I would also like a Christmas bonus, but that's not on the table.
May 1, 2010 8:42 AM Subscribe
First time nanny employer: Share your words of wisdom.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I just hired a nanny for our small daughter and son. We opted for a nanny rather than daycare because our daughter has special needs, and receives an extensive amount of therapy. The nanny won't be responsible for any of the therapy or anything, but logistically it was almost impossible to work it all out with a daycare.
We are paying her what seems to be a pretty average nanny salary in our area (we are in Louisiana, so it probably would seem laughably low for NYC or California types). She is living out, gets two weeks paid vacation, 5 sick/personal days, and reimbursement for expenses and mileage. We pay for days that she does not work due to our schedules. We are also paying for her to take a class at a nearby community college. I like her a lot, and I am hopeful that it will all go very well. However, I'm feeling apprehensive.
First, I just need any lessons-learned from anyone who has employed a full-time nanny. I don't really know what I'm doing, or even what questions I should be asking.
Second, I have been reading isawyournanny, and it's kind of horrifying me. Not so much with the reports of bad nannying, but with what seems to be the attitude of the nannies who post there. Pretty much all of them believe that they should be making a very high salary, and feel entitled to a lot of perks -- a car, an exorbitant bonus and high-end gifts for Christmas and birthdays, an expense account for meals at restaurants, etc. One even mentioned that employers should pay large Christmas bonuses because unhappy nannies might be tempted to hurt the children. This is pretty terrifying to me.
I don't get the vibe from the nanny we hired, but I am sort of concerned that she might be expecting things (given the tenor of these message boards), or might come to expect things, that we aren't prepared to provide. We've tried to be very specific about what we can offer, but I feel like there are a lot of unwritten rules here. Honestly, we are sacrificing a lot to be able to have a nanny, and we just don't have any wiggle room. A number of nannies on the isawyournanny site say that if you can't afford high bonuses and perks, you're too poor for a nanny in the first place. I suppose that applies to us...we are paying the nanny an amount that is greater than my take-home salary at this point. Sadly, I still have to go back to work (contractual reasons -- please just take my word for it), despite the money loss.
I guess that I am really put off by all of this, but I'm also concerned that these kind of unwritten expectations will make this new relationship really difficult. I know that a few people on a message board don't really have any bearing on the person that I am actually hiring, so I guess I'm wondering how widespread this all really is.