Full-Time Nanny Jobs
Many parents who need full-time child care opt to hire a full-time nanny to care for their children. Since nannies provide childcare in their family’s private home, for dual working parent households, hiring a nanny is the most convenient, and sometimes the most cost effective, childcare model.
For families with more than one child who needs full-time care, nanny care can often be less expensive than daycare since nannies are paid by family, not per child. Since many working parents also require flexible childcare arrangements and coverage that extends beyond the rigid hours of daycare programs, nanny care is often the only suitable option.
Full-time nannies are hired to provide customized, personalized and individualized childcare. Nannies are responsible not only for caring for the children, but undertaking all of the tasks required to provide that care. These tasks can include doing the children’s laundry and keeping the children’s areas neat and organized. Nannies also prepare healthy meals and snacks for the children and transport the children to and from activities and appointments. Nannies partner with parents to meet the physical, social, educational and intellectual care of the children.
Full-time nanny jobs may be live-in positions or live-out positions. Nanny are non-exempt employees and protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Nannies who live with their work families legally must be paid at least minimum wage for each hour worked. In some states, live-in nannies are also required to be paid overtime at the rate of 1.5 times their base hourly wage for all hours over 40 worked in a 7-day-period. In addition to their salary, they are provided with room and board. Full-time live-in nannies should at minimum, have a private bedroom and bath. Full-time live-out nannies must also be paid at least minimum wage for each hour worked. They must also be paid the overtime differential for all hours worked over 40 in a 7-day-period.
While many nannies and employers agree to a weekly salary, the salary must be broken down into base hourly wage and overtime hourly wage and must be compliant with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Full-time nannies work on average 40-60 hours per week.
Many full-time nannies, both live-in and live-out, are full-charge nannies. Full-charge nannies are fully in charge of the children in their care while the parents are absent. Full-time, full-charge nannies may engage in the coordinated model of nanny care, where the nanny is viewed as a parenting partner and provides valued input regarding the childrearing practices and parenting philosophies or the surrogate care model of nanny care, where the nanny serves as the children’s primary caregiver. Parents who employ a full-time, full-charge nanny in the surrogate model tend to travel extensively and required a nanny who can function as a guardian for their child in their absence.
Some full-time nannies may engage in the custodial model of nanny care where the nanny’s role is limited to meeting the children’s physical and emotional needs while the parents are away. The parents manage the children’s schedule and day by providing guidance to the nanny. The parents outline the schedule and routine and the nanny implements it.
Before taking a full-time nanny, a nanny should evaluate what model of care best suits her and if she wishes to function as a full-charge nanny.
10 Common Complaints from Full-Time Nannies
Full-time nannies provide for the emotional, physical, social and intellectual needs of the children in their care. While there are many wonderful things about being a full-time nanny, because of the nature of the job, there are also a few things that aren’t so great. The common complaints are known to cause frustration for many full-time nannies.
- Miscalculating hours and pay. Nannies are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act and as such, are required to be paid at least minimum wage for each hour worked. Live-out nannies and some live-in nannies are also entitled to overtime pay. When parents fail to pay for all hours worked in accordance with labor laws, it can leave a nanny feeling undervalued, disrespected and underappreciated.
- Job creep. Extra responsibilities in addition to those listed in the nanny/family contract produce an unfair situation for a nanny. When the parents assign additional tasks that were not agreed upon it can be a bone of contention.
- Forgetting her paycheck. Like parents, nannies can hardly wait for the weekend either, but forgetting to leave the nanny’s paycheck can quickly spoil her weekend plans. Use direct deposit or a payroll service to ensure prompt payment.
- Uninvolved parents. Nannies frequently complain about parents who do not spend enough time with their children, yet at the same time, they realize that if the parents were home, they may not have a full-time nanny job. Reconciling these feelings can be challenging for some nannies.
- Undermining her authority. Parents sometimes undermine the nanny’s authority by giving the children permission to break her rules or by contradicting the guidelines and directions she assigns the children.
- Limited time off. While parents typically provide their full-time nannies with two weeks paid vacation, by the time nannies and parents coordinate the time off, the year contract is almost up.
- Parents who arrive home. When parents arrive home late on a regular basis, it shows a lack of respect for their nanny. Parents should carefully consider the realistic, rather than the hopeful time their nanny will be off work when establishing her schedule.
- Lack of privacy. Nannies and parents work intimately together and as such, the line of professionalism at time may become blurred. Employers who interrogate their nanny on how she spends her off time and about her personal affairs may end up with a nanny who feels her privacy is being violated.
- Last minute schedule changes. Nannies plan their personal plans around their work schedule. While nannies are empathetic to an occasional last minute change in their work schedule, consistent deviations from the agreed upon schedule may quickly irk a nanny.
- Failure to reimburse. Nannies often take their charges on age-appropriate outings and the costs incurred to do so should be covered by the parents. Parents should also pay their nanny the IRS standard business mileage reimbursement rate if the nanny is using her car to transport the children. When parents don’t reimburse their nanny for expenses, it negatively impacts the nanny’s bottom line.
When it comes to full-time nanny complaints, they are hardly ever about the children. The source of most complaints stem from the relationship with parents and misunderstanding and miscommunications of expectations, duties and responsibilities. Have a written work agreement and holding weekly meetings can help ensure that both parents and nannies are always on the same page.
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