Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Summer Nannies FAQ's

Summer Nannies: Seven Frequently-Asked Questions About Working as a Summer Nanny, or Hiring One

With summer right around the corner, many families are making plans for summer vacation. As kids look forward to a break from the school-year routine, parents are faced with an array of decisions about summer child care and how to balance the needs of their children with the demands of their jobs. Families also think about vacations, and the challenge of planning a family trip that is fun and interesting for kids and adults alike.

Summer nannies – often students or teachers – frequently figure into these plans. Sometimes families with older children, who do not need a nanny during the school year, choose to hire a nanny for the summer because their children would prefer not to go to summer camp, or because the camp schedule doesn’t cover their needs. By hiring a nanny for summer child care, the parents make it possible for the children to spend unstructured time at home, playing with neighborhood children, taking advantage of local activities, or perhaps just enjoying some down time.

For other families, particularly those with babies or small children, a summer nanny enables them to take a family vacation that meets the needs and expectations of kids and adults alike. By taking a nanny with them on vacation, parents are able to spend some time along together, enjoy a leisurely meal at a nice restaurant, and relax, knowing that their children are well cared for.
Whether you’re thinking about hiring a nanny for summer child care, or you’re interested in working as one, you’ve probably asked the following questions:

1. What do summer nannies do?Summer nannies may be full-time, part-time, live-in, or live-out. Like full-time, year-round nannies, they may be asked to manage light housekeeping duties in addition to taking care of children. Summer nannies and families should be sure to discuss these expectations, as well as salary and pay schedule, in advance of committing to work together for the summer.

2. How do families find summer nannies?Parents can find summer nannies through nanny agencies, as well as through the recommendations of friends and colleagues. Some resort and family travel destinations may be able to help you find short-term nanny services. In some cities parents will find nanny agencies that specialize in providing temporary nanny services with complete background checks. At destinations popular with families, the hotel may be able to help.

3. How can summer nannies find jobs?As for nannies, there are many ways to find summer nanny jobs, including through nanny agencies and through word of mouth. If you’re looking for work as a summer nanny, be sure to tell everyone you know of your interest in finding a summer nanny job. If you’re a student, check campus bulletin boards, the school paper, and any other places where families might advertise for a nanny.

4. How should expenses be handled when a nanny travels with a family? It’s important to remember that when a nanny accompanies a family on vacation, no matter how lovely the locale, the nanny is still working. The nanny and parents should discuss and agree on a schedule for the trip in advance, making sure that the nanny’s needs are met in terms of time off and breaks.
Families should be prepared to cover all of the nanny’s travel expenses, including airfare, lodging, meals, and admission to attractions which he or she visits with the family. If the nanny does not eat all meals with the family, s/he should be given a meal allowance to purchase meals.

5. What accommodations should be provided?If at all possible, the nanny should have a separate bedroom, not one shared with the children, so that the nanny has a place to rest and relax when off duty.

6. How much does a summer nanny earn? Salaries for summer nannies vary tremendously depending on the number of children in their care, the number of hours they work, the responsibilities they’re given, their level of experience and education, and the region of the country where they are employed. Ballpark guidelines range from $8 to $22 per hour. The best way to find out what’s typical in your area is to ask a nanny agency, or to ask several friends or colleagues who have either hired nannies or have worked as a nanny.

7. What about taxes?Remember that summer nannies are subject to the same tax regulation as year-round nannies. For more info, see: Year-end Tax Tips for Employees

This article was published on newsletter, April 2009