There is plenty of advice out there about how to hire a nanny.
But what do you do after you actually hire one? What’s next?
Here are some important steps you need to take to ensure a successful and professional relationship with your caregiver.
1. Write a nanny contract/work agreement
A nanny contract or work agreement lays the foundation for the working relationship between you and your employee. It details everything the position entails including pay rate, schedule, benefits, job responsibilities, and more. Much of your nanny contract – like expectations and pay – can be pulled from your job description. Get tips on writing a nanny contract and download a free template.
2. Register as a household employer with the IRS and state
When you hire someone to work in your home, you are now an employer. Your nanny is your employee. They can not be considered an independent contractor.
First, obtain a federal employer identification number (FEIN) from IRS. You can do this online and it only takes a few minutes of answering basic questions. You’ll need an FEIN to pay your employee and when you file your taxes.
You will also need your FEIN when you register with your state. Check your state labor agency on how to get set up as an employer with the state. As part of this process, you will get a tax account for your unemployment insurance contributions. Lastly, you will need to file a new hire report with your state.
3. Set up nanny payroll and taxes
As mentioned, a nanny is your employee and not an independent contractor so you need to follow wage laws and withhold taxes from their pay. There are a few ways to go about this. You can try to do it yourself. At the end of this blog post, you can download The Complete Guide to Household Payroll, which provides instructions on how to manage payroll and taxes on your own. The IRS estimates that it takes 60 hours a year to handle household payroll and taxes. Some families rely on their accountants to take care of their nanny’s pay and taxes.
And then there are firms like GTM Payroll Services that can take care of nanny taxes for you and eliminate the time and hassles of trying to do this on your own. To learn more, give us a call at (800) 929-9213 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert.
4. Prepare your children for their new nanny
While you work on the administrative tasks of bringing on a nanny, you also want to prepare your children for their new caregiver.
Ideally, your kids have met and spent some time with your nanny during the hiring process. It is a great way to introduce your final candidates to your children and see how they interact and get along.
Either way, it is important that your kids are excited about having a nanny. Let them know how much fun it will be. Maybe even have them make a welcome card, artwork, homemade treat, or gift for your nanny’s first day.
Do not wait until the last minute to mention they will have a nanny as a caregiver. Depending on the ages of your children, start preparing them several days to a couple of weeks ahead of time. Make having a nanny part of your everyday conversation. Talk about what you like about your caregiver or any special traits.
“Your nanny loves going to the park and hopes to take you there often.”
“Your nanny is a great singer. I bet they will sing your favorite songs with you.”
Encourage your kids to ask questions. This helps build a comfort level before your nanny’s first day.
Your children could pick out a new toy, game, or activity to play with your new nanny. This will give them something to look forward to and can help create a bond between child and nanny.
5. Get ready for your nanny’s first day
Be prepared to spend some time – or even the whole day – with your nanny on their first day.
If you have the time, set up a training day (or ideally a few days) ahead of their first day to get them familiar with your home and schedule.
This could be especially helpful if you have a baby. On the first day, have your nanny shadow you as you go through your baby’s schedule of feeding, changing, playing, and napping.
On day two, let them take the lead on caring for your baby with you next to them. Then for the third day, let them tend to your baby while you do other things around the house (or maybe even work from home). Your nanny will be “on their own” but have you nearby for any questions.
If you only have older children, let them participate in the training. They can show their nanny around the house, introduce them to neighbors and friends, and talk about their favorite activities and food. This will help your kids feel in control and more adaptive to change.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you get ready for your nanny's first day and some ideas on what to do during your nanny's first days.
As a reminder, any training time should be paid.
6. Decide whether your nanny will drive a family car
If your nanny will be driving your children places – for example to the park, for sports practices or music lessons, to appointments – will they drive their own car or use a family car? There are considerations for both options. If your nanny is using their car, make sure it is safe, in good running condition, equipped with the right-sized car seats, and properly insured. If using your car, you will need to add them to your insurance policy.
Here are some more tips when a nanny is driving your kids.
7. Determine if you need workers’ compensation
Not having required worker's compensation coverage is probably the biggest financial risk a family takes when they hire someone to work in their home. Fines for non-compliance can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars. If your nanny gets hurt on the job, you are on the hook for medical bills, lost wages, and possibly a lawsuit. Make sure you get a policy if you need one. Even in states where it is not required, voluntary coverage is a smart idea.
Workers’ comp typically can not be added to a homeowner’s insurance policy (only in California and New Jersey). GTM Payroll Services has licensed insurance brokers on staff that can obtain coverage for you and manage any audits and invoices.
Reposted with a permission from GTM (www.gtm.com)