that weren’t her strong points.
  • Find out why she no longer works for her previous employer.
  • Ask her previous employer to describe her relationship with the children.
  • Verify what dates she actually worked with her previous employer.

When you’re interviewing a nanny candidate, you should be aware that some questions are legal and some are not. It’s always important to maintain a level of professionalism as you’re interviewing candidates. Read on to find out what legal questions you can ask a nanny candidate.

  1. You can ask what a nanny’s full name is.
  2. You can ask if she has any criminal convictions.
  3. You can ask if she has any felony charges pending against her.
  4. You can ask if a nanny is over the age of 18.
  5. You can ask how long she has been a resident of the United States.
  6. You can ask if the nanny candidate is a U.S. citizen.

When you decide to do a nanny background check, you can learn a great deal of information about a candidate. If you’re not sure what you should bother checking or what you’ll learn with nanny background checks, this guide will fill you in on the basics.

Credit History – The credit history determines how responsible a nanny has been in handling her finances. It’s more common these days than it used to be to check a nanny’s credit history.

Criminal Record- You’ll want to make sure your nanny doesn’t have any offenses on her criminal record that would make you uneasy about having her watching your children.

Driving Record – The driving record will fill you in on a nanny’s level of responsibility. You’ll learn things like whether there have been any alcohol or drug-related incidences, as well as a nanny’s driving history.

Employment – During the nanny background check, you will want to verify your nanny’s previous employment. This will verify the amount of experience that she has as well as how accurate the dates are that she’s given you.

Social Security – Checking your nanny’s social security information verifies that the number belongs to her and where she is living now or where she has lived previously.

Although it can be tempting to immediately hire the first nanny you come across who meets all the qualifications you’re looking for, it is definitely a smart decision to do a background check. Though in many cases, you won’t find anything that should deter you from hiring a nanny candidate, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. The nanny background check can reveal information you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to.

For example, take this case of a California nanny who drove her car into two children in a hit and run accident in 2003. Both children, ages 7 and 10, were killed. (The children were not under the nanny’s care.) A family hired her from an advertisement and neglected to do a background check. Had they done a background check of the nanny’s driving record, they would have found that the woman had her driver’s license suspended twice for a high blood-alcohol level. Such a marked driving record would be an instant red flag against hiring a nanny.

Every year, the International Nanny Association recognizes an outstanding nanny by recognizing one Nanny of the Year. If you think your nanny has done above and beyond what you expect a nanny to do, you can nominate her for this career achievement award. In order to qualify for this award recognition, your nanny must have at least five years of experience as a nanny, a childcare education, and several references. The International Nanny Association is looking for nannies who are advocates for children and have added value to the lives of the children in their charge. The nanny who wins this award recognition receives the Nanny of the Year award at an International Nanny Association Conference.

When you add a nanny professional to your home, you’re trusting the care of your children to someone who until recently, is likely a stranger to you. In order to ensure you’ve selected the best possible nanny professional available, keep in mind these qualities nanny professionals should have.

  1. A nanny professional should enjoy working with children. Observe a nanny to see the level of enthusiasm, warmth, and caring she exhibits around your child.
  2. A nanny professional should be able to add something to the life of your child who is in her care. This can be anything from giving your child a sense of security to teaching your child a new skill.
  3. A nanny professional should have a good grasp of what it takes to care for a child in the appropriate age group. This means that she should not only be adept at changing diapers if your child is a newborn, but understand how to soothe him during normal periods of fussiness. She should be able to provide a stable routine and care for your child if he is a toddler and understand the emotional needs of a child that age.
  4. A professional nanny should be able to handle emergencies. In case your nanny ever has to deal with a medical illness or other traumatic event in your child’s life, she should know what measures to take to handle the situation and be able to take care of that situation independently in your absence.

With the advent of TV shows like Supernanny, the public is enamored with childcare given by a European-trained nanny. Although European nannies can seem like an attractive option for families who admire the effective techniques of British nanny Jo Frost of Supernanny, the U.S. Immigration laws make it very difficult for foreign nannies to work in the U.S. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service rarely grants work visas to nannies who want to come work in the States. There are some foreign nannies who travel to the U.S. on tourist visas and then accept nanny jobs. However, this roundabout way of working as a nanny in the U.S. is not legal and subject to fines as well as the possible deportation of the nanny.

