What Do You Love About Your Parent-Employer?

What Nannies Love from Their Employer-Families
By Candi Wingate, Nannies4Hire

You employ a great nanny. You want her to be happy in her job with your family. What can you do to ensure that she feels happy in her job?

  • Treat her with respect. Tell her periodically that you value her and all that she does for your family. Don’t undermine her authority in front of your children (if you want to redirect her behavior, do so in private, away from your children). Discuss any concerns you may have in an open, non-accusatory manner. After all, there may have been a good reason for whatever she did that initially caused you concern. Entrust her with basic decision-making about your children. Ask her opinion on subjects related to your children. Validate that she is an adult, not another one of your children.
  • Respect that she has a life outside of work. If she gets sick, her parents have an anniversary party, or she has other plans that may take her away from work on occasion, try to be understanding of reasonable, advanced requests for time off. If you are running late at work, don’t just assume that she will be available to stay later with your children: instead, ask her if she can stay late, and accept if she cannot. If she does stay late, ensure that you compensate her appropriately.
  • Don’t heap more work on her than you should reasonably expect her to perform. If she is watching one child, you may reasonably expect her to perform a little light housekeeping here or there. However, if she is watching four children, it may be too much to expect her to clean your house as well. If she tells you that she is feeling harried, respond promptly to that concern.
  • Do as you say that you will do and be timely. If you cannot do as you said you would, or you cannot honor a reasonable or agreed-upon timeline, explain to her why there will need to be a change. For example, if you told your nanny that you would let her access a family-provided car by June 1st, and then you find out that that timeline is not workable, let her know right away what the new timeline will be and why the timeline changed. For example, you might say, “We have had difficulty finding a quality used car for you, but we will keep looking. We are now shooting for August 1st, which is when the dealership says they are expecting to receive a new shipment of quality used cars.”
  • Provide her with her paychecks on the dates and times expected. For example, if paychecks are scheduled to be given every Friday morning, don’t make her have to ask you for her check when you come home from work on Friday evening.
  • Answer to her questions and respond to her concerns in a timely manner.
  • Understand that a working relationship between an employer-family and their nanny is a two-way street. Both parties to the relationship have to have their needs met in order for the relationship to be continued.

By following these tips, you can take steps to ensure that you will keep your great nanny for a long, long time!


  1. I love that they work outside the home (most days). I love that they are too busy with their jobs that they don't micromanage me. I like that they give me time off (sick days, snow days, vacation days) paid! I love that they don't make me do any heavy cleaning. I love that they pay me well. I love they give me a $1 per hour raise every year. I love that they give me a good bonus every Christmas (before Christmas so I can use the $ for buying presents)!

  2. (BTW snow days when I stay with their dad who lives in NYC and they pay for a hotel room for me in NYC!)When it has been a blizzard he just tells me to stay put, but pays me anyway! 🙂

  3. Very good list! Parents neveer leave me enough petty cash

  4. I wish my boss would follow this list. I feel disrespected and am burned out. I work so hard and feel like crap. It is the parents that make me want to change my job, never the kids.

  5. Thanks for the great post. We are here to help with your needs, whether it be a babysitter, nanny, housekeeper, tutor, pet sitter, elderly companion or other misc. care at Nannies4hire.com and Care4hire.com.

  6. Seriously, why do some parents expect nannies to be super human? We can't do it all. Childcare, cleaning, tutor, driver, cook…

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