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Top Reasons to Fire Your Nanny

A high-quality Professional Nanny is a very valuable addition to a family. You, as the family, will want someone in your home that you can trust and depend on. If you are a nanny, you should always strive to provide professional and reliable service, and to take your job seriously. As with any line of work sometimes there is cause for an employee to be fired. Let’s take a look at the top reasons that a family would choose to fire their nanny.

1. Your nanny is Constantly Late: You need to know that you can depend on your nanny consistently. If she is scheduled to arrive at 9 am and daily she is strolling in at 9:20, this is a problem. You depend on your nanny being on time so that you can be on time for your job and daily commitments. Regular tardiness is a sign of unreliability and perhaps not taking her job seriously. Everyone is late from time to time. If your nanny communicates with you that she is running late and is sorry once in a while, this is to be expected as with any line of work. Some days there is an accident or the traffic is much worse than usual. Accepting the occasional tardiness is normal, but when it is a regular habit it needs to be addressed. Have a talk with your nanny and give her the chance to make being on time a priority. If she is still not making it to work as scheduled then you have reason to let her go.

2. Calling in sick excessively: Let’s face it, usually when a nanny gets sick, she caught it from the children. Please understand if she has come down with the flu, a stomach bug, strep throat, or some similar highly contagious illness, she needs to stay home and rest. If it is severe this can put her out of work for a week. It is important to be understanding of these times as we are all humans and become ill from time to time. If your nanny is just calling in to say she is not coming in on a regular basis, this is a problem. Perhaps she called in sick on Thursday and came in with a fresh tan on Friday so you find yourself wondering if she was really sick. If your nanny is calling in several times a month, this is something that you need to discuss with her. Let her know that vacation days and PTO are important but that they need to be taken as such per your contracted agreement. It is unacceptable for your nanny to just call in sick whenever she feels like taking a day off. Give her the benefit of the doubt with a conversation before deciding to let her go.

3. Lack of Respect for the Family’s Privacy: Having a nanny means having someone working in your home on a regular basis. She will likely be around for some family conversations or meetings which means she knows things that can be private family matters. It is important to have a trustworthy nanny so that your private matters stay private.  It is unacceptable for a nanny to disclose private family information to fellow parents at the children’s school for example. Social Media these days can be another issue. Many families are comfortable with their nanny sharing pictures of the children in her care on her Facebook for example, but she should ask permission before doing so. Some families prefer to not have their children’s pictures shared and it is important that your nanny respects your wishes. Social Media is another area where your nanny should keep the family’s private matters off of. She should refrain from divulging sensitive and personal information about your family in her social media posts. 

4. Failure to Perform Agreed Upon Tasks: If you have gone about things the full and proper way, you should have a contract with your nanny. This contract should include what tasks she is expected to do. If, for example, you have asked her to do the babies laundry a few times a week and to clean the baby bottles daily, you have a right to expect this to be done! This is part of what you are paying your nanny for and should be able to depend on. Of course, as we have discussed in previous blogs, if she or the child are sick and her attention is focused on that for the day some tasks will slide. However, these tasks should not be overlooked on the regular. If they are, you as the employer, have the right to be unsatisfied with the job performance of your nanny. This is one of those times when communication matters. Have a sit down and discuss your agreement. If she still fails to accomplish these tasks you have reason to let her go and hire a nanny who will.

5. Failure to follow the Schedule: Often parents and nannies work as a team to create a healthy schedule for the children. Communication and open discussions are so valuable in helping each other. You likely have some schedules and routines already in place that you expect to be followed. As always this should be discussed in the interview and gone over upon the first few days of work as the nanny gets acclimated. If you have given this schedule to your nanny and she is choosing not to follow it, this is a problem. Perhaps you prefer for your child to take his afternoon nap daily at 1pm and your nanny waits until 3 pm or simply doesn’t put him down for a nap at all. This is unacceptable and grounds for dismissal. Again, give her the benefit of the doubt and sit down with her to discuss. Perhaps hand her a typed-out schedule to keep available. If she is just not willing to follow it, you need to let her go. You have a right as parents to have your children on a schedule and routine, and your nanny should respect and follow it.

6. Failure to follow House Rules: Every house has them! It is important upon hire to be clear about your house rules and what is or is not accepted. You should be able to expect your nanny to enforce these. Nannies and parents should be working together as a team. Perhaps your child is permitted one hour of T.V. each day and your nanny has it on for endless hours. Perhaps you expect your children to do their homework right after their after-school snack, but your nanny lets them play all evening. Maybe you have been trying to break your little one’s habit of jumping on the couch yet your nanny allows it. This is a problem! It is your home and you have created house rules for a reason. You have every right to expect them to be followed. Failure to do so can show a lackadaisical tendency on your nannies’ part. Keep it simple and have the house rules printed and posted in the mudroom or another common area. If your nanny still refuses to follow them it is time to part ways.

7. Having Guests over Without Permission: Many families will allow in home play dates with other nannies or mom friends. This is quite common but of course should be discussed beforehand so that you know who is coming over to your house. Your nanny should never just be inviting friends or a boyfriend over as if it were her home. She is there as a professional to provide care for your children, not to be just catching up with friends. Make it clear that she is only to have mom or nanny friends over with children to play as agreed upon. If there is the random time she forgot something she needs at home such as medication, or even her lunch, she should ask your permission before having someone come to drop it by. Most families will agree as this is a quick drop off rather than a visit that will take time and attention away from your children. Be clear on what is and is not acceptable for your family rules. If your nanny chooses to do as she wishes and disregards your requests, this is reason to let her go. It shows a lack of respect for you and your home.

8. Lack of Meeting the Children’s Needs: If your Nanny is not meeting your child’s basic daily needs, this is cause for concern. A nanny who cannot be bothered to change a diaper, chooses not to interact with the kids, does not shut baby gates, does not maintain constant attention when at the pool or out at events, does not keep your child clean and groomed, (yes, playing outside and getting dirty is normal, but we are talking about lack of caring for their hygiene) and so on, is a problem. A nanny should be a high-quality professional who makes caring for your children and their needs her utmost priority during her working hours. Failure to do so shows extreme laziness or even lack of caring. This is not the type of person that you want caring for your kids in your absence.

If you should find out that your nanny is drinking on the job, using drugs, stealing, or is in any way abusive, this is means for immediate dismissal. We are not listing this as top reasons since they are uncommon, but must absolutely be taken seriously if they should occur. This would be a time when for everyone’s safety and comfort, the nanny is let go right away.