Retaining your nanny

Published on Monday, 05 December 2016
Last updated on Thursday, 03 January 2019

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Now that you have found a nanny to look after your children it's important to think about retaining them for as long as you can. Here's some top tips to keep your nanny happy and to help you build a great working relationship with this new addition to the family:

Contract of Employment

Take a business approach to the hiring of a nanny. Establish a contract of employment either formally in writing or verbally through open discussion. This should include salary, benefits, hours of work, main duties and responsibilities, sickness and holiday entitlements, notice period and disciplinary issues. This contract should be signed by both parties.


Set precedents by making sure your house is in order and the way you would like to see it on your return home. Take time to run through the instructions of the household, children's social activities and any special dietary or medical requirements. Make clear your views on discipline and the weekly routine that you wish to be followed. Detail this in writing if you wish so that the nanny has a copy for future reference.

If possible ease the nanny into her new environment and try to work from home for a few days while your children and nanny get used to the routine and each other.

Take a leading role in the initial phase and then gradually move to observing and then withdraw and let the nanny get on with her job.


Many nannies cite the reason for leaving a family is poor communication so take time at the beginning and the end of each day to discuss the children and the day more generally. Introduce a diary system which allows the nanny to record the events of the day, note appointments, meals, social outings, sleep times and medications.

Be sure to schedule regular catch ups to provide a forum for both parties to give and receive feedback. Provide positive feedback and praise for a job well done; conversely if you are unhappy in any way with the nannies performance discuss this immediately.

Consider conducting an appraisal every six-12 months as an extension of your regular debriefs to discuss overall performance.

Salary and Conditions

Know your obligations as an employer with regard to salary and insurance and look at longer-term benefits to make the job as attractive and enjoyable as possible. Benefits you may wish to consider include:

  • Good living quarters (if applicable) with attractive furnishings, access to technology and WiFi
  • Use of a car
  • Occasional late starts and early finishes
  • Cash Bonuses
  • Night out, Movie Tickets, Pampering Package, Weekend away

These small extras will make your nanny feel appreciated and will increase your chances of retaining them in the long term.

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