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How to Write a Nanny Contract
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After weeks of fretting and searching, you finally found a caregiver that you can trust with your kid. Hard part over, right? Not so fast. Here’s what you need to know about nanny contracts (including why they’re so clutch for a successful working relationship).

Wait, what’s a nanny contract? It’s exactly what it sounds like—an employment agreement between you and your nanny that covers various work details such as responsibilities, hours, wages and employment duration.

Urgh, but I hate paperwork. Do I really need one? A nanny contract is not a legal requirement, but having a written agreement in place can help avoid any potential misunderstandings (like suddenly finding yourself without a caregiver on Columbus Day) plus resolve disputes amicably should they arise.

OK, sold. What should I include in my nanny contract? Whatever you want. There’s no need to go OTT (say, listing every vegetable that you want your kids to eat on a daily basis) but feel free to include details about working hours, childcare duties (and non-childcare ones like laundry and grocery shopping, if appropriate), salary, benefits (like vacation, holidays and health insurance) and emergency plans.

How do I write up a nanny contract? You don’t need a lawyer to make a contract binding (but you can always ask one to review it if you want) and there are plenty of free nanny agreement templates online that can provide you with a good starting point. Once written up, you and your nanny should both sign and date the contract, and then each keep a copy. Review the agreement every year and evaluate if it needs to be altered.

Bottom line? The key to a successful working relationship is being clear about expectations and boundaries up front. And FWIW: She’ll appreciate it if you give her Columbus Day off.

RELATED: 8 Things You’re Doing That Are Driving Your Nanny Crazy

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