10 Reasons to Have a Written Contract With Your Nanny

The relationship between a nanny and her employers is one that tends to be both unique and complex. Caring for your children and looking after your household while you’re away often makes your nanny feel like far more than an employee, especially if you genuinely get along and everyone in your family has forged their own bond with her. Because nanny/employer relationships can become so close, it’s not uncommon for both parties to forgo a written agreement in favor of something more personal and less rigid, a decision that can have unpleasant repercussions when all is said and done. These are 10 of the reasons why you shouldn’t throw the nanny agreement out the window, no matter how close she’s grown to your family.

  • Establishing Overtime Parameters – One of the most common causes of disputes and difficulty in a nanny/employer relationship is uncompensated overtime, or a work-week length that seems excessive. When you create a nanny contract outlining policies and procedures regarding overtime, up to and including limits for weekly overtime, you can effectively remove the possibility of disputes borne of misunderstanding.
  • Clearly Outlined Duties – Job creep can be a very real problem for nannies, and shirking of side duties can be an equally frustrating situation for employers. When the nanny’s duties are clearly communicated in a document she has reviewed and signed, there’s no room for confusion or disagreements.
  • Evaluation and Salary Review Scheduling – If you plan to offer annual employment contracts pending the results of a performance evaluation or offer salary increases at specific intervals, that information should be included in your written work agreement so that there’s no confusion surrounding such delicate issues later.
  • Providing a Reference Source – When you have a well-written, thorough nanny contract, both involved parties have a document to refer back to in times of confusion or dispute. This can prove to be an invaluable tool when it comes to derailing issues before they become insurmountable.
  • Communicating Terms of Employment – If there are deal-breaking grounds for immediate dismissal, your nanny needs to know about them. She should also have a clear understanding of the terms of her employment, something that having access to a copy of her nanny agreement provides.
  • Clarifying Mutual Expectations – When the expectations, rights and responsibilities of all involved parties are set down on paper, there’s no room for confusion or debate as the nanny/employer relationship progresses. Creating and updating a nanny contract when it’s necessary is a powerful tool for preventing turnover and aiding in constructive communication.
  • Benefit Package Establishment – Though it’s not legally required for nanny employers to provide benefits to their nannies, offering benefits like paid time off is standard industry practice and can be a sticking point for professional childcare providers. Knowing what benefits she’s promised, the number of sick days she has and the amount of vacation time available to her can clarify many important points for your nanny, and a contract provides a perfect avenue for that conversation.
  • Petty Cash and Reimbursement Policies – Whether you plan to reimburse your nanny for incidental expenses or provide her with a petty cash fund, including a section relevant to that issue in your nanny agreement can make the entire situation easier to understand and more practical.
  • Establishing Emergency Procedures – Working together to create a nanny contract, reviewing the document and signing it helps your nanny retain the lion’s share of the relevant details. Should an emergency arise, a section that governs appropriate action and contact information can not only help her to follow the guidelines, but also to ensure that proper action is taken in such an event.
  • Legal Protection – A signed nanny contract is a legally binding document, meaning that it provides both you and your nanny with some level of protection or legal recourse in a worst case scenario. Choosing to forgo the document can make legal disputes exceedingly messy, but having one in place well before they arise can help you avoid them altogether.

PFC provides all of its families with contracts to use with the nannies they employ.  Contract PFC at (404) 919-6626 for further information. 

This is a guest post written with permission by: http://www.enannysource.com/blog/index.php/2013/11/25/10-reasons-to-have-a-written-contract-with-your-nanny/

How to Choose a Nanny for Your Child With Special Needs

Having a nanny provide one-on-one care for your child with special needs can be a true blessing to your family. She can deliver hands on childcare, offer household support, be an important connection between home and school, and contribute to the team of professionals devoted to helping your child. But how do you find the right candidate? How do you know if a person will be successful in your position? Here are a few questions to ask when considering different candidates.

