Things to Consider Before Hiring a Nanny

How do you find a nanny who will be the right fit for your family? Should you offer your nanny benefits? How many hours should a nanny work? If you are considering hiring a nanny as a childcare option, here are some helpful tips that you should consider.

Weigh Your Family’s Needs

Take some time to identify your childcare priorities and the schedules of your household. Determine how many hours a week you would need help with childcare. Make a list of what you envision as responsibilities and what requirements a potential candidate would have. For example, if they ideally would help with after school pickup, they will likely need a driver’s license unless your school is within walking distance from your residence. Take into consideration what your budget will be.

Different Nanny Arrangements

Nannies may work part-time or full-time. Some nannies live inside the home where they provide childcare, and some do not. Each arrangement is individual to a family’s requirements and wishes.  

Background Checks for Nannies

You may want to consider conducting a pre-employment background check on your potential nanny.  As there are a variety of federal, state and local laws that may apply with respect to conducting a background check on an individual, you should first consult with a knowledgeable attorney so that you can be aware of the applicable legal requirements and restrictions. You may need to obtain the potential nanny’s consent to the background check, among other things.

What Should a Nanny Contract Include?

Putting together a nanny contract can help to outline expectations so you and your nanny are on the same page. You can find several examples through nanny agencies and even the U.S. Department of Labor. Some common provisions are a work schedule, time off, pay, duties, and termination notice needed. Be aware, however, that contracts you may find online are not necessarily a “one-size-fits-all” solution, and there are a variety of federal, state and local laws that may apply to your employment relationship with your nanny. As such, before hiring a nanny or entering into any contract, you should consult with an experienced attorney so that they can help you proceed in a legally compliant manner.

Additionally, as an employer you will need to comply with applicable wage and hour laws and payroll requirements (including payroll taxes and withholdings).  In addition to an attorney, you may want to consult with a payroll service or accountant to make appropriate arrangements related to your nanny’s wages. 

Another element to consider in today’s age is social media. Set clear expectations for what information, photos, and videos of your child you feel should not be shared. Encourage keeping your family matters private, including things like vacation dates. Your nanny can work to create a safe environment for your child when you set boundaries and guidelines upfront with clear examples.

Is Workers’ Compensation Required for Nannies in Your State?

Depending on the state you are in, you may be legally required to acquire Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage for your nanny. You should consult with a qualified attorney to determine what your legal obligations may be with respect to Workers’ Compensation or other insurance coverages for your nanny.

Even if you do not live in a state that mandates Workers’ Compensation for domestic workers, it makes financial sense to obtain this coverage. If your nanny were to injure themselves in the course of their employment, their medical bills could add up quickly. Typically, a nanny’s on-the-job injury would not be covered under your standard homeowners’ policy, and so without appropriate Workers’ Compensation coverage you may potentially be responsible for paying the nanny’s medical bills and lost wages out of your own pocket.

If you have questions about coverage for your domestic staff, our experienced team is ready to listen. For decades, we’ve helped successful individuals navigate the high-net-worth insurance market. Our team has experience addressing the broad range of exposures of large families and serving their widely varied structures and dynamics. Contact one of our locations today to meet our team.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Employment Practices Liability Insurance, also called “EPLI”, is a type of insurance that can help protect you, in your role as the employer for your nanny, against certain types of employment-related claims such as discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination (among others).  EPLI policies can help with paying for legal costs that you incur in defending against covered claims, as well as for the payment of settlements or judgments related to covered claims (subject, of course, to policy limits, terms and conditions).

Umbrella Insurance

You may also want to consider obtaining an umbrella policy (also known as a personal excess liability policy) to help provide an additional layer of liability protection over and above your homeowner’s insurance and automobile insurance liability limits.  An umbrella policy could prove useful if, for example, your nanny is injured in a non-work-related accident at your house (e.g., your live-in nanny slips and falls in your driveway on her day off).

Before You Buckle Up

From school pick up to trips to the park, driving can be an integral part of job duties for a nanny. If you are planning on letting your nanny use one of your vehicles on the job, you will need to add them to your auto insurance policy. If your nanny plans on using their own car for these trips, reach out to your local insurance agent to see what considerations should be made.


There are many considerations and legal requirements involved when hiring any domestic staff, including a nanny. Knowing your family’s needs and being clear about responsibilities from the start is smart. Reviewing your insurance coverage with a local agent to see what coverages you should consider is one way to manage your risk.  


This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.


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