An alternative to hiring a European-trained nanny is hiring an au pair. An au pair is a foreign national who comes to the U.S. and provides childcare assistance as part of a cultural exchange program. The au pair program is not a work program.

When investigating what laws apply to you with regard to hiring a nanny, keep in mind that where you live will matter. Nanny jobs in California, for instance, don’t have exactly the same laws as nanny jobs in New York. So whatever state you do live in, make sure you check the employment laws that pertain to you.

If you’re living in California, you have to make sure you follow the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, which guards against discrimination. You must not discriminate on the basis of sex, religion, age, physical disabilities, or ethnicity when hiring or providing housing. Of course, this law is pretty standard in most states.

In New York, Local Law No. 33, the first of its kind in the United States, serves to protect the rights of household employees. The Local Law No. 33 states that any licensed employment agency must provide a written statement addressing the rights household and domestic employees have under the law. A copy goes to both an applicant as well as her potential employer.

Hiring the best person you can for a nanny position requires three things: looking in the right areas for candidates, interviewing and screening candidates effectively, and providing a nanny position that a qualified candidate would be interested in. Here are three ways to make nanny positions more attractive to candidates.

  1. Nanny positions are more attractive when there are benefits involved. Start off by including a fair compensation to a nanny, based on her skills and the market rate. Include allowances for overtime pay, sick days, and vacation days. If you can afford it, offer a health package to your nanny, as well.
  2. Nanny positions are more attractive with bonuses and perks. Bonuses and perks can be any privileges that pertain to the job such as a set amount of time for cell phone use, car usage with mileage expenses covered, and the opportunity to travel on vacation with your family with paid expenses. An annual bonus during the holidays is another option for an on-the-job perk.
  3. Create a positive work environment. Creating a positive work environment for a nanny includes giving your nanny the ability to get her job done effectively. This includes providing an open forum for communication, being honest and clear about the job expectations and requirements, and staying up-to-date on issues that come up with your child or children.

Some nannies gain experience in childcare through raising their own children. Some nannies get their experience from nanny training programs. If you’re looking for a professional nanny who has had formal training, they are out there. A professional nanny with formal training may attend various schools throughout the United States. Other countries, such as New Zealand and Australia, have similar programs. They can run anywhere from six weeks to a year in length and culminate in a certificate showing completion of the program.

The programs that a professional nanny goes through generally include courses in child development, nutrition, family dynamics, play techniques, and CPR training.

You can get a directory of the programs available from the International Nanny Association if you’re interested in finding a professionally-trained nanny.

If your children are school-aged, it may be worth your while to consider after school care as an alternative to a part-time nanny. As of 2001, there were after school care programs in 67 percent of U.S. schools. Studies have shown numerous benefits to after school care programs. According to the Nellie Mae Educational Foundation, after school care programs are successful from an educational standpoint as well as a social standpoint. The children tend to attend school more regularly, they complete their homework assignments, they perform better in school, they cultivate good interpersonal skills, and they end up attending college. The studies also show that in particular, fourth and fifth graders who attend after school care programs adjust better emotionally and have better work habits.

Finding a part-time nanny that works well in your household and has availability during the hours you need can be a challenge. Once you find the right part-time nanny, the next step is keeping a positive relationship with her. In the long run, you’ll save yourself the trouble of having to find new childcare assistance.

Nannies will often leave their positions due to a lack of clear, specific information about what the job really entails. It's wise to create a written contract agreement and take the proper amount of time to find a nanny who is right for the family. These are essential components of maintaining a positive relationship.

If you’re trying to decide whether part time nanny care is the ideal answer to your family’s childcare needs, keep in mind that just as there are many advantages, there are some disadvantages, as well. Here are a few tricky situations you have to navigate through when choosing part-time nanny care.

1. Part-time nanny care may be more difficult to find. Many nannies are looking for full-time hours and it can require more work to find a nanny who wants part-time hours. If you’re keen on part-time nanny care, try to structure your childcare needs in a way that allows the nanny to work out hours with another family, go to school or find another job.

