What Is a Nanny Agreement?

A nanny agreement is a formal contract between a nanny and a parent or legal guardian. The agreement outlines the terms with regard to the care and supervision of the latter’s children. A nanny can sometimes be referred to as a babysitter, caregiver, or a governess.  

According to an online article published by job website Monster, a nanny earns around $12 by the hour, on average. Other rates can go as high as $17 an hour. According to the latest labor statistics, employment in childcare is expected to increase in 2022 by 14%. 

Qualities of a Nanny

Taking care of children is an important responsibility. Anyone who is tasked with the formation and supervision of young children ought to possess several qualities. Although there can be many traits and characteristics of a good nanny or caregiver, the following qualities are just some of the most fundamental.   

Good with children. Perhaps the most obvious qualification that a nanny should have is the capacity to look after children. However, it is one thing to look after kids but an entirely different thing to excel at it. Some people are just naturally better with children. Although, it must be asserted that this does not mean one cannot learn to be good with kids. It takes practice and a lot of patience to deal with kids, much less raise them. A good nanny or babysitter is not just competent in supervision, but knows how to communicate and exercises sound discretion when it comes to the needs of children. Whether it is ensuring their safety or helping them understand difficult situations or circumstances, a good nanny only has the best interest of the child in mind. Dependable. A competent nanny is a responsible nanny. The parents or guardian look to and count on them when they are unable to look after the children themselves. Responsibility is a fundamental trait for anyone who cares for and supervises young children. And it is not only the mere capacity to look after a child, but the degree of dependability matters much as well. The legal guardian or parent should be able to rely on the nanny for anything related to the child. Being dependable and reliable means the person exhibits a willingness to help and a genuine desire to be of assistance. Being a dependable nanny also means having initiative and exhibiting a keen sense of empathy to the needs of the child or children. Caring. A nanny can be competent and dependable; but if she lacks sincerity in her approach then it may pose a problem. While many people put a high premium on intellect or cleverness, not too many people see the importance of compassion and empathy that ought to work hand-in-hand with intelligence. A good nanny, therefore, is more than just competent. She should be caring and compassionate as well. Ideally, she should exhibit gentleness and thoughtfulness in caring for children. However, it should be noted that a nanny is often expected to instill discipline and teach children how to be responsible. For some people, the image of a stern disciplinarian often comes to mind; but discipline can also be imparted in a healthier and more compassionate way. Trustworthy. Another essential quality that a nanny should have is trustworthiness. Being a nanny is a job; and just like any other job, it comes with a set of expectations. Parents and employers expect that of a qualified nanny. This cannot be more emphasized when it comes to care-giving type jobs. To illustrate, a parent or household hires a nanny to care for a child. In a lot of cases, the nanny is a total stranger who is tasked to look after the kids. The parent or parents should be able to trust the person they hired not only to look after the children, but to care for them and ensure their safety and security. Hence, a good nanny is one who does not intend to break the trust of the child’s parents or guardian. The latter should feel confident that their kids are in good hands.

Responsibilities of a Nanny

Depending on the arrangements made between the employer and the nanny, the job of a nanny can cover a broad range of tasks. From simply taking the kids to and from school, to doing laundry, or to teaching them math lessons, the responsibilities can be endless. The following examples below are some traditional and common functions expected of a nanny.  