Does she have a connection to your child? There are many things that make a great special needs nanny. Nothing is more important than a positive connection between your child and nanny. Sometimes this happens right away. Sometimes it takes a while for the connection to develop. So how do you know during the interview stage if that connection is there? It is hard to tell because your child and your potential nanny don’t have a lot of time to spend together. But even from the beginning, you often see a spark. Plus, a big factor is the nanny’s willingness to do whatever she needs to do in order to make that connection. Ask her about the other children with special needs that she’s worked with and how she connected with them. Talk with her about your child’s personality and get her ideas on how she could work best with him. If the nanny has a true love of kids, is comfortable with special needs and is willing to work to build a relationship with your child, chances are she’ll be able to build a great connection with him.

Does she have relevant training? All nannies should have some training, including CPR/first aid certification and an understanding of basic child development knowledge. For nannies wanting to care for children with special needs, the nanny should have additional training to help her understand and effectively work with your child. This may include additional medical training, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) training or a variety of other specialized training. This training will help the nanny understand the unique challenges your child is facing and give her the skills she needs to help him. If you are interviewing a great nanny that doesn’t have the training she needs, consider enrolling her in helpful courses. It will help both the nanny and your child.

Does she have the right kind of personality to work with kids with special needs? All nannies need to have a positive attitude, a true love of children, flexibility, patience and a problem solving outlook. Nannies who work with special needs children have to have all those traits in spades. They also need to be undaunted by failure, be able to think outside the box for new solutions or approaches, and have a willingness to learn and adapt. Not all nannies are well suited for these positions. Talk with each candidate about how she’ll tackle the challenges that come with the job

Is the nanny a team player? When you have a child with special needs, your nanny will need to work closely with you, the school and other professionals that help your child. Being a team player is a requirement. Hire someone that understands the need to openly communicate with everyone else on the team, who is open to learning new ways of doing things, who can make recommendations based on her experiences with your child, and who can effectively work side by side with you and other professionals. Talk with her about these issues during the interview and also cover this issue when talking with her references.

Can she be a support person for you? Working as a nanny involves hands on childcare, but it also includes household tasks that support the parents. These can consist of laundry, meals, grocery shopping, errands, household organization and keeping the schedule up to date. You may need extra support in some nontraditional ways. Before you begin your nanny search, create a list of the ways she can support you and incorporate those things into your job description. Candidates may not be willing to take them all on, but it’s always worth talking about your needs. The right candidate will be willing to pitch in and help you manage the extra work that often comes with parenting a child with special needs. It’s also important that your nanny supports you emotionally. She shouldn’t be your only support person, but it’s important that she understands your challenges and is willing to support you in your parenting choices.

Guest Post from: http://www.findananny.net/blog/how-to-choose-a-nanny-for-your-child-with-special-needs/

 

Our Selective Screening Process - What Do We Look For?

When we advertise a position for one of our clients, we contact roughly 10% of the candidates that send us applications.  We are very selective in our screening process and closely scrutinize the qualifications and skills of the professionals that seek to work as a Specialized Nanny through our agency. 

Skills that Stand Out

Depending on the need of our client, we look for the following qualifications when evaluating Candidates:

  1.  Advanced Degrees  - Probably the first qualification we examine is the candidates educational background.  We seek candidates with bachelors and masters degrees in applicable fields such as social work, psychology, child and family development, special education, general education, mental and behavioral disorders, and other relevant fields.  It is our belief that candidates with the appropriate educational background have gained the requisite knowledge to work directly with children who have special needs. 

2. Direct One-On-One Experience  We also look for candidates who have direct experience working one-on-one with children who have special needs.  For example, if the client has a child with autism, we will look for candidates that have worked directly with children who have autism or other similar developmental disorders.  

3. Specialized Training  - Many of our clients have children that require specialized training to care for them. This includes ABA training for children with autism, behavioral intervention training, NVCPI (non-violent crisis prevention intervention training), American Sign Language, and other general behavioral and therapeutic strategies

4. Life Experience  - It is also important to us (and our clients) that candidates have some life experience, whether in the form of studying abroad, travelling, mission work, or some other form of cultural training.  We seek candidates that are well-rounded individuals and have a centered sense of purpose and a passion for working with children who have special needs. 

