What every family needs in a nanny contract

parents and baby

When hiring a nanny, you need to make sure everyone agrees on details related to job duties, pay and benefits, vacation days, house rules and more. The most efficient way to keep everything organized and avoid issues with your nanny down the road is to create a nanny contract. This employment agreement will ensure you talk through important aspects of your nanny’s role, and holds you both accountable for what you agreed on.

Learn more about why families need nanny contracts.

Below is a list of items that we recommend including into your nanny contract. Alternatively, you can download our free Sample Nanny Contract, which can be personalized to fit your needs. Also review our Nanny Rules that go along with this contract.

Your Next Steps:

  • Download our free sample nanny contract. It is customizable so you can go over the details with your nanny and cater it to your individual needs.
  • Print out two copies of the contract, sign both and ask your nanny to do the same -- then you each keep a copy.
  • Create a payroll account to make handling payment and nanny taxes easier.


What Your Nanny Contract Should Include

  1. Start Date 
  2. Worksite Address
  3. Work Schedule
    • Should encompass all seven days of the week with start and end times - as well as the total daily and weekly hours your nanny will work.
  4. Job Responsibilities
    • Should include a general overview of what the nanny will be expected to do while on the clock. A separate list of detailed tasks, timelines and instructions can be included on a different document if you prefer.
  5. Compensation
    • Should include your nanny's hourly rate of pay, overtime rate of pay and total weekly compensation. You should also let your nanny know if they will be paid weekly or bi-weekly.
  6. Additional Payment Items
    • These include whether you will reimburse for miles driven on the job or cover certain expenses for your nanny, such as health insurance, public transportation, parking or cell phone service.
  7. Paid Time Off
    • Should include any paid sick leave and/or paid vacation days you plan on giving to your nanny.
  8. Holidays
    • Should include a list of paid and unpaid holidays your nanny will have off.
  9. Tax Withholding and Reporting
    • Let your nanny know that taxes will be withheld and that you will be handling their W-2 at year-end and be responsible for reporting their wages to the IRS and the state.
  10. Social Media Policy
    • Describe what an appropriate use of social media is while on the job and whether your nanny is allowed to share photos of your children.
  11. Termination Policy
    • List the items in which your nanny can be fired so they know what is unacceptable while working for your family. You should also discuss expectations, such as advanced notice, if your nanny plans to leave her job.
  12. Raises and Reviews
    • Let your nanny know when their job performance will be reviewed and when they are eligible for a raise.



Legal Notice: This document and the information in it is presented to be used solely as an example and general guide and is not intended as legal advice. By using this document, the user hereby agrees to release and hold harmless Care.com and Breedlove & Associates, LLC from any liability arising under or relating to this "Sample Nanny Contract" document whether arising in contract, equity, tort or otherwise.


Join the conversation

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betty brumley

the contract sounds great! thank you,b.b.
May 17, 2016 at 2:04 PM
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Princess V.

Very helpful
March 07, 2016 at 12:44 AM
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Merri Reilly

I just took my first nanny job and really like it so far. :). I do have some questions as far as my salary though. My family would like to pay me cash weekly si they don't have to claim it as an expense. I'm not sure why they requested this. 1) i don't mind this form of payment as it's more $ in my pocket. 2) Is this legal? I don't want to get in trouble down the road. :) Thank you for this blog and the opportunity to learn processes policies relating to nanny work. Thank you! Merri
February 27, 2016 at 7:32 PM
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Cynthia L.

I downloaded another contract somewhere, I will see if I can find it ,, Its good for both parties to have a written agreement it protects each side as well as your loved one!! No matter what your needs are put them in writing , and get copies of all docs and sign it .. you can do it for 30 to 90 days .. or on going ..
February 26, 2016 at 8:07 AM
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Pamela Stafford

It is important to give two weeks notice, it is a professional courtesy and will usually take your employer at least that long to interview and replace you. This could be bad for your character reference, to quit on short notice, unless your employer has already given you a date when they will no longer need your services. If it 100% cannot be avoided, then you need to be up front with your employer, as soon as possible when you must quit/ last day available ASAP.
February 20, 2016 at 10:11 AM
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Kim K.

What provisions does a nanny add to the contract to insure that they are not help liable for accidental injuries to the children she is caring for? And, how does that apply to a nanny who drives children? How does a nanny make sure that she is insured for an accident that happens while transporting a child?
January 11, 2016 at 3:29 PM
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Hi, we are preparing a nanny contract and find this contract to be very similar to what we have found elsewhere. There are two things we would like to get feedback on 1) should we offer a salary position to lock the Nanny in and give them a lower $/hr and have a flex schedule on the 40 hr week. If we don't need her on a Wednesday then we can use her on a Saturday, agreed on earlier. And 2) what's everyone's experience with vacation scheduling? It's gotta be difficult trying to schedule vacation with the Nanny and family schedules? And is it desirable to set 1 week vacation for mid June and the other at Nanny's request, basically split vacation requests for 2 week vacation allowance. Thx
October 18, 2015 at 11:54 PM
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Jennifer J.

We didn't do one with my current employers, we just have a silent agreement. But I wish I would have thought about a contract when I started because I would have asked for guaranteed hrs as an agreement.
August 02, 2015 at 8:27 PM
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Thamayra S.

What happened if you are not comfortable no more working at some bodies home. How can I end the contract?
May 14, 2015 at 4:56 PM
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Brittany B.

my family printed this off for me two sign... Says I have to give two weeks notice. What if I don't/can't?
May 12, 2015 at 4:57 PM
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Tom B.

