A nanny contract is an agreement between parents and a person paid to take care of their children, usually as an independent contractor. The purpose of the nanny contract is to define in detail all the duties you expect them to perform to keep your children safe and happy. Download this legal form in Word or PDF format and fill it out with necessary information.
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A nanny contract template outlines the details you should provide to communicate your expectations. While many sample nanny contracts are available online, you should only use them for guidance. This is because some of the nanny contract examples might not be updated to reflect the latest regulations, which increases risk exposure.
As you design a custom template or hire a professional to help prepare or review the nanny contract, here is the essential information you need to know.
What Is a Nanny Contract?
A nanny contract is an agreement between an employer (parent or guardian) and a nanny outlining the scope and terms of the nanny’s employment. It helps clarify expectations between parties, setting a good foundation for the relationship.
Any party (employer or nanny-applicant) can draft the document using a standard nanny contract template and customize it as necessary. But the document should always be reviewed by a professional to ensure it complies with current labor regulations.
The length of a nanny contract template can vary widely, but it should at least cover the basics. However, the more detailed the document is, the better to eliminate confusion and ensure both parties are aware of their contractual obligations.
Parties of the Nanny Contract
Employer – The person (parent or guardian) hiring the nanny to look after their kid(s);
Nanny – A person hired in the home of a child to provide child care and other related services as outlined in the nanny contract.
Employer – Any person (guardian or parent) employing a nanny;
Nanny – An individual who seeks domestic employment providing ongoing child care services;
Nanny agency – A person or firm that works as an intermediary, connecting employers and nannies;
Nanny contract template – An organized outline detailing the terms, scope of work, and obligations for both parties (employers and nannies);
Babysitter – A domestic worker employed to offer short-term babysitting services.
Why Your Family Should Have a Child Care Contract
Whether you approach an agency to connect you with a potential nanny or babysitter or get a recommendation from family/friends, you should only hire them once you’re convinced your kid(s) will be safe under their care. However, even if you’re confident that the nanny or babysitter will take good care of your kid(s), you should still have a nanny contract ready.
The nanny contract defines expectations and holds both parties accountable for the contractual obligations outlined in the agreement. As earlier mentioned, it also protects you should there be a breach of agreement and you choose to end the relationship. A custom nanny contract template that provides comprehensive details on the rules and expectations of their engagement, including their benefits and privileges, is the foundation of a good relationship with any nanny/babysitter who comes to work for you.
What To Include in Your Nanny Contract
While a nanny contract is not required under federal law, it’s a legally binding document admissible in court in case of a dispute. As no standard template is required by law, you might have encountered various nanny contract examples with differing details.
Mainly, a detailed sample nanny contract should contain the following:
Names of both parties – Names of the employer and the nanny applicant;
Date of contract – Date when the parties sign the contract;
Contract start date and end date – Specify the date when the nanny should start working and when the contract should end, including guidelines on contract renewal;
Probationary period – State how long the probation period will last;
Name and age of the child(ren) – Indicate the name of the child(ren) and nanny responsibilities for each child;
Hours – Specify working hours during weekdays, weekends, etc.;
Address – Fill in your address and any other place the nanny will be expected to work from;
Accommodation (if applicable) – Provide accommodation details for a live-in nanny (bedroom, bathroom, etc.).
Compensation and Benefits
Benefits – Detail the benefits available to the nanny, e.g., health insurance, retirement, holiday allowance, paid sick leave, bonus, etc.;
Taxes – Specify all responsibilities for their income tax obligations.
House rules and guest policy– State all of your rules and policies, such as details regarding alcohol consumption, when the children can leave the house, which rooms they’re allowed in and when, whether the nanny can have guests, over etc.
Training and certifications– Specify the training and certifications the nanny must have, e.g., CPR, first-aid, teaching certificates, swimming licenses, etc.
Job responsibilities – Outline the nanny's duties, and highlight specific details, such as a baby’s feeding schedule, food preparation, naptime, play-dates, dressing and diapering, screen time, cell phone use, etc. Also, specify any additional duties they should take care of besides looking after the kid(s). Do you expect them to cook, clean, or care for the pets? If so, include those details in this section.
Values and child development– Highlight the values you want to teach your kid(s) and the developmental goals you want them to achieve while under the nanny’s supervision.
Child’s health– Provide details on how the nanny should handle the child’s health, such as if they have any conditions or allergies, what to do in case of an emergency or if the child gets sick, who to contact in case of an emergency, names of healthcare providers, etc.
Transportation details– State whether the nanny is allowed to transport the kid(s), and if they should use their car, your car, taxi, or public transport. Outline any safety measures that should be in place for transportation.
Performance review– Indicate when and how you will conduct performance assessments, and specify some of the issues the review will focus on.
