Wading through piles of resumes to find the perfect nanny can be frustrating, and that frustration can be exponentially increased if the selected candidate chooses to leave her post in the middle of her contract. Here are 10 of the reasons why a nanny might resign before the end of her term, with or without notice.
- Violation of Verbal Agreement – Verbal agreements regarding expected responsibilities and other working conditions are open to interpretation and can be easily strayed from as time goes on. If your nanny feels as if you haven’t held up your end of a verbal agreement, she could choose to leave; the best way to prevent this is to insist upon a detailed written work agreement, and to adhere to it carefully.
- Violation of Written Nanny Contract – Though a written nanny contract is your best line of defense against a mid-contract abandonment, it’s only effective if both parties uphold it. Making sure that you don’t pile on added demands after the fact and that you respect the conditions agreed upon by all parties during the hiring process is essential.
- Change in Marital Status – Hiring a single nanny might be ideal in theory, but there’s always a chance that her marital status could change down the road. An engagement or marriage may affect her ability to finish out her contract, especially if she’s a live-in worker.
- Having a Child of Their Own – The demands of pregnancy followed by the necessity of caring for a newborn can all prove to be too much for a nanny holding a current post, and could lead to her resignation.
- Lack of Benefits – Tentatively agreed-upon benefits, perks and vacation time that are never actually delivered can be a deal breaker for nannies, especially very experienced ones that can command such things. Again, this is where a detailed written agreement can protect you both from disappointment.
- Job Creep – Parents hiring their first nanny don’t always understand that, typically, nannies are only responsible for chores and household tasks directly relating to the care of her charges. However, even seasoned parents have been known to gradually add more responsibilities to a nanny’s list; within the industry, this is referred to as “job creep” and is one of the leading reasons why nannies abruptly leave a post.
- Offered a Better Post – Another rookie mistake that nanny employers make is underestimating just how cutthroat the market can be. Exceptional nannies field offers from other parents regularly, and some will make offers that even the most loyal nanny simply can’t turn down.
- Addition to Your Family – The arrival of a new bundle of joy is an exciting time for your family, but it’s important to remember that adding another child, particularly a newborn, will mean that your nanny’s salary should be reevaluated. Failure to give her a raise to compensate for the added demand can lead to a nanny that leaves in search of the proverbial greener pastures.
- Poor Working Conditions – Experienced nannies know that family dynamics can be strained from time to time, and are usually adept at navigating carefully. However, substance abuse on the part of a parent, extreme jealousy regarding the level of affection from the children, or even unfounded allegations of questionable behavior in relation to one spouse are sure to send even the toughest nanny hurrying for the door.
- Burnout – Caring for children is a high-pressure, demanding job; as a result, only the strongest and most dedicated make a career of it. It’s not uncommon for nannies to simply burn out, leaving the profession altogether; sometimes in the middle of a contract.
Some situations that cause a nanny to leave are simply out of her employers’ hands. There are, however, a few simple steps that parents can take to help prevent most situations that lead to the abandonment of a post. Almost all of them boil down to being respectful and kind, and understanding that your nanny, like anyone else, has her own needs and desires. Open and honest communication can go a long way in ensuring successful nanny tenure.