Hello Pamela. The contract is intended to be a template families can use and then customize to fit the exact childcare situation they're needing. I agree with you that discussing time off and having it included in the contract is very important. Many families do what's called "shared vacation" for days they won't need childcare that go against their normal childcare schedule. The day is simply deducted from the nanny's paid vacation for the year. Obviously this arrangement must be agreed upon, but it's an idea for those in your situation.
April 15, 2015 at 12:59 PM
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Tom B.

Hello Ivy. I'm really glad to hear you find this article and the contract useful. Unfortunately we don't have anything specific to the laws in South Australia, but we would love to be able to serve families in Oz in the future. In terms of using the contract, you are free to use and edit it to best fit your needs. It is intended to be used as a template and shouldn't be viewed as a legally binding document the way it sits on the website.
April 15, 2015 at 12:53 PM
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Pamela C.

Hello, One thing I did not see in the sample Nanny contract was addressing compensation when the family does not need you on one of your assigned work days. I have run in to this twice two different families. As a par-time nanny once you commit certain days of the week to a family, you are theirs. No other jobs take precedence Then they tell you "you're going to off next week, we have family coming in town". What's a nanny to do? The first family said they would not pay for days I did not work for them. When I explained that having the assurance, and availability of a regular part-time nanny instead of having to use a sitter service for part-time care is not always easy to find. And that I was not prepared financially to not get a weeks pay. She understood, but husband did not, and we parted ways.
April 09, 2015 at 2:49 PM
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Hi Tom! This article is really helpful. Life save as well. Can I copy this and have my employer sign on it? Is it legal if I just do that? also, do you have special contracts for nannys in South Australia?
April 08, 2015 at 7:47 PM
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Tom B.

Hello Joy. In North Carolina, overtime is not required to be paid to a live-in nanny. In terms of your room & board considerations, there are some really complicated tax rules in terms of how to report it, but only if you're trying to use room & board deductions to drop your nanny's hourly rate below minimum wage. Since that doesn't seem to be how you're going about things, you shouldn't have to worry about singling out room & board in your wage negotiation. You can simply offer your nanny a set hourly rate and tell her that it is the combination of her working time offset by the room & board. When you report your nanny's wages on your federal and state tax returns, there are no additional boxes asking for how the total wages were accumulated.
April 06, 2015 at 1:05 PM
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Joy N.

Hello, this is our first time hiring a live-in nanny and I just want to make sure we are giving her a fair wage. Is there a general rule of thumb for considering room and board, in a separate apartment above the garage, in wage negotiations and is there a "best way" to discuss it in wage negotiations? Also, I know its been mentioned several times that most states do not require overtime for a live-in nanny, but regular pay for hours worked - is that true in North Carolina? Thank you! Joy
March 28, 2015 at 9:12 PM
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this sample is very helpful. I see that you have 'Grounds for Termination' of contract on the employer end but no 'Grounds for Termination' of contract on employee end. I think it would be good for employers to see what might be inappropriate behavior their end, and help nannies address problems more openly, as well.
March 23, 2015 at 1:53 PM
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Tom B.

Hey Laci. I'm glad you asked these questions because there's quite a few details that need to be ironed out before you begin. First, as a nanny, you are an employee of the families you work for - not an independent contractor. The IRS is very clear about this and says you must receive a W-2 to file your taxes instead of a 1099. Secondly, you cannot be paid through the family's business because you are not an employee of that business. You do not contribute to the success or bottom line of that business, so applying your wages to any business tax return would create a large mess. Instead, the families need to set themselves up as household employers with the IRS and reconcile their "nanny taxes" through their personal income tax returns. Finally, your question about compensation is a fair one and is just fine as long as you are working for both families at the same time. If you are working for only 1 family for an afternoon or an extra day, your hourly rate needs to be at least minimum wage ($7.25/hour). It would be easier to track if the families both paid you on the same cycle, but as long as the taxes are being withheld and calculated properly, there's nothing wrong with how they are setting it up. If either family has questions, please have them call us at (888) 273-3356 and we'll be happy to help.
January 06, 2015 at 11:13 AM
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Tom B.

Hello Bridget. Since the idea of a Nanny Share is that the nanny will be watching each family's kids at the same time, the terms should be discussed between the two families so that a consistent message is shared with the nanny. There isn't a sample Nanny Share contract on Care.com, but that is a good suggestion that we'll work on creating.
January 06, 2015 at 11:01 AM
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Laci R.

Hello, I have recently been hired by best friends who work for the same company. They have 2 children who I will be keeping at their work place. I don't start until the 11th of Jan. But I've already went through the interview but go tomorrow to meet the children. They've told me I'd receive hookahs off and vacation. Is it ok to bring up a Nanny contact to them before I actually start the job? Also, one of the husband's owns his own business, is there a way I could ask them to do a W2 instead of a 1099 on me? That way I could claim taxes at the end of the year? Is it legal to go through their business (not where I'll be working) or does care.com offer a way to do a 1099. Im also use to getting paid $13.00-15.00 an hr for to my experience is 12+ years but I will be getting paid $10.00 hr (each parent passing $5.00 each an hr) is that normal? One final question... Im not 100% sure on how if get paid, I think they were talking about one passing me personal check once a week and the other every 2 weeks through direct deposit. Is that ok?
December 31, 2014 at 1:31 AM

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