2. It can require more work to coordinate a nanny share situation with another parent. If you’ve decided on part-time nanny care and are giving your nanny full-time hours by sharing her with another parent, expect a little compromise to make the situation work. You have to be able to find a nanny that you both like, as well as agree on a split schedule that works for both parties.

The pay rate for part-time nannies varies based on a number of factors. These factors include whether the part-time nannies are live-in or live-out, what geographical region they’re in, the amount of experience they have, and the total amount of hours they work. The International Nanny Association conducts an annual salary survey that includes pay rate results from part-time nannies.

These figures are results from the 2006 survey. The survey found that part-time live-in nannies who live in the Pacific region of the United States made the highest salaries, bringing in an average paycheck of just over $500 per week. Part-time nannies who are live-out from the New England area made an average of about $475 per week. Live-in part-time nannies from the mid-Atlantic area made the least in the category with an average of just over $400 per week. The lowest wages of live-out part-time nannies went to the Mountain area with a salary of about $375 per week.

Sometimes hiring a full-time nanny isn’t necessary. Part-time nannies make an ideal solution where one- on-one childcare is important, but a full-time schedule is not. If you’re contemplating whether part-time nannies could be right for your family, here are three ideal situations for part-time childcare help.

1. Part-time nannies make sense when you have a parent who works part-time hours outside of the home. Rather than paying for the cost of a full-time nanny, you can hire someone who will take care of your child only while you’re at work.
2. Part-time nannies make ideal solutions for a stay-at-home parent who needs relief from the care of an infant or help caring for more than one child.
3. Part-time nannies work well for a nanny-share type situation. Rather than employing a nanny full-time to only watch your child, the nanny splits her time between your family and another family. She gets full-time hours, but you only have her work for you during the hours you need.

If you’re looking for part-time child care and not interested in hiring a teen, college students can make a good alternative. Many college programs at the two-year and university level often have a number of students who are taking child education courses and are interested in providing part-time child care. Their requirements for wages are in line with other part-time child care providers such as nannies and can range from $10 to $15 per hour. Due to the work schedule a full-time class load will permit, college students have an interest in providing childcare on an occasional basis or several hours during the week. You can contact the job placement center at your local college or check out an online nanny service, such as, to post an opportunity.

The hiring process for finding the right nanny can take weeks, if not months, if you’re holding out for the perfect childcare provider to work for your family. It’s a smart move for you, as the employer, to think of how you’ll be keeping your nanny for the long term.

During the interview process, when you’ve found the ideal candidate, be prepared to ask whether she’s willing to make at least a one-year commitment to care for your child. Her response and reaction to the question should give you an idea of what her goals are for the immediate future.

Keeping your nanny becomes a task that you need to work at as her employer. Since it’s impossible to reinforce a nanny’s commitment to staying with your household for a period of time, you need to foster a solid working relationship with her. Be clear and consistent with her duties and role as a nanny, keep the lines of communication open, and iron out any issues as soon as possible.

It’s ultimately your nanny’s responsibility to perform all of the duties you’ve discussed to the best of her ability. However, keep in mind that it’s important for you as an employer to be reasonable with your expectations. Keep in mind that if your nanny has a long list of daily tasks such as cooking, picking up the dry cleaning, and running miscellaneous errands for you during the day, she’ll have a harder time tending to the most important task at hand – caring for your children. Consider your requests and whether or not they are all things that are reasonable to accomplish in a day, given her role as caretaker of your children.

If you have a need for a spotless household, but also have an infant and a young child in the care of your nanny, consider hiring a separate person to take care of household duties. You can also stress that household chores unrelated to the care of your children take secondary priority over making sure your children are safe, happy, and healthy.

When you’re hiring a nanny, you should be clear about the responsibilities you’d like her to have. While nanny responsibilities may vary from household to household, the basics remain the same. Typically, nanny responsibilities include everything that correlates to the care of the children in her charge. This can include preparing meals for the children, clothing them, providing mental stimulation for them, doing laundry for the children, and reinforcing appropriate discipline. Additional nanny responsibilities can include providing transportation for the children and facilitating playgroups and outings.

