- WHY NANNIES LEAVE A JOB
- Poor Parent + Nanny Communication
- MICRO MANAGING
- NOT BEING ON THE SAME TEAM
- PAY + TAX ISSUES
- FEELING UNAPPRECIATED
- FEELING ISOLATED
- GROWING JOB PROFILES + CHANGING SCHEDULES
- A BETTER OPPORTUNITY
- 10 Reasons to Fire Your Nanny. One of the hardest decisions a parent…
- Separation anxiety
- Chaos in the house
- Hooked on to electronics
- An unkempt and dirty child
- Change in behavior
- Tired all the time
WHY NANNIES LEAVE A JOB
Your Nanny just gave you 2 weeks notice. Maybe you were blindsided and didn’t see it coming at all.
It is truly my NannyHeart to see healthy nanny + family relationships—as well as children who are thriving in every sphere of life with their caregivers. Because of this I thought it would be a great idea to touch on the top reasons why nannies quit their jobs.
While there are reasons that are sometimes completely unrelated to the nanny’s happiness at work… getting married and stepping into a new season of life, or moving away for their partner’s job—Being aware of the reasons that nannies commonly leave a position can set you up to win and strengthen your relationship with your caregiver.
When that happens everyone wins, including your child. And that’s worth it’s weight in gold.
After 15 years I feel I have seen it all. And while there are a plethora of reasons that nannies will chose to leave a job, these are definitely the top reasons I hear about. So here it is… a list of reasons why a nanny may leave their job.
Poor Parent + Nanny Communication
If you have been around this blog for awhile, you will be very familiar with my conviction that the key to a healthy nanny + family relationship are two things: boundaries and communication. A nanny and family relationship is no other on earth. For a nanny it is a balancing act of professionalism and loving with an open heart.
For parents it can be a struggle with the guilt of working and not being around all the time. I have seen women who are very big deals at work— doctors, CEOs, and the s, get so worked up about speaking to their nannies how they would snacks unpacked into the cupboard.
I have seen dad’s who are the boss at work only to come home and feel they are drowning in their home.
First and foremost, you and your nanny should have a contract or working agreement in place. As a professional Nanny, I can tell you with full confidence: Nanny contracts are your friend. I personally will not go forward with a new family if they won’t agree to having a contract in place.
Not because they aren’t incredible people, but because contracts provide a level of security and lay out boundaries from the get go. Nannying is definitely both a professional AND personal job. Sometimes emotions can get involved.
I find it’s best to have a hard copy of your agreement rather than relying on how each party remembers the agreements when conflicts arise. A contract will help you and Nanny set the tone for your working relationship, clearly outline the expectations of both parties, and provide written documentation of what you each have agreed to.
It honestly helps resolve potential conflict or tension just by existing. I am not sure about you, but I don't love conflict. Anything I can do to keep things running smoothly and happily, I will do.
Scheduling regular times to touch base and debrief together is also super helpful. For a regular basis, I suggest finding a time once a month to connect and talk through how things are going.
It is best not to let things fester or build fear that your nanny may be offended. I also recommend having 3 to 6 month reviews with your nanny.
These would be more formal and a time to review your contract and make any updates, discuss potential raises, and check in with each other in general.
When you hire a nanny, you are adding a member to your childcare team. This can be hard for some parents, and totally understandable. You know your kiddo best, want the very best for them, and would a hand in all of the decision making— that’s natural. Please though, hire someone you trust and release them to do the job you’ve hired them to do.
Remember that your nanny is a professional. Hopefully you have hired someone who you feel compatible with and has similar parenting philosophies as you. If a nanny is questioned about their every single movement or decision, it may start to create a wedge in your relationship and make working in your home an anxious experience.
I know it’s not always easy, but if your kiddos are happy, healthy, and safe… and you are on the same page about the things that are big and matter— it’s probably best not to nit pick every little thing you may do differently.
Making sure that you have a great line of communication in place will help to keep everyone on the same page to eliminate a lot of the potential micro managing.
NOT BEING ON THE SAME TEAM
I remember one family I worked for in particular. I developed an extremely close bond with the baby. When she became a toddler there were nights she would cry for me to not leave the house. I remember feeling awkward and bad for my Mom Boss.
I apologized and told her that no one could ever replace her as her mommy. Her response really touched my heart. “There are moments where it hurts, but honestly, I would rather her love you the way she does than be unhappy all day long. I know she is well taken care of and loved.
” Her words were so empowering to me as a caregiver. Please parent, know this: You can never be replaced.
I know that it can be really hard going to work and handing your sweet child off to another human… but if you have decided to hire a nanny, please make sure you are on the same team! If you children don’t see a united front and have consistency… things will deteriorate.
Being on the same page with your childcare philosophy, discipline, and following through together is extremely important not only in your nanny + family relationship, but also for the health of your children. Consistency is so important for little ones. In parenting and discipline it helps put kiddos in control of their own behavior.
Consistency means as caregivers we follow through and do as we say we will… Children actually limits. They also to push against boundaries. And though it can feel overwhelming, button pressing, and sometimes heartbreaking after being away from them much of the day… It’s okay. It’s actually a healthy step in forming autonomy and independence.
