One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is finding a balance between work and life, and this is particularly true when you have to go into employment but still want your kids to get the best care. However, you’re not alone, as a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that as of 2018, at least one person was employed in 90.8 percent of families with children.
So, whether you’re a stay at home parent or you’re off to the office daily, how do you find a good nanny to fill in for you while you work and engage in other pursuits? There is no promising that the road to finding a nanny will be paved with gold, but it is possible to find a good one if you’re ready to put in the work. Here are tips for hiring a nanny in 2020.
Decide Your Needs
Before hitting the drawing board and beginning the search for a nanny, think about what you’re looking for. This means detailing your exact needs and identifying the type of care that best suits your kids. To know this, you need to be aware of the available types of caregiving that some nannies might excel in over others.
If you want someone that comes in and out every day for a certain number of hours, then a live-out nanny would be ideal. On the other hand, if you need someone around full-time, then you should be on the hunt for a live-in nanny that’s with you around the clock. Aside from the type of nanny you hire, think about what age bracket you want the nanny to fall into.
For example, target millennials if you need someone that may have a more youthful approach to childcare. On the other hand, if you want someone that may stay around long-term and has a breadth of experience, a generation Z employee could be more ideal.
Be Sure to Budget
A nanny isn’t the most inexpensive cost to add to your budget, let alone the only one, so you’ve got to plan it out properly. Most people don’t realize that hiring a nanny essentially means you’re going to become an employer. Becoming an employer comes with a string of expenses, so consider this when drawing up your budget. Here are a few specific expenses worth taking into consideration:
As an employer, you’re going to have to pay your nanny a wage. In terms of how much you pay, multiple factors will influence the amount you give them. Some include your geographical location, the types of tasks they’ll be engaging in, the age of your kids, and the experience of the nanny you want. Once you do decide on a price and hire a nanny, a suggestion would be to use a time clock calculator to help you track nanny hours and stay organized.
You may not know this, but the Internal Revenue Services classifies nannies as employees despite the number of hours they work and how they were recruited. This means you’d be responsible for social security, medicare, state unemployment, sometimes state-level taxes, and federal taxes. That said, Care.com has a budget calculator you can use to help give you an idea of how much in taxes you’ll need to pay. It will also tell you about tax breaks you may be entitled to.
The only time that nanny taxes don’t have to be paid is if you’re using a spouse, parent, or someone under 18 that isn’t a professional nanny. Also, if you go through an employment agency, they’d be responsible for the taxes. Misclassifying a household employee as an independent contractor should also be avoided as you could be charged with tax evasion.
Accidents happen every day and it’s something that could happen to your nanny. If they’re injured while picking your kids up from school, for example, you could be left with a hefty hospital bill or even a lawsuit. In light of this, you need to have insurance for your nanny, so don’t skip this when drafting a budget.
Some states require you buy workers’ compensation insurance if you’re hiring a nanny so that both you and them are protected. This coverage varies from state to state, so check what the rules in yours are. While in Virginia, worker’s compensation isn’t required, in Maryland it is for nannies earning $1,000 or more quarterly.
Look for Strong Candidates
When you’re looking for a nanny, it may help to approach it as you would hiring an employee. If that’s something you have personal experience with, you know how tedious it can be. To ease your stress, create a recruitment plan that helps guide your search.
If you aren’t a naturally meticulous person, you should start when looking for a nanny. You want high quality when it comes to the person that will be spending time with your kids, after all. There are multiple mediums you can use which include finding an agency, asking friends for recommendations, and using online listing nanny sites.
It’s also possible to use top social media platforms to source and contact candidates. Whatever the case, use secure and reliable methods so the chances of you finding someone reputable and trustworthy increase.
Before spreading the word about your open nanny position, write a clear and concise job description. It should outline the key things you’re looking for in your ideal candidate. Some details to include are days, times, qualifications, and responsibilities you want your nanny to have. Remember that while you want to hire a professional to take care of your children, you also want someone they can connect with, so including ideal characteristics is vital, too.
Perform Background Checks
Seeing as a nanny is going to be working with your kids and in your home, it’s crucial that you do background checks. Try doing free online background checks like checking the National Center for State Courts or using sex offender websites.
As an employer, you need to be selective about which background checks you choose. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that you use a Consumer Reporting Agency, for example, as they’re upheld to certain standards for data protection reasons. Ultimately, you want to hire someone that is like an extended parent for your kids and can be trusted in all aspects.
Hiring a nanny can be a stressful ordeal considering all of the boxes you have to tick off as you go along. However, as a parent in need of a few extra hands, if you find the right one it should be worth it in the end.