5. Passion for Working With Children Who Have Special Needs  - Lastly, we seek candidates who have a passion for working with children who have special needs.  We see our mission, and the candidates role as a professional opportunity for individuals with a passion for this kind of work to make a difference in the life of a special child and their family.  Through this passion, we seek to develop long-lasting relationships with all of our candidates and clients. 

 

Awesome Specialized Nanny Position Available in Hong Kong

PFC currently has a fantastic opportunity available for the right person.  We are working with a loving family in Hong Kong who is looking for a full-time Specialized Nanny to work with their 4 year-old who suffered a traumatic brain injury nearly two years ago.  The details of the position are below.  Please get in touch with us if you are interested in learning more about the position!

 

Position:           Full-time Specialized Nanny

Location:           Hong Kong

Hours:               40+ Hours per week (schedule varies according to therapy schedule)

Salary:              $3,500 - $4,500 per month + full room and board (no taxes).

Benefits:         Full room and board, insurance coverage, relocation costs, living expense

Family Details:       This is an exciting opportunity to work for a loving family in Hong Kong.  They are seeking a full-time Specialized Nanny to work with their 4-year-old son who is now non-verbal after suffering a traumatic brain injury nearly two years ago.   The family has hired a full-time therapist from the U.S. to also work with the child in therapeutic intervention and is now seeking a Specialized Nanny to work alongside the therapist. 

The mother is originally from Sydney, Australia but has lived in Hong Kong since she was a child. The father is Dutch and runs an    international business.  The family also has homes in Thailand and   Switzerland, so the Nanny would be required to travel around the world with the family as needed. The Nanny would share an apartment with the therapist near the family’s home. 

The family considers themselves formal and well-organized.  They have two house maids who cook and clean, as well as a driver.  They eat formally prepared meals each day and expect their employees to perform their jobs well.

Children:       There are three children in the home: an 8-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl, and a 4-year-old boy.  The older two children attend school; they mind well and are easy to manage.  The 4-year-old will be the primary focus of this position.

Special Needs:       The 4-year-old boy has a traumatic brain injury which has significantly delayed his development.  He is currently working with a therapist from the U.S. who is trained in neurodevelopmental disorders.  The child is nonverbal and struggles to communicate.  He exhibits challenging behaviors, has trouble transitioning between tasks, and has meltdowns occasionally.  The child also has trouble potty-training due to his brain injury.

Nanny Qualifications.:      The Nanny must be skilled in behavior management and intervention strategies.  The Nanny should be able to develop behavior modification plans and address the child’s negative behavior while increasing positive behavior.  The Nanny should also be comfortable implementing potty training techniques.

Experience and education in the field of special needs is essential.  Ideally, the Nanny will have experience working with children with behavioral challenges, and/or neurological deficits and have education in a related field, such as special education, child and family development, speech and language pathology, social work, occupational therapy, or psychology.

The Nanny will act as a team with the therapist, who provides therapy for the child 6 hours a day.  During the times the child is receiving therapy, the Nanny will have personal time.  The Nanny and the therapist will collaborate to ensure a consistent level of care for the child.

If a suitable candidate is secured prior to July 6, the family may want the Nanny to attend a training session in Roswell, Georgia at a Neurodevelopmental Therapy Center.

Interested Candidates:  Interested candidates should send their  resume to trobinson@professionalfamilyconsultants.com and submit a Candidate Application through our website at    www.professionalfamilyconsultants.com.  Selected candidates will be interviewed either in person or via Skype.  Successful Candidates will then be interviewed by the family via Skype.  PFC will make all the      arrangements for the interviews.

If selected for the position, PFC will assist with candidate with the transition to Hong Kong.  If you have any questions, please give us a call at 404-788-1391.