It’s important to keep in mind that some nannies will only perform duties associated with the care and cleaning of the children and will balk at performing other household duties. Other nannies have no issue with providing services such as meals and cleaning for the remainder of the family. The most important task at hand is for you as the employer to discuss and clearly outline the duties you expect with your nanny.

Nanny responsibilities can include the care of just one child or multiple children. If she’ll be responsible for more than one child in the family, be clear on how many children she’ll be caring for and compensate her accordingly.

Parents can be full of worry when hiring a nanny. This is especially true for parents who are leaving their children in the care of a nanny for the first time. However, if you’re a parent who has been thorough in the hiring process and clearly outlined your nanny’s role, you should try to put your fears at ease and let your nanny do her job. Here are several childcare requirements you should expect from your nanny.

  • You can expect your nanny to arrive on time for work.
  • You can expect your nanny to notify you in a timely fashion if she is ill or will be late in arriving.
  • You can expect your nanny to keep you up to date on any significant milestones, changes, and issues regarding your child.
  • You can expect your nanny to keep you informed of your child’s activities, whereabouts, and eating habits during the day.
  • You can expect your nanny to provide a positive environment for your child where all of her basic needs are attended to.
  • You can expect your nanny to respect your privacy and behave in a professional manner with you and your children.

If you ever have an instinctual feeling that the care your nanny once provided is no longer up to par, it’s always a good idea to listen to your gut or at least investigate it. If you’re not certain if you should be letting go of your nanny, here are three signs you definitely should.

  1. You see a noticeable drop in the quality of care your child is receiving. For instance, your child used to be in fresh, clean clothes and had activities to fill her day and now she seems to be watching more TV and needs a change of attire when you see her.
  2. You should be letting go of your nanny if she often appears impatient with your child. Watch for her body language and speech to see if she appears to dislike being around your child.
  3. You should expect your nanny to follow through with your instructions. If she isn’t, she’s either not understanding you or doesn’t respect your authority as the parent and employer. If it’s the former, try to make yourself clearer. If it’s the latter, it may be time to let her go.

If you’re concerned about what your nanny does at home while you’re at work, you may have thought about adding a nanny cam to your house. But is it legal and ethical to do so? It’s always in the best interest of the relationship between you and your nanny for you to disclose that you’ll be installing a nanny cam if you plan on doing so. It’s also a good idea to inform your nanny at the time of her hire if possible. You should not only discuss it with your nanny, but address the issue in your written contract with your nanny.

On a legal note, you can technically put a nanny cam in your home. However, there are laws regarding using electronics and a person’s privacy. According to the Federal Wire-Tapping Law of The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, it’s illegal to tape a conversation if that person has no knowledge his or her conversation is being taped.

You’ve hired the perfect nanny and been very happy with her care. However, with a changing family, nanny roles change also. Usually, a few things can happen. The nanny that you’ve hired who so lovingly has taken care of your infant isn’t as ideal for the needs of your now active toddler. Or the full-time nanny care that you required is no longer necessary as your child heads off to preschool. Sometimes, you have an additional child in your fold and while your nanny’s role was ideal for your first child, her skills and personality aren’t a match for the needs of your second child.

Whatever the situation is with your changing family, there always comes a time to reassess your needs. You can deal with the changes in a number of ways. You might decide that you no longer need the nanny you’ve hired and can do without. You might decide you need a new person to fill the role. Or you might decide that part-time hours are an option for your nanny if she’s willing to reduce her hours and find work with a second family.

When you’re creating the job requirements for a summer nanny, there are a few key issues you should address. Keep in mind that you want to be clear enough about your expectations and what the job entails so that the nanny is clear about what her duties are. Here are some elements that should be in your job requirements for a summer nanny:

  • Include the specific duties your nanny is responsible for in terms of childcare.
  • If your nanny needs to provide transportation for your children and related household, include that information in your job requirements.
  • Include whether meal preparation should be the nanny’s responsibility and what meals.
  • Include whether household chores related to the children are the nanny’s responsibility, such as dishes and laundry.
  • Include whether answering the home phone and taking messages is the responsibility of the nanny.
  • Include allowances for any special considerations and circumstances, such as giving your children medication and emergency situations.

