It’s time for a nice relaxing beach vacation with the family…ok that very sentence is a contradiction in itself!
You want to bring the kids along, but the thought of taking a vacation without your nanny seems… well, it seems like no vacation at all.
What is the protocol for taking your nanny on a getaway?
First you should ask your nanny if she is available and interested. Some nannies have families of their own, and it might be difficult for them to get away. Others are carefree and would love an “all expenses paid” business trip, along with their usual salary.
If you ask your nanny and she finds it too difficult to join you on your trip, you may still need to pay her the usual salary, and find an alternate nanny to join you. (Vacation time pay –was hopefully fully discussed on the front end of your relationship.) You can find nannies through an agency or through website such as Sitter City and others.
The next step is to sit down with the nanny and go through her work schedule, so there are no surprises. The nanny should know where she is lodging (alone or with the kids), what is expected of her, when she will be with the kids, and the time she will have to herself. The more you spell it out the better. After you get her input and agreement, write it up and make a copy for you both, to make sure you’re both on the same page, while still allowing for some flexibility on both sides.
How much should you pay?
How much do you pay a nanny when you take her on vacation? You may be wondering if footing the bill for her meals, transportation, lodgings and spending money with the kids offset the cost of her time. The answer is no. While you are incurring an additional expense bringing the nanny along, keep in mind that this is not your nanny’s vacation, it is your vacation, and she is on a business trip. While she may thoroughly enjoy spending time with your kids, it isn’t her idea of an escape from the everyday world. Unless you are asking her to work 24/7, days and evenings, you should expect to pay her the usual salary, plus any over time if she works evenings as well. In addition, you may want to provide her with a daily stipend, especially if you are in an expensive resort or city when just a bottle of water could cost $5.
Next, you need to handle logistics. Will your nanny have her own room or will she reside with the children? How many hours each day will she work? Is she expected to drive a car in a strange city? Do you need her help mapping out activities? Will she watch the kids in the evenings? Decide how many hours a day that you want her to work, and then determine the specific schedule and days for her to be on-duty (and off).
Remember, if this seems too expensive to you, an alternative is that some resorts have babysitting options. However, if you don’t want a stranger in another state or country watching your children and you need some dependable help that you can trust, your best bet is likely to bring along your own caregiver.
Then you can relax and enjoy some time with your family – along with a margarita in the adults-only section!
Lori Bolas is a working mom and a director at SurePayroll, Inc., an online payroll service for families and small businesses.