Everything You Need to Know about Nanny Vacation Time

Everything You Need to Know about Nanny Vacation Time

Just like any other employee, your nanny deserves paid time-off throughout the year. This means vacation time and holidays, so they have the chance to relax and recharge.

The real questions become how much time-off, how are the weeks selected, and how does vacation time work for a nanny share?

This is something you should sort it out in the nanny contract, and family-nanny-share contract beforehand.

How much vacation time do I give my nanny?

The minimum amount of paid vacation you should give is two weeks, which is the starting point for most employees. If your nanny is only part-time, you will still pay the equivalent of two-weeks vacation, even if they only work two days per week. That’s four days of paid time-off.

How is vacation time decided between a family and a nanny?

Legally, the employer is entitled to choose the weeks and dictate the nanny’s schedule. However, this is not the best practice for a mutually beneficial relationship.

Your nanny is a lovely person with friends and family, and likely has events that don’t perfectly line-up with your family vacation schedule. This means that the family typically chooses one week of vacation, and the nanny chooses the other.

That, or the family tells their nanny what weeks they’ll have off as far in advance as possible. While the nanny may require certain exceptions, the family ultimately has the final say.

  • For example, say you are taking a trip in February and August. But then, around December break, you have so many family obligations, that you only need your nanny 1-2 days during the week of Christmas.

If you give her those days off, but she was willing to work, you should still pay her. If you decide you’re giving her some “extra vacation time,” but it’s not paid -- she’d probably prefer to work.

Alternatively, if you have already given your nanny the paid two weeks and she comes and asks you for an extra few days, or week, you’ll have to decide if it should be paid or unpaid.

It is up to the families’ discretion, but you may want to consider the nanny’s work ethic, and the relationship you’ve built so far.

How is vacation time decided between the share-families?

If you’re giving your nanny two paid weeks off, you can do this one of two ways:

  1. The two families dictate the two weeks off ahead of time and with as much notice as possible (6+ months).

  2. The two families come up with one week that they know they’ll want off. Then the nanny chooses 5 days she knows she’ll want off. Everyone gives about 6 months notice and plans accordingly.

What happens if my share family is not taking vacation, but we are?

Let’s look at this scenario in the eyes of your nanny. She depends on a set amount of money each week, so if you decide to go on vacation, but the other family still needs her, it’s less work for her, but shouldn’t be less money. Imagine if your CEO and CFO were both away for a week. You might have less work to do, but if they cut your paycheck in half, it wouldn’t be fair.

With that in mind, you and your share family should figure out how you want to handle vacation selection, and what to do if one of you are travel-enthusiasts while the other barely leaves town.

Easiest answer: you still pay your share of the care.

What paid holidays should I give my nanny?

Paying for holidays is another important way to care for your nanny. The list of typical holidays are the following, but you can always add more:

  • New Year's Day

  • Memorial Day

  • Independence Day

  • Labor Day

  • Thanksgiving

  • Christmas

Your employer might give you more holidays off, and you can decide if you want to give these to your nanny as well. Just keep in mind that your nanny has expenses, so if you are taking any pay from her paycheck, they need to know as far in advance as possible.

Have your own amazing story about balancing parenting and a major life event? Or want to share how having a nanny changed your families life? Email your story to [email protected] and you could be featured.