Just like the year-long program for au pairs, the summer au pair program has a set of fees associated with the application and program costs. In addition, there is a weekly stipend you’ll pay your au pair as well as an educational stipend. Still, when you total the cost of hiring a summer au pair, it’s still a relatively affordable form of childcare.

Summer au pair application and program costs vary somewhat from agency to agency. The weekly stipend is a set fee mandated by the federal government, so that fee will be the same no matter what agency you go with. For the weekly stipend, you’ll pay $139.05 per week. Expect to pay a $250 educational stipend, as well.

If you're providing your summer nanny with a work agreement, you'll probably cover the basics, such as pay and hourly schedule. However, you should be as detailed as possible in the work agreement. Here are a few other things you don't want to leave off the contract:

  • Include specific duties that you expect your nanny to be responsible for. These include those related to the care of your children and what household duties, if any, you expect.
  • Include the start and end dates your summertime nanny will be working.
  • Keep in mind that the work agreement should be something that you and your summertime nanny agree upon and both sign. Clear communication between you and your childcare provider is essential to maintaining a good working relationship. Keep in mind that even if she is just here for the summer, you might want to cultivate a relationship for the future, in case you need childcare help down the road.

    Even if you’re hiring a nanny just for the summer, consider creating a work agreement so that you’ll be able to clearly establish your nanny’s role. Here are the basics you should put in the work agreement for the summertime nanny.

    • Include the compensation you’ll be paying your nanny, including whether it is an hourly wage or salary.
    • Include the hours you expect your summertime nanny will be working.
    • Note whether any benefits are part of the package and what they are.

    If you just require childcare during the summer months when school is out, there are two options you should consider: au pairs and college students.

    However, the au pair program has a summer program that fills a need for parents like you who only need care during the warmer months of the year. Summer au pairs may work up to four months in your home and are ideal solutions where your child is at least 2 years old.

    For those who prefer a solution close to home, college students are another option when you’re looking for summer nannies. Though the number of college students dwindles at universities in the summertime, there are usually some who have a light schedule in between the spring and fall semesters and are more than happy to fill in some hours performing childcare duties. Check with an online database, such as, the career centers at your local colleges and universities as well as the local online parent’s boards for students who might be home for the summer.

    Hiring for summer nanny positions is much like the process of hiring for year-round childcare assistance. You want to select the best candidate for the job and be thorough in your interview process. Here are some questions to cover when you’re interviewing for summer childcare.

    • Ask if a candidate is available to work during the time period that you need childcare help.
    • Ask a candidate why she is interested in a summer nanny position.
    • Ask a candidate what type of childcare experience she has, including the amount of experience and whether she has had experience with children in the same age range as yours.
    • Get information about a nanny’s ideas on childrearing and her personality type and decide whether they coincide with what you are looking for in the household.
    • Ask if the candidate has references available.
    • Finally, ask what sort of salary the candidate is interested in for the summer nanny position.

    One solution to childcare just for the duration of the summer is the summer au pair. If you’re interested in a cultural exchange with someone from another country, the summer au pair makes sense in terms of costs and scheduling flexibility. Here’s what you can expect with a summer au pair.

    • Summer au pairs can work up to 4 months during the summertime in some instances. Check with a particular au pair agency to see what they provide.
    • Summer au pairs typically undergo the same screening process, orientation, and training program as au pairs who decide to stay for a year.
    • The per hour cost you end up paying a summer au pair can be just $7 per hour, making it an affordable option.
    • Summer au pairs undergo a screening process, interview process, and a matching process to determine a good fit to the host family.
    • Summer au pairs do receive training that includes topics on health and safety training, child development, communicating with children, and age-appropriate activities.
    • Summer au pairs are ideal solutions for families with children at least 2 years of age.

    Occasionally, you may encounter a situation where you need overnight childcare. If you’re not sure where to look, here are a few options.

    Babysitter agencies – Check with various babysitter agencies in your area. Some provide a range of solutions for childcare. Overnight childcare is one option that some agencies provide for families who need this service.

    College students – College students are another possibility. Some students will provide overnight childcare. Check with your local college or university. You can either provide a job post or go through their career placement center.

