Nanny Confessions: We Want You To Come Home On Time

Nanny Confessions
by Elizabeth Hawksworth

Are You Paid Overtime?

I admit that as a nanny, I am sometimes excited when the parents come home late. It means extra money for me. It may also mean more time with the kids, which can be great if we’re doing a special craft or watching a movie. But nine times out of ten, I want the parents I work for to arrive home on time. I have plans, I have chores, and I need time to myself – it’s what helps me to be a better nanny.

I’ve had some parents try to increase my working time significantly by going upstairs and talking on the phone, or they’ll say they’re running out to the store and can I just hold on for another half an hour? I don’t mind when this happens once in awhile, but I definitely mind when it happens all the time. I have experienced parents also not paying me overtime. Any time I stay past normal working hours is overtime, and I should be paid for it.

In America anytime a live-out nanny works over 40-hours per week their overtime pay should be calculated as time-and-a-half their regular hourly rate. Live-in nannies should earn time-and-a-half overtime after working 44-hours per week. Click here to see reference.

Parents, I urge you to make sure you discuss working hours with your nanny. If you find that she’s working overtime often it may be time to rejig your contract. A good nanny will provide quality care regardless of her work hours, but she’ll start looking for another job if her hours aren’t respected. Arrange overtime pay (and ensure it’s on the books) for your nanny, and you’ll find that instead of a harried good-bye when you come home, she’ll likely be much more understanding of your timing needs. If you keep your working relationship open and respectful, you’ll find that timing issues cease to be issues at all.

Elizabeth Hawksworth, also known as Torontonanny, is a nanny, writer, and blogger. She’s been in the childcare business for approximately 17-years, and currently works part-time with a number of children in the city. She enjoys working the most with newborns and babies up to the age of two, and details her nannying experiences on her blog,                                                                                                                                                  
She is also a published writer, and you can find her first poetry book, Break for Beautyon and below. Elizabeth enjoys walking, shopping, reading and crafting, and lives with her two cats, Athena and Fili, in the heart of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


  1. Definitely a good reminder for parents–a nanny is a professional, and she or he deserves the same respect and consideration any employer would give an employee (even more, considering that the wellbeing of one's children is in the nanny's hands!).

  2. I'm a live-in and I was guaranteed nights and weekends off. But that morphed into working over nights during the week, or if I'm home on the weekends I'll be asked to watch their child if they were to run to the grocery store. Usually I say yes because I don't want an argument but I'm fed up! Or they'll ask me to babysit during the weekend (for a flat $50) for a "few hours" that turns into 8 or 9 and they don't arrive home until 2, 3, 4 a.m. My time is just as valuable as your time and it's not fair that I end up spending more time with your child than you do. That's when the question "Why did you have a child in the first place?" comes to mind.

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