People usually hire nannies when they’re at super overwhelming moments—they have to go back to work, they just had a baby, or they’re realizing that they can’t manage all that needs to be accomplished without another set of hands.
But once you hire a nanny, your home becomes a workplace. Building a good relationship with your nanny is critical to ensuring that your home is a place where you, your child and the nanny you employ can be your best selves. Here are three tips to make sure that relationship thrives.
Your nanny might be an early childhood education genius, and she might love your kid deeply, but this is her job, and she should be fairly compensated for it. Offer competitive pay—$20/hr is usually a fair starting minimum—to show her that you know just how hard it is to chase kids all day long.
When you communicate clearly, everyone wins. Make a written working agreement, hold regular check-ins, thank your nanny often, and apologize when wires get crossed. Did you forget to include something in the job description? Talk it through, add it to your agreement, see tip one and adjust accordingly.
You know that feeling when you shut your computer down and head out for a week of vacation? Everyone needs to feel that sometimes, so make sure that you’re providing paid time off. Provide at least two full weeks, and try to be flexible around scheduling. A week of your choosing and a week of her choosing makes for a good compromise every year.
Nannies, along with house cleaners and home health aides, are some of the most critical members of our workforce—they help keep our families, loved ones, and homes healthy and safe. But because of the legacy of slavery in the United States, they have been largely excluded from labor policies as basic as freedom from discrimination at work. In most states, nannys still aren’t entitled to a minimum wage health and safety protections, or even freedom from discrimination and harassment.
Back in the 1930’s, when the New Deal was up for debate in Congress, legislators refused to pass a policy that included mostly Black agricultural workers and domestic workers. Because of this racist exclusion, domestic workers are still fighting for their right to fair pay and safe working environments. Across the country, organizations like the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Hand in Hand have fought for policies to protect them.
The three tips for employers here are just part of a vast library of resources that Hand in Hand has developed in partnership with domestic workers to establish best employment practices. Sign up here to receive more resources and join the movement to ensure that all domestic workers—not just your nanny—work with dignity.
It takes a village!
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