Just make sure to stay strong with your boundaries with that loving consistency together!
PAY + TAX ISSUES
Taxes. This is a huge one. I cannot tell you how many nannies I hear from during tax time that are panicking because their bosses have issued them a 1099 instead of a W-2. Issuing your nanny a 1099 is actually illegal, so let’s briefly touch base on that right here to not have any mix ups going forward.
According to the IRS (Publication 926), nannies are not independent contractors, but rather, household employees. Unfortunately, a great number of people are not aware of this… even many CPA’s aren’t well versed in these laws as they’re so nanny specific. Let me break it down as basic as possible.
Issuing a 1099 would mean that your nanny is an independent contractor. That would mean that they are responsible for all employment taxes. Because your nanny is considered a household employee and should receive a W-2, this means they would be paying double the taxes they are required to pay.
With a W-2, the taxes are cut in half because you the parents, are responsible to pay your portion of the employer taxes and the nanny is responsible to pay their portion of employee taxes. With a 1099, all of the taxes fall on the nanny. You can see why this would cause panic or friction with your nanny.
Sorting out legal taxes and a contract are two very important things to establish prior to your nanny’s start day with your family.
I have also seen many a nanny leave their position simply because they were sick of begging to be paid on time. Please make sure that your nanny’s payment is set up in a professional and consistent manner.
No one should have to beg for their paycheck on payday— it’s awkward and unfair. I would love to suggest using a nanny payroll service.
A payroll service will offer direct deposit to help eliminate this problem, as well as providing automatic tax withholdings and other benefits. Piece of cake.
You may be compensating your nanny extremely well, but caring for little ones really does take a lot of heart, emotion, and commitment. Appreciation can go a very long way.
As I am sure MANY will attest, taking care of other people’s children is actually a lot harder than taking care of your own. It may sound so elementary, but simply hearing “thank you for all you do” will go a super long way with a nanny.
I know personally, when I know my bosses appreciate me I operate at an even higher nanny level.
Did you know that National Nanny Recognition Week is a thing? It totally is! NNRW falls each year on the last full week of September. This is a great time to show your nanny some appreciation. Whether that be monetarily, a gift, something handmade by your kiddos.
You don’t have to spend a lot to show your nanny you are grateful for all that they do.
Honoring your nanny on her birthday, holidays, and National Nanny Recognition Week are great ways to stay intentional, showing your nanny that they are appreciated and making a difference in your family.
This is literally why The Nannyhood was created. For the greater majority, nannies do not have coworkers and can feel very isolated. Nannies who are told that their nanny kid may not ever leave the house with them will undoubtedly feel even more isolated. Being cooped up in another person’s home all day with little to no adult interaction is a recipe for some crazy cabin fever.
Encouraging your nanny to build community will not only benefit her, but your family will also reap the rewards. Even though she is professional… it still takes a village.
Signing up your little one for a baby music class, connecting her to other nannies who work for your friends, connecting her to The Nannyhood to sign up for a Hood hangout are all great ways to help her build her social circle (as well as your little ones).
I know this one can be hard. But it is also beneficial to your child’s development to play outside, make friends, be around other grown ups… and the list goes on.
If allowing your nanny to take your little ones the house is hard for you, start small and establish trust with your nanny. If you live walking distance from a playground- start there.
If your child staying home while the nanny is caring for them is a nonnegotiable for you, make sure this is discussed up front in the interview process so that your nanny does not feel blindsided.
GROWING JOB PROFILES + CHANGING SCHEDULES
It happens all the time. A nanny accepts a job and slowly extra responsibilities they never initially agreed to begin to creep in and become an unattainable beast. When this happens, nannies often feel overwhelmed or burnout completely. And often times they are too afraid to bring it up to their employers in fear of being fired.
While nannies do help with child related household duties, they are not actually house keepers. Having a nanny contract/working agreement set in place and listing all of their duties will help set clear and healthy working boundaries for everyone.
While there are some nannies who do take on household manager and housekeeping responsibilities, these things should be mutually agreed upon, compensated fairly, and formally written in your contract/working agreement.
Before adding a bunch of new responsibilities for your nanny, it is best to sit down and talk it all through with them.
After you’ve all come to an agreement and have updated your contract/work agreement, you may want to consider a raise for your nanny- especially if they have just agreed to take on a lot of additional obligations.
It can also be really difficult for a nanny if the schedule is constantly changing. Here is a common scenario.
The nanny has signed an agreement saying that the job position is from 8am-5pm with availability to stay until 6pm if needed… but their employers have been coming home every week after 7pm and many times with no warning.
The nanny is unable to plan their life outside of work and working all of the extra hours begins to cause nanny burnout. Just everyone, nannies also have lives outside of their jobs.
Life happens, babies grow, work changes happen… there is an ebb and flow in life that causes schedules to change. Make sure that if your schedule is changing that you are keeping a good open line of communication with your nanny.
Ask them if the changes are going to impact them in any way. Your nanny may be able to accommodate the changes to the schedule no problem, but the changes may really affect their life.
Even though it can be super sad and really stressful parting ways and finding a new nanny, it may be necessary for everyone.
