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How to handle nanny vacations, holidays and sick days

Paid time off should be part of the benefits families offer to their nanny

How to handle nanny vacations, holidays and sick days

When you hire a nanny, you’ll probably talk about things like pay rates and schedules. But should nannies get paid sick days? What about paid vacations and holidays? Being a nanny is a job, and just like any other profession, nannies should receive benefits like overtime, insurance and paid time off.

Lots of families forget to negotiate these things when they hire a caregiver so it’s important to talk about them before you officially hire someone. Just make sure you’ve reviewed the laws in your state or city because providing paid time off could be required even though there is no federal law mandating it. Once you’re in agreement, make sure you add all the details to your nanny contract.

Paid sick days for your nanny

When your nanny is around kids all day, it’s inevitable that they’ll get sick. According to the most recent INA Salary and Benefits Survey, 80% of employers include paid sick and personal days in their nanny benefits. It’s most common for families to provide four or five days, but you should agree on an amount that is best for everyone.

Plan for your nanny’s sick day now by weighing your options for backup care.

Providing paid holidays

Holidays tend to be busy for everyone, so it’s natural to give your child care provider — especially those with kids and families of their own — some paid holiday time off. Eighty-two percent of employers provide paid holidays to their caregivers, according the INA. To make sure there is equal opportunity for all, these days should be negotiated based on what works for you and your nanny.

Setting a paid vacation policy

Everyone needs some time off to recharge. And nannies definitely need some rest and relaxation after caring for your children. Two weeks of paid vacation time is typical — and we suggest the same for your nanny.

Many families try to coordinate their nanny’s vacation time around family vacations so they’re not left scrambling to find backup child care. Maybe your nanny takes one week off during the summer, while your family is visiting Disney World and then has one week to use whenever she want.

Set rules for using these vacation days. For example, how much notice does your nanny need to give you if they want to plan a vacation? How will they let you know: in-person, text or email? Can they split the days up or do they have to use it a week at a time?

Providing paid time off is crucial to attracting a good nanny and showing them you appreciate everything they do for your family. As long as you and your nanny communicate effectively and keep track of the time off that is used and available, it shouldn’t be a point of friction in your working relationship.

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