    Friend or relative – A trusted friend or relative could be the ideal solution when you need an overnight babysitter. If you know someone who has experience with children and wouldn’t mind helping out, this is one overnight childcare solution to look into.

    Online database - Visit to find a temporary nanny if you need overnight childcare.

    If your regular nanny or babysitter isn’t available and you need temporary childcare, there are ways you can fill in the gap. The best way to handle temporary childcare is to have a few solutions in place so that when you encounter a situation where you suddenly need someone to look after your child, all you need to do is pick up the phone and call. Here are five solutions for when you need temporary childcare.

    1. If your employer has any flexible work options, use them. Find out what they are before you need to use them. Flexible work options include working from home or working flexible hours.
    2. Check to see if your employer has emergency back-up care available. Some employers provide back-up care for their employees at childcare centers in the area.
    3. Keep a roster of emergency childcare contacts. This can include friends, relatives, and babysitters you can call on occasion when you need someone in a hurry.
    4. Check with a nanny agency or babysitter agency to see if they can send you someone for the day.
    5. Visit an online database, such as

    One way to find temp nanny services when you need childcare in a pinch is to go through a childcare agency. Depending on the place you contact and the availability that day, some childcare agency locations will be able to place someone with you the same day. You may be able to hire someone for the day or for a longer period of time. Some childcare agencies will be able to meet your needs for replacing a nanny for several days, but may not be able to send you the same person every day. A temp nanny makes an ideal situation when your regular childcare falls through. This includes situations where your nanny is ill, is on vacation, or you need childcare only for a brief period of time.

    Because a temporary childcare provider isn’t necessarily a familiar face like a regular nanny or babysitter would be, you want to take the time to ensure they’re up to speed on your child’s needs as well as other pertinent information. One way to make sure your temporary childcare provider is clear on the important details is to make a list of the essentials. These are the main pieces of information you should provide.

    • Leave your name and contact information.
    • Note the time you will return.
    • Leave an alternate name and contact in case of emergency.
    • Write down any special routines, activities or other daily needs your child has.
    • Give any specific instructions for the medical needs of your child.

    Sometimes, a fellow parent can be your answer to finding temporary babysitters. Naturally, a parent has experience with raising children. Some stay-at-home parents whose children are older or in school do offer occasional babysitting services. If you don’t know of anyone personally, one place to look is at your local online parenting forums and groups. In general, expect to pay about the same rate that you would most other babysitters. If you decide to drop off your child in the parent’s home, make sure you pay a visit to see where your child will be cared for and whether the house has any safety hazards you are wary of.

    If your child is in daycare, you could be stuck without someone to watch your child when he’s ill. Temporary childcare is available in some areas if your child is sick. Sick child daycare centers are an option for parents who must work even though their children aren’t well enough to attend daycare. Sick child daycare centers typically have rigid practices in place to avoid spreading illnesses. However, make sure that your child is sick, but doesn’t carry symptoms such as a fever, diarrhea, or frequent vomiting. These and other symptoms preclude a child from attending temporary childcare. Some hospital facilities also have drop-off childcare centers for attendance when your child is ill. Check with the hospitals in your area to find out if they have one available.

    When you need occasional babysitting along with flexible hours, going with a babysitter in place of a temporary nanny is one solution. A number of babysitter agencies have a roster of candidates who can act as temporary nannies at various hours during the week. The pay range can be anywhere from $10 to $15 per hour. Typically, you have to reserve a four-hour minimum with most babysitter agencies. Some agencies are able to get you a babysitter the same day, but it’s always a good idea to call in advance if you know you need childcare help. If you know you’ll be needing occasional childcare in the future, check around with different agencies and find out their policies and rates. That way, when you do need a babysitter in a hurry, you’ll know who to call.

    If you’ve decided the best route for you to find quality childcare is through a nanny placement agency, make sure you find one that is a reputable resource. Getting a referral from someone you know who has used a nanny placement agency is an ideal way to find a reputable agency. Another way to investigate the reputation of a nanny placement agency is by checking whether it has any professional affiliations. You can look for professional affiliations with organizations such as the National Alliance of Professional Nanny Agencies and the International Nanny Association. You should also check if a nanny placement agency is licensed, bonded, and insured.

