Nanny Contract with Free Template
Follow these tips as you prepare your own nanny contract and be sure to download your free template at the end of this page. Customize it to suit your household’s specific needs.
What is a nanny contract?
A nanny contract, which can be used for any type of household employment, is a detailed outline of the work engagement. It establishes a clear understanding between you, as the employer, and your nanny regarding their duties and responsibilities and helps reduce the likelihood of issues and misunderstandings during their employment. A nanny contract will also set the tone of your working relationship with open and clear communications.
Tips for writing a nanny contract
Take your time and thoughtfully consider what to include in the document. A nanny contract is legally binding so be sure you’re thorough in detailing the employment arrangement. If you are using a placement agency to find a nanny, get their advice and input. The contract should be easy to read and understood by you and your nanny.
What to include in a nanny contract
Include the start date of employment, work address, family’s contact information, number of children who will be under the nanny’s care as well as the nanny’s legal name, address, and contact information.
Specify the nanny’s schedule including when their shifts start and end, days they are expected to work, and any expectations outside of their normal hours such as working an overnight or weekend if the parents are out of town or babysitting on date night. You may want to include their standard number of daily and weekly hours.
Always mention wages in terms of gross pay. This is how much your nanny will earn before taxes and other deductions are withheld from their pay. State an hourly gross rate of pay as well as an overtime rate. You may even want to include their total weekly compensation based on a standard workweek.
Nannies and other household employees need to be paid no less than the applicable minimum wage and receive at least time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 in a seven-day workweek. State laws may vary on when overtime applies. Live-in nannies may or may not earn overtime depending on state law.
Include how often your nanny will be paid (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.) and how they will be paid (direct deposit, check, electronically). If your state has a domestic workers’ bill of rights, it may indicate how often your nanny should be paid.
Specify exactly how you want your nanny to care for your child. Include a meal and nap schedule, any specific activities, and more. Also, lay out any additional duties beyond childcare like light housekeeping, preparing meals, running errands, caring for pets, and laundry. Most nannies will prepare meals while on duty as well as clean up from their day. “How-tos” and other instructions can be included in a separate document.
Include any health care benefits you’re providing whether it’s health insurance, health reimbursement account, or stipend. Also add any memberships, cell phone stipend, transportation/parking reimbursements, tuition assistance, retirement plan, and anything else of value beyond cash wages.
Indicate that you will be withholding 7.65 percent of their pay for their share of FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare). While withholding income tax is optional, it’s highly recommended to do this so your employee won’t be stuck paying their entire tax obligation when they file their return. The amount you take out will be based on their Form W-4. If you do withhold income taxes, include that in this section along with any other taxes or withholdings.
Also, mention that you will provide them a Form W-2 at year-end and report their income to federal and state tax agencies.
Paid time off
Include the amount of vacation time, sick time, paid holidays, and other paid time off as well as any stipulations to using this benefit. For example, if a family is giving a nanny two weeks off, they may ask their nanny to take one of those weeks when the family is also on vacation.
Also called a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), a confidentiality clause will help protect your family’s privacy. You can indicate that your nanny can’t share photos of your children or information they learn about your family to any third party including on social media platforms. Or describe what they can and can’t share on social media.
Detail any house rules you want your nanny to follow. This can include no smoking and not having friends over. You can also specify discipline guidelines, dietary restrictions, rules you want your children to abide by as well as screen time and playdates.
Will your nanny transporting your children to/from school, activities, lessons, or for any other reason? If so, then detail how she’s expected to drive with children in the car like obeying all speed limits, no texting while driving, only talking on the phone when it’s hands-free (or not at all), and no other passengers when the children are in the car.
It’s ideal if your nanny can drive a family car. That way the safety and maintenance of the car are in your hands. If not, then include other safety expectations such as driving a car that has passed inspection and securely accommodates car seats. Indicate the level of auto insurance coverage they need and ask for a copy of their insurance card.
While you legally don’t need to tell your nanny that you’ve installed a hidden camera in your home for video-only recordings (it may be illegal to record someone’s voice without their permission in your state), you may want to let them know of their existence. If you explain that you trust your nanny and that the use of the camera is for your peace of mind and child’s safety, then your nanny may find that reasonable. By telling them about the use of a nanny cam, you’re establishing honesty at the start of your professional relationship.
Include a schedule for performance reviews. You may want to have more frequent reviews during their first year of employment and then annually after that. You could also indicate the criteria for receiving a raise or bonus. Use a performance review to look at your nanny contract and decide if it needs to be updated. You should make changes to the document when adjusting salary, benefits, work functions and duties, or anything else that pertains to the job.
Time frame of employment
If the placement is temporary, include start and end dates of employment.
Amending the nanny contract
Incorporate a statement on how and when the nanny contract can be amended. You can simply state that the work agreement is a “living document” and specifics may change with mutual consent.
If you are employing a live-in nanny, be sure to clearly specify what is included in their accommodations and how meals and food will be handled.
Stipulate how terminations and resignations will be handled including notice, severance, and reasons for immediate firing. Indicate that any action that is illegal or inappropriate is grounds for prompt dismissal and repeated, documented issues can also lead to termination of employment.
Also, add an at-will statement to the work agreement. At-will employment means your nanny works at the will of your family. You can fire your nanny at any time for good reason or no cause at all. You do not necessarily need to give a warning before a termination provided it’s indicated in your work agreement. It also means your employee can also quit at any time. In every state but Montana, employment is presumed to be at-will.
How to implement a nanny contract
Once completed, discuss the work agreement with your nanny and answer any questions and concerns they may have. If your nanny has concerns that can’t be resolved, recommend that they seek their own legal counsel. You and your nanny should sign and date the contract. Provide a copy to your nanny and keep a signed copy in their personnel file. A nanny contract should be in place prior to their start date. If you’re working with a placement agency, send them a signed copy for their records as well.
Nanny contracts should be updated when there are major changes to employment. For example, your work schedule may change or your family grows.
HR Concierge Service
GTM Payroll Services also offers an HR Concierge Service for household employers who require customized nanny contracts, handbooks, job descriptions, on-boarding, and benefits protocols or have questions about the legality and best practices surrounding household employees. We’re here to help. Call (800) 929-9213, email [email protected] or chat with us about your household employment questions. We can help take the guesswork out of creating a nanny contract and save you hours of time. Or visit GTM’s Household HR Services to learn more.
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Free Resources on Household Employment
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- Free eBook Chapter: Managing Payroll and Taxes
- Payroll & Holiday Calendar
- Guides & Checklists
- Employer Responsibilities
- Domestic Workers' Rights
- Workers' Compensation Requirements
- Government Websites for Household Employers