"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing-wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

- The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carrol
(From Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Super Nanny

A lot of people are interested in our nanny situation. I keep getting a lot of questions and comments online and off, so I wanted to give ya'll some more deets.

We did not use a nanny service. I think that if you're a super busy person who doesn't have a lot of time to sift through resumes and sit through interviews and call references and perform a background check, then you should maybe look into a nanny service that does that for you. I don't really trust many companies, so I felt better doing the search myself and scrutinizing applicants in person.

Whatever floats your boat.

That being said, there were two websites that I found to be extremely helpful in our search for a childcare provider: www.care.com and www.sittercity.com.  I perused profiles on both sites, and ultimately we decided to use care.com to begin our search. It's sort of like a dating site for care providers. They have profiles and pictures. Some have references. Some have completed background checks on there. It's great. You can search by zip code, or see who has newly created a profile. We posted a job and had applicants come to us. I think that's the easier way to go. But I did have to sift through a total of 75 applicants. A lot of them were pretty easy to toss to the side. Ultimately, I had three interviews - loved two - hired one - and so far, so good.

But there's more.

The hubs and I strive to be ethical people, so we wanted to make sure that this wasn't an under the table, tax-evasiony type of situation. Unfortunately, that means shelling out more dough. Yes, my friends. The nanny tax. When you bring in a household employee, you need to set your household up like an employer. That means paying taxes, unemployment, social security...fun, fun, fun. It's a lot to figure out - a bit too accountanty for us. And we're friends with an accountant. But one thing my husband is really good at, is finding excellent people that we can hire to sort this kind of shit out for us. And that's what we did.

The fine folks over at Breedlove & Associates will essentially set up your tax information, prepare your payroll, and give you all the tools you need to pay your nanny legally, satisfying dear old Uncle Sam. They also provide some legal advice. And their quarterly rates for this peace of mind - not too bad at all. At least in our humble opinion.

There's still more, though.

Before you let your nanny step foot in your house, you need a contract. A good solid contract. With lots of details. If you have a concern, then spell it out in the contract. For example, I wrote into ours that the nanny shall never text or talk on a cell phone while driving our child. Never. Grounds for termination - right there. And it gives me a lot of peace of mind. You should also have a lawyer review your contract. Fortunately, for us, we have a friend who is an attorney who also has a nanny, and he reviewed ours for us. Thank goodness for smart friends! If you aren't so connected, it's probably worth it to cough up some money to make sure you have a contract that protects you, your home, and most importantly, your child.

I know - it sounds like a lot of work. It wasn't bad at all, though. And I'll tell you this - it was the right decision for us. Every family is different of course, and you'll have to figure out what the best fit is for you, your family, and your little one. There were definitely moments when I didn't think we'd figure it out and almost threw in the towel. I'm so glad we didn't. It's such a reassuring feeling to walk through the door after work and hear my baby laughing in my own home and know that she's happy, safe, and well cared for.  Priceless.

<Note: Yes, I am a marketer, but no, no one paid me to say any of this. Yet.>

1 comment:

  1. Hi, this is Stacy. I’m a member of Care.com’s Mom Force—a team of work-at-home moms that helps with safety and customer service. I wanted you to know that I saw your blog post. It’s great to hear that Care.com worked for you!

    Thank you so much for spreading the word about Care.com. And if there’s anything we can do for you in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Have a great day!