A BETTER OPPORTUNITY
Nanny jobs can be highly competitive and offer great incomes, as well as benefits. Benefits may include sick days, vacation days, paid holidays, guaranteed hours, health insurance stipends, bonuses, raises, etc… these are all things that a professional nanny will undoubtedly be looking to negotiate into their contract.
Sometimes a nanny will even be offered more pay for less responsibilities. Amazing nannies are unicorns. I know it may feel in theory they are a dime a dozen… but finding your true fit truly is something special. Unicorn nannies deserve a little magic too.
If your nanny receives an offer for a better position with better pay and/or benefits, they may decide to part ways with your family.
And there you have it. I hope this list was helpful! Sometimes hindsight is a…. you know. Just the fact that you took the time to read this article is a good indicator that you care. I am sure you will find a great nanny and be an incredible employer in no time! Good luck!
Nickey Andree is a professional career nanny with 15+ years experience working with children from all over the globe. She is the founder of The Nannyhood. The Nannyhood creates community and fosters friendships for nannies in their cities.
It advocates for, resources, and places value on Nannyhood. She is passionate about helping nannies find their squad and assisting them in eliminating burnout.
When she is not nannying, you can find Nickey singing Disney songs at the top of her lungs, leaving out gifts for strangers, or exploring new places.
10 Reasons to Fire Your Nanny. One of the hardest decisions a parent…
Mar 7·4 min read
Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash
One of the hardest decisions a parent can make is choosing a nanny and putting your child into someone else’s care that you barely know. Your decision meets constant worries, and you’re more than scared to have regrets later on.
You cross fingers that the nanny is going to be a perfect fit — a Mary Poppins clone. However, things may not turn out as you had intended and you are forced with a difficult decision of letting the nanny go.
The following are signs that your nanny has to stop working for you.
When you get information from your neighbors, most of it tends to be true. You may discover that your nanny is bringing her friends without informing you. It is good to ask your children how their day was, and you may inadvertently discover something odd about your nanny.
When a nanny brings her friends to your house without telling you, most ly there may be other things she may be doing in your house behind your back. The nanny ought to share major information on how your child’s day was with you. It is extremely important to have trust and openness in parent-nanny relationships.
Keeping secrets does not promote a healthy relationship and there is no need for the parent to tolerate such a person to start with.
At first, your child may cry when left alone with the nanny. This could be due to anxiety. But if this continues over time with the child showing fear and being withdrawn in the nanny’s presence, then let that be a red flag that not all is well and there is a need for some investigation. If your state allows, a nanny cam can be installed in your house.
Chaos in the house
Coming home from a tiring job and ending up in a house full of mess means that the nanny is not undertaking her chores well. A nanny helps you to unburden yourself, but that does not imply coming home to correct many wrongs. It will thus be of no use trying to hold on to that kind of relationship.
Are your valuables disappearing from your house and not turning up? Did this start happening after hiring your nanny? Then it is ly that there is a thief in your home and it could be your nanny. The nanny should not be allowed in your house or she may take another valuable item afterward.
Hooked on to electronics
Do you come home to find the television on; or your nanny is on the phone? Children need to be nurtured with the adults’ eyes squarely on them.
Taking your eyes off the child for just a short time may result in a tragedy that should have been avoided.
When you notice that most of your nanny’s time on electronics supersedes that of your child, you should prepare to have your nanny fired.
An unkempt and dirty child
If it has become a norm to finding your child with dirty fingers and face, then it is a sign that your nanny is neglecting your child and job.
A good nanny will clean the child’s hands and face after eating and from outdoor play. The diaper should be changed when full and if need be, the child is given a proper bath.
A nanny who cannot perform such basic nanny tasks should not be taking care of your child.
Change in behavior
A parent who notices a change in the child’s behavior should act immediately.
Such changes, albeit minor at times, may include having night terrors, becoming too clingy, or starting to wet the bed.
If the child is old enough to communicate, ask how their day was while assuring that all is well. You may be forced to install a nanny cam to investigate what transpires when you are not around.
Tired all the time
A nanny should be fit and have lots of stamina to diligently do her work. She should have lots of energy to run after the child during playtime and move around while working. One who keeps complaining of exhaustion won’t provide the expected amount of care and work. She is ly to be less engaging to your child. Such a nanny should be fired immediately.
If you notice that your child keeps getting severe injuries all the time, that is yet another sign of trouble. Either your child is not being well supervised, or there may be some physical abuse being involved.
The matter becomes graver if the nanny tries to hide the injuries or doesn’t report the accident cases to you. Accidents should not be taken for granted and if need be, have a nanny cam installed.
Such a nanny should not be allowed near your child.
Arrival and departure times should be discussed and agreed upon on the vetting day. A nanny who calls out frequently, keeps coming late, or doesn’t turn up for work, may jeopardize your career plans. This shows that the nanny is neither committed to her work nor sensitive to her employer’s needs. The parent should cut ties immediately with the unreliable nanny.
Firing your nanny can be a difficult situation but one of the best decisions you’d have made. However, always seek an audience with the nanny before cutting ties as this will furnish her with the reasons for her job termination.
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