Education. For some households, a nanny is more than just a caregiver. He or she is expected to aid in the child’s learning and development as well. Sometimes, a nanny is even tasked to supplement the formal education of a child. They can assume the role as private tutor in addition to their other duties. A nanny helps the kids with their homework, guides them in various subjects, and basically assists them in their day-to-day education. In some households, other parents opt to home school their children and a nanny can sometimes cover for parents as the primary instructor. Physical Health. Aside from mental exercise, a nanny is also expected to safeguard the physical well-being of the children she is tasked to care for. This would entail making sure the kids get enough exercise and are eating a balanced diet. A nanny’s role can be quite all-encompassing, with the main objective being forming well-rounded children. To promote this, a nanny can facilitate and supervise outdoor activities for the children under her care. For younger children or even infants, a nanny can even schedule play dates with other children to cultivate their social skills. There can be so many avenues to promote physical and overall health. Lastly, it is also the nanny’s job to care for a child when they fall ill. Ensuring they get enough rest and take the appropriate medicine are just some basic duties. Meal Preparation. A large chunk of the overall well-being of a child is dependent on how healthy their diet or nutrition is. Physical health does not only pertain to exercise and activity; perhaps a more basic component of it is food and nutrition. A qualified nanny does not only encourage the kids to get fit and maintain a healthy weight, but helps them cultivate good and sustainable eating habits. It is the nanny’s job to prepare the children’s meals and snacks either at home or for school. As one of the primary caregivers of a child, he or she must ensure that the child is getting a balanced diet with a suitable amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fruits and vegetables. Healthy eating habits are formed during a child’s crucial years growing up; and a good nanny understands this and takes such responsibility to heart. Discipline. Parents engage the help of a nanny for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is because parents need assistance in raising responsible and respectful children. A lot of parents just do not have the time to attend to their kids 24/7. A nanny can step in to fill in the parenting gaps and help manage the household. Apart from promoting mental and physical wellness, a good nanny also imparts values and instills discipline in the children. Values education and formation is a core aspect of emotional health. Well-adjusted children can practice self-control and delay gratification. A qualified nanny does not tolerate inexcusable behavior and does not indulge a child’s every whim. Instilling discipline (even with the help of a nanny) is crucial because the last thing parents want is to raise spoiled brats who are incapable of caring for others except themselves.

How to Create a Nanny Agreement

To create a complete and coherent nanny agreement, you first need to pinpoint what it is you are looking for in a potential nanny or babysitter. Establishing your needs first will help you determine what kind of agreement to construct. If you are unsure of where to begin, you can easily browse the sample templates above and select one that suits your needs. Once you have chosen a template, follow the basic steps below.  

Step 1: Start With an Introduction 

Like any basic contract, a nanny agreement should start with a formal introduction. The opening lines or paragraphs of the agreement should contain the main details of the nanny and the employer. The employer can either be the parents, legal guardian, or anyone seeking childcare. The introductory section of the document should not only identify the parties entering into an agreement, but ideally consist of a basic description of the relationship. When drafting the contract, make sure to indicate the complete names of both the nanny and employer. Although optional, you can also include the complete address of either party.   

Step 2: Outline the Roles and Responsibilities

Once you have established the identities of both parties, the next step is determining the tasks and functions of the nanny. This section is basically a comprehensive review of the job description. What is the nanny’s primary role upon hiring? What tasks is she or he expected to undertake? These must be enumerated clearly and explicitly so as to avoid any needless confusion. In most cases, a nanny is expected to fill multiple roles, not just play the part of a simple caregiver. Other times, the nanny may be required to cook and tutor the children so it is vital that these core responsibilities be indicated in the formal agreement.  

Step 3: Set the Terms and Conditions

Upon finalizing the role and responsibilities of the nanny, you must then set ground rules for the partnership. Even the partnership between a nanny and a parent is considered a working relationship. Not only do nannies have to establish a relationship with the children under their care, but a professional employee-employer relationship should be maintained as well. All transactional or professional partnerships ought to set conditions and boundaries. This section of the agreement is dedicated entirely for defining the terms that will dictate the partnership. Stipulations can refer to a range of items including payment terms, schedule of duties, duration of contract, confidentiality, termination of contract, and other conditions agreed upon by the parties.      

Step 4: Formalize the Contract

The last step is confirming the agreement made between the parties involved. In this case, both the nanny and the parent or employer need to affix their signatures to formally seal their agreement. This section of the contract may seem basic and straightforward, but it is vital to any binding promise or agreement. In affixing their signatures, both parties declare that their formal agreement is based on mutual partnership and understanding. In addition to the signatures, the date the document was signed should be indicated as well.   


Is a nanny contract legally binding?

Technically, yes. If two signatories enter into a formal contract, then yes it is usually binding.

What should go in a nanny contract?

Like any formal contract, a nanny agreement should contain the basic components such as terms, conditions, declarative confirmation statements, and a complete list of duties. It is important to specify the terms and conditions and frame them according to your needs.

How do I make a contract for my nanny?

To create a contract for your nanny, you need a structured format and accurate details. Apart from establishing the identities of each party and outlining the responsibilities of your nanny, you need to ensure that the agreement is direct and comprehensible. If you are short on time and need predesigned agreements, you can easily browse the editable templates above.

A nanny can be of immeasurable help for parents and guardians of young children. To ensure that you and the nanny are getting both what you deserve, it is best to put everything in writing. A formal nanny agreement can help you avoid unnecessary conflict and disagreements. Browse and customize your own contract agreement by downloading a free template now!