Though it’s never the desired outcome, the truth is that some nanny-family relationships do not end up working out. Whether this is a decision made by the nanny or by the family, it can be a very difficult time for everyone involved, especially the children.
How to navigate this transition is integral information for nannies and nanny families to have. If you’ve used an agency to either find your nanny or your nanny position, your placement specialist will be able to guide you through the process to ensure it all goes smoothly.
Typically, when a family or nanny comes to us asking how to end the nanny-family relationship, we begin by advising them to speak directly with the other party about what’s bothering them. Like any relationship, a successful nanny-family match requires honest, open communication! Much of the time, a simple conversation will resolve issues you’re having with your nanny or nanny family.
If there’s a mismatch in expectations regarding a nanny’s duties, bring the nanny contract with you to the conversation—after all, these kinds of situations are exactly why we recommend signing a contract in the first place. The nanny contract should lay out required duties and expectations, as well as the specifics regarding pay and vacation time. If there is a discrepancy, it should be easy to point out, discuss, and resolve.
If the family and nanny have already met to discuss the problems they’ve been facing, and one or the other is still uncomfortable with the situation, the next step is to dissolve the relationship. As your agency is neither the employer nor the employee, any actions must be taken between the family and nanny directly.
However, as a nanny agency, we often advise both families and nannies when these situations arise. It is our policy to help our clients replace a nanny who is leaving, and to help the nanny find a new position, provided he or she was not terminated due to negligence, theft, or improper care of the child.
Helpful Information for Nanny Families
According to New York State, if there is no contract that restricts firing, an employer has the right to dismiss an employee at any time for any reason. New York is an “employment-at-will” state, which means employment can be terminated with little or no notice. (You cannot, however, fire an employee based on race, creed, nationality, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or marital status.) We suggest providing two weeks’ severance pay when dismissing a nanny.
If you have hired your nanny through the Nanny Authority, we offer a 30-day free trial period; if you feel your nanny is not working out during those 30 days, we offer a 30-day free replacement period.
Helpful Information for Nannies
It’s always hard to leave a position as a nanny, especially after you’ve developed a bond with the children you care for. As your nanny agency, we want to find you the best position possible! This is why it’s particularly important to be honest with your placement counselor about exactly what you’re looking for and what duties you’re willing to take on; otherwise, it will be more difficult to find the right family for you. If you are looking to leave a position, we are always available for consultation, and we will of course help you to find your next nanny family