    Using a nanny agency can simplify your life before, during, and after the hiring process. There are a number of reasons why using a nanny agency can benefit you.

    • When you use a nanny agency, you save time and effort throughout the hiring process.
    • Nanny agencies weed out candidates who submit resumes with blatant inaccuracies that are more difficult for someone hiring a nanny to take the time out to find.
    • A nanny agency has years of experience in hiring and screening nanny candidates during the hiring process. They know what to look for and how to handle matching the right candidate to the right family.
    • A nanny agency makes the hiring process go smoother by assisting you with the creation of a job description and negotiating the job offer and compensation package.

    Working with a nanny agency is a streamlined process compared to searching for a nanny on your own. Still, there is an abundance of information you should be aware of during your working relationship with a nanny agency. Here are some things you can expect.

    • Find out the policy of the nanny agency when it comes to hiring a nanny for you. For instance, does the nanny agency offer a number of candidates for you and will they find a new hire if a nanny does not work out.
    • Find out what fees you’ll be paying for at the nanny agency. This can include locating candidates, the screening process, and background checks. If in doubt, ask what is covered and what isn’t.
    • Find out when you need to pay the fees to the nanny agency and whether there is a refund policy.
    • Find out within what time frame the nanny agency will fill the position for you.
    • Find out what process the nanny agency uses to screen a candidate. This can include information such as the number of references the nanny agency uses and how the agency conducts the interviews.
    • Find out what process the nanny agency uses to screen you as the employer. This might include checking references and a written application process.

    Part of finding the ideal nanny for your home is providing the nanny placement agency with the right set of information to work with. Start by giving the nanny placement agency an honest assessment of your family life, your household, and the job requirements you need your nanny to fulfill. Here is a list of information you should have on hand to discuss with a nanny placement agency.

    • Let the nanny placement agency know when you need a nanny and for what sort of duration period.
    • Let the nanny placement agency know if you are looking for a part-time or full-time nanny and whether you are looking for a live-in or live-out nanny.
    • Be prepared to discuss your household needs, related to your children as well as the remainder of the household.
    • Let the nanny placement agency know if you have any additional expectations in a childcare provider and what they are.
    • Discuss what the compensation package for the nanny will be. Be prepared to think about benefits, as well.
    • Be prepared to discuss whether there will be any travel involving your nanny.
    • Let the nanny placement agency know if you require any assistance from them in terms of coming up with the job description, handling taxes and payroll, or other services.

    When you’re deciding between different nanny agencies to work with, be prepared with a list of preliminary questions to ask. Your questions should address your particular childcare needs and the type of home life you have. Being as specific as possible is also helpful. Following are a list of questions to ask.

    1. Find out how long the nanny agency has been in business.
    2. Ask what professional affiliations the nanny agency has and whether it has state licensing.
    3. Find out what the screening process is for the applicants and where the agency finds candidates.
    4. Ask what the minimum skill set is that the nanny agency will accept.
    5. Find out what type of nanny training the agency has in place.
    6. Find out what support services the nanny agency has.

    When using nanny placement agencies to find a nanny, there are several components to the hiring process. Some components of the hiring process are more integral to what’s important when you’re finding a nanny. The most important component, according to the 2006 GTM Nanny Employment Trends, is the candidate screening process. The next most important component of the hiring process is the time saving aspect when using a placement agency. According to the report, other factors like the quality of candidates, the availability of candidates to choose from, and the experience a placement agency brings to the table were also important components of the hiring process.

    Finding childcare, such as a nanny for your home, can be a time-consuming process. Rather than doing all the legwork yourself, one option is for you to find childcare through nanny agencies. Here are three good reasons why nanny agencies make sense.

    1. Nanny agencies do all of the work of finding you a nanny who meets the requirements you ask for, giving you time to attend to other details in your life.
    2. Nanny agencies typically conduct interviews, screen candidates, and conduct background checks on their candidates, giving you piece of mind about the nannies they send your way.
    3. Nanny agencies may provide additional services like assistance with nanny contracts, payroll services, and guidance with employment practices. If you’re new to the world of household employment, this additional help can be especially beneficial.
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