Providing for a Live-in Nanny

July 17, 2009

Families in Canada will choose to hire either a live-in or live-out nanny. If you have decided to hire a live-in nanny, there are a few things you should consider to ensure that the relationship is smooth and the nanny is conformable in her new position. The following is not an exhaustive list, but can be used as a guide when preparing for your new live-in nanny:

  • Provide the nanny with all the expectations ahead of time. Things like the duties and hours of the position should be discussed in advance, as well as your expectations of the nanny having friends over or socializing during working and non-working hours, as well as the role of children. Consider putting these details in a written and signed contract to ensure that it is clear to all parties.
  • Giving the nanny a private room with locking door, food, and salary are the bare necessities you must provide to your live-in nanny – the nanny should not be expected to share a room with anyone in the family.
  • Be sure that you discuss private family time ahead of time with the nanny. If you prefer that the nanny does not have dinner with the family every night, find the nicest way possible to explain this to her. For example, say to her “You do not have to be a part of our dinner time, we are sure that you want some time for yourself at that time.” Some parents find it effective to set the nanny up with her own mini fridge and microwave so she is able to prepare meals on her own. Esnure this is clear from the beginning, as each individual will have their own expectations.
  • To provide yourself and the nanny with privacy during non-working hours, you may want to consider providing her with her own TV and/or computer, so that she is able to enjoy her leisure time without using the family electronics.
  • The nanny should be provided with “time off” that you both agree to. This means that the nanny can not be called upon if you want to go to the gym on Saturday, unless you have agreement ahead of time. The children should not be allowed to bother her when she is in her room or during her non-working hours.
  • If the nanny is using a vehicle provided by the family, all expenses incurred during working hours should be covered by the family. If the nanny is using the vehicle during non-working hours,  it is fair for you and her to expect that she will cover the fuel expenses for that time.
  • Many parents provide the nanny with a phone line and answering machine. The nanny would be expected to pay for any long distance calls made.
  • Live-in nannies, especially international nannies, tend to take vacations  for up to 4 weeks a year. The nanny should provide the parent with as much notice as possible, so that the parent can find a temporary nanny to cover. It is helpful if the parent has a back-up nanny for vacations and sick time.

There are certain guidelines that must be followed if you are hiring a nanny working under the live-in caregiver program, but it is not unexpected to go over and above this for the nanny to be sure that she is comfortable. Keep the lines of communication open and two-way, so that she can express anything to you, just as you can discuss anything with her. Lastly, if there are things that you are not flexible about, such as the nanny keeping to herself during non-working hours, make sure you clearly state this to the nanny so there is no confusion that could cause a tense relationship between the family and the nanny.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at [email protected]! Check out all of our Nanny posts!

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