Call-off policy– Specify how and when the nanny should communicate if they plan to call off work.
Termination – Highlight the possible reasons that would lead to contract termination, plus the required notice duration if the nanny wants to quit without a justifiable reason.
Reimbursement– State how you will reimburse the nanny for the expenses incurred while working, such as using their own car to pick up the kid(s), parking fees, treats, etc., or whether you’ll provide cash in advance.
Non-disclosure agreement – The nanny contract template should also include a confidentiality clause forbidding the nanny from sharing private family information with third parties.
How To Write a Nanny Contract
Instead of drafting your nanny contract template from scratch, you can download a ready-made template from Lawrina and customize it to suit your job situation. Follow these steps to get started:
Step 1: Download the template
Download the nanny contract template in your preferred file format –– Word or PDF.
Step 2: Fill in the contract details
Fill in all the details (your name, name of the nanny, date of the contract, address, name and age of kid(s) and nanny duties for each, schedule, compensation and benefits, employment relationship, etc.). If you want to furnish the nanny with additional information, you can include it in the nanny contract by expanding the template.
Step 3: Additional terms and conditions
If there are additional agreements or documents that cannot be adequately captured in the nanny contract template but contain important information or instructions, such as medical consent forms or dietary restrictions, you should mention them in or attach them to the contract and have a checkbox for the nanny to acknowledge them.
Step 4: Signing the contract
Both parties should sign the nanny contract template, indicate the date, and retain a copy.
Why Do I Need a Nanny Contract?
Having a nanny contract gives you peace of mind, knowing the nanny is aware of everything that you expect of them. It eliminates confusion between parties because the duties and obligations are clearly laid out. Should there be a breach of the agreement, you can refer to the nanny contract to demand accountability.
Common Use Cases
Either of the following two parties can use a nanny contract:
An employer hiring a nanny for their kid(s);
A nanny seeking employment.
When Not To Use the Nanny Contract
There are situations where a nanny contract is not necessary, such as when you:
Request a relative (sibling, grandparent, aunt, etc.) to watch over your kid(s) temporarily;
Take your kid(s) to a daycare.
Laws & Regulations
Nanny and babysitter services fall under domestic service employment, which is regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For instance, under FLSA regulations on worked hours, your nanny’s compensation must not fall below the federal minimum wage. For overtime hours worked (in excess of a 40-hour workweek), the rate must be at least one and a half of the regular rate. However, casual babysitters may be exempted from the minimum wage and overtime requirements. Live-in nannies might also be exempted from overtime requirements.
Like the federal wage and hour law, state law often exempts particular occupations or industries from the minimum labor standard generally applied to covered employment. Some states also set minimum rates for minors and/or students exempt them from coverage, or have a training wage for new hires. Additionally, some local governments set minimum wage rates higher than their respective state minimum wage.
The requirements of state minimum wage rate, or lack thereof, are generally controlled by legislative activities within individual states. Federal minimum wage law supersedes state minimum wage laws where the federal minimum wage is bigger than the state minimum wage. In those states where the state minimum wage is bigger, the state minimum wage prevails.
You should also check whether your state has specific nanny contract requirements, as they may differ from one state to another. For instance, South Dakota’s codified laws provide for the specific details an employment contract between a nanny applicant and a prospective employer must have. California Labor Code requires that an employer provides the nanny with a written notice about their rights and employment information. The employer should also notify the nanny in writing of any changes to the information set forth in their notice within seven days after the time of the changes.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the duties of a nanny?
The primary responsibility of a nanny is to care for kids, including duties such as diapering and bathing infants, helping children prepare for school, dropping and picking up the children from school, organizing creative activities and play dates, preparing kids' meals and feeding them, etc.
These are just a few examples of childcare duties; the nanny contract template should contain all the responsibilities you expect the nanny to handle, including any additional roles like cooking, cleaning and laundry, and caring for pets.
How to find a babysitter?
There are multiple ways of finding a babysitter, including:
Asking for referrals from friends and family
Nanny agencies such as Sittercity and Care.com
Before you begin your search for a babysitter, you should be clear about their responsibilities. As the name suggests, a babysitter’s duties do not generally go beyond babysitting. Though there are no restrictions on the responsibilities you can assign (as long as you agree beforehand), most babysitters rarely do housework.
To avoid potential disagreements, you should have a nanny contract template detailing your babysitter’s scope of work and have them sign before starting work. You can use the standard nanny contract sample to guide you in creating a simplified version. For instance, you can download our nanny contract sample and modify it as necessary.
What’s the best way to discuss written agreements or contracts?
During the hiring process, you should clearly detail the responsibilities and have a nanny contract template ready for your new nanny once hired. It’s best to discuss the contract terms with them before signing and clarify any questions they might have.