With COVID shutting down schools and daycares, nannies have never been in more demand. With such a high demand, there is an opportunity for nannies to have options when choosing a job. The time of the $10 an hour nanny has long passed. It is important for a good position to fit for your schedule and your budget, but also fit your desired work-life balance. Here are some red flags to look out for when job searching!
They want you to start without an interview.
Desperate parents are nothing new. School gets cancelled and parents with full-time jobs have to figure out what to do with their children. New apps like Bambino have made it easier for families to get someone to come to their home quickly. While occasionally sitting for a family without meeting them is normal, it should be a big red flag when someone is hiring a full-time nanny. A parent who is ready to hire a nanny without interviewing them, asking for a resume, or wanting to call references is a bad sign. If you ask them to do these things and they refuse, this should make you uncomfortable. While you know you are a good, reliable person, for a family to assume that site unseen, raises serious questions as to what the position actually entails.
They want to pay you a salary.
In the state of Texas, household workers must be paid no less than minimum wage on an hourly rate basis. Many families will offer paying you $400 a week or $50 a day. In actuality, that is a huge red flag and against the law. Many families may have a set schedule during the week, but life happens and nannies need to work late, parents go on date nights, etc. Guaranteeing that you will be compensated for all the hours you work can only happen if you are paid an hourly fee. Families not willing to consider paying someone hourly, most likely means they want to try and squeeze as much work out of you as possible, for as little pay as they can.
They only want to pay you under the table.
Many of us grew up babysitting and are used to being handed a wad of cash at the end of a Saturday night. But working as a nanny, it is important to have a record of your payment. There are great payroll services out there for parents to use. Even if your employers decides not to use a payroll service, direct deposit and Venmo allow you to keep track of how much and how often you are being paid. It is important to have a record of your pay for your taxes as well as filing for unemployment. If a family only wants to pay you using cash, it may be a sign that they are trying to find ways not to pay you as much.
They won’t sign a contract.
Wilco Nannies provides a Work Agreement for all families and nannies to fill out. These agreements simply allow nannies and families to have their hours, pay, and job duties on record for all to see. You can also easily find contract templates to use online. A family unwilling to enter into a contract or work agreement with you, is a bad sign. Contracts do not mean you are “stuck” in a position for a certain amount of time. They help dictate the parameters of your work. If families are unwilling to consider a contract, it is very easy for them to not to pay you on time, ask you to do household chores you did not agree to, or make you work longer hours than originally agreed. Always, always, always have a contract!
They trash their old nanny.
Nannies and families decide to go different ways for many reasons. While a nanny and employer can end on bad terms, how parents speak about their former nanny can be very enlightening on how they view the nanny position. If they speak about the nanny with small complaints such as “they were on their phone all the time”, this can be read as they simply did not get along and it wasn’t a good fit. If the complaints become more personal, “she was lazy” it can be looked at as not having respect for the person they employed. If you ever hear of a nanny suddenly leaving a family with no call and no explanation, this could be a sign that something bad happened in the home and the nanny needed to leave immediately.
Above all else, as a nanny you have been hired to do a very important job. Finding a family that you have a good rapport with, is just as important as having a family that respects you as a professional.