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Nanny Agreement basics

Nanny Agreements, or contracts, provide security and protection for both sides of the contract by detailing the expectations and responsibilities of the role. A Nanny Agreement includes details such as work schedules, pay rate and pay days, health insurance and tax information, and other benefits (such as meals). Most Nanny Agreements also outline how they are to care for the children.

When can I use the Nanny Agreement?

You may use the Nanny Agreement if:

  • You are hiring a nanny.
  • You are a nanny about to accept a new position.

Do I need a Nanny Contract?

It is in everyone's best interest to have a contract in place. While in most cases, it is not required by law, there are many benefits to having one. Some fear that they will upset an already good nanny relationship. If you feel this is the case, just take a bit of time to explain how the contract benefits the nanny, as well. Benefits for the nanny include reassurance that their taxes are paid, details about overtime and holiday pay, and a referable outline of your expectations.

What are typical nanny duties?

Typical nanny duties include:

  • Preparing meals and feeding the children
  • Indoor and outdoor play
  • Bathing and dressing the children
  • Children's laundry

What should be included in a Nanny Contract?

At the minimum, you'll want to include basic employment information such as wages and benefits. But most also include specifics on how the children are to be cared for and house rules.

Employment information

Include your address, everyone's contact information, wage information including overtime and holiday pay, work schedule, pay days, tax and benefit information, and sick day requirements.

Nanny duties

Outline expectations for care including topics such as discipline, limitations on screen time, dietary guidelines, homework and extracurricular activities, hygiene and personal habits, and so on.


You may want to specify what vehicles they can use and state that they must keep their driving credentials up-to-date. Some also include information about car seat requirements. If they are to use their own car, you'll want to address that.


Express how and how often you'll want to communicate with your nanny and children. Some examples include phone, text, family blog, video chat, photos and childcare apps.


Many parents do not want pictures of their children posted on social media or for the nanny to discuss with others details about their personal life. Rules about what can be shared or discussed can be included in a Nanny Agreement.

House rules

Outline house rules such as who is allowed in the home, when to set the alarm, pet rules, where to park, cleanliness expectations and more.


Most parents at the minimum will request that nannies do not smoke or drink when working. You can add other things such as limitations on phone or internet usage.

Additional duties

Some parents want the nanny to do more than just care for the children. You may also want them to prepare meals, run errands or shop, or care for the pets, as well.

How often should the contract be updated?

It should be updated if anything major changes. For example, if your work schedule changes or if your family grows. However, if only minor changes are needed, you may be able to do that verbally or wait until you renew the contract.

How do you terminate a nanny's employment?

Before terminating a nanny, refer to the work agreement (i.e. Nanny Contract) signed by both parties. The terms of this agreement, as it relates to termination of employment, should be adhered to. However, instances when a nanny can be immediately fired can include reckless behavior such as substance abuse, safety concerns, theft, etc.

Remember that, by law, you cannot terminate an employee based on race, creed, national origin, age, handicap, gender, sexual orientation, or marital status.

Do you give your nanny a raise?

Common reasons to give your nanny a raise include:

  • A year has passed
  • Your nanny has been given additional duties
  • Your nanny will be responsible for another child

What is the best nanny payroll service?

Several highly ranked nanny payroll services are SurePayroll, NannyChex, Savvy Nanny, and NannyPay.

What is the "nanny tax?"

The "nanny tax" has gotten quite a bit of press, but it really is just an employment tax. The IRS's Household Employer's Tax Guide provides the forms you need to pay this tax. The taxes include Medicare, Social Security and Federal taxes. Your state requirements may vary, since not all states have employment tax. Generally, the only instance that you don't have to pay this tax is if you paid $2,000 or less to the nanny within a year, or $1,000 or less within a quarter (2017 tax year). Or, if the care provider is your spouse, child under 21 or your parent.

Do I have to disclose that I use a nanny camera?

Legally, you do not have to tell your nanny that you use cameras, but some states have laws about audio recording without consent and often without disclosure recordings cannot be used as evidence. It is recommended that you do tell your nanny that cameras are being used. Plus, many states have privacy and recording laws to consider. When you discuss the cameras with your nanny, you can set the tone as "I have cameras, so I can see how my children's day is going," rather than "I don't trust you." This will help maintain a positive atmosphere. Additionally, you should not put cameras in private areas such as the bedroom of a live-in nanny or bathrooms.

Advantages and disadvantages of hiring a live-in nanny

If you work odd hours or travel extensively, you may be considering hiring a live-in nanny. Before considering this option, you'll want to check your state laws regarding domestic workers and housing allowances. Some people believe that a live-in nanny costs less than one that lives in their own home. However, that is not always the case. In many cases, you may still have to pay overtime in addition to room and board. Another consideration is loss of privacy for the family and the nanny. Generally, a live-in nanny is most advantageous to those who do not have a set work schedule and can afford to pay for extended care.

What is not included in a Nanny Contract?

You may need a few forms besides the Nanny Contract to cover your needs. Some forms that we offer that may be helpful include,

Consent for Medical Treatment of a Minor

This document allows your caregiver to seek medical attention for your child in the event of an emergency or routine care.

Consent to Background and Reference Check

Before you hire your nanny, you might want to verify the information they provided you such as criminal history, education, past employers and citizenship.

Travel Consent Form

You'll want keep access to this form, since you'll likely need to change it for every trip. You generally won't need this for daily travel, but for extensive travel or long trips.

Renter's Inspection Worksheet (for live-in nannies)

This worksheet can be used to document the status of the nanny's personal area before they move in and when they move out.

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