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We are planning to rent a beach house for a month this summer. We expect the nanny to travel with us. How is this handled?
Many families request that their nanny travel with them, often to exotic and expensive locales. Questions often arise over the nanny's schedule, accommodations and expenses. The most important thing for families to remember is that the nanny is WORKING, even though you are vacationing.
A family that anticipates that the nanny will be requested to travel should be careful to include this information in a nanny interview. A nanny with her own children at home may be disinclined to take a job that requires travel. A nanny who is enrolled in college will not want to miss important classes that she has paid for. If your live out nanny does agree to travel with you, consider reimbursement for expenses she incurs, pet care for example, as a result of the disruption of her routine.
Schedule: The nanny is accustomed to a set schedule with your children. It is often the case that this schedule changes on vacation, and often not to the nanny's liking. Many families request that the nanny work a split schedule - say 7 AM - Noon and 5 PM till bedtime. This allows mom and dad to go out to dinner and sleep in late. The total hours might be the same but nanny's day is really sunup until sundown. Consider either rewarding this inconvenience with additional compensation or compromising and have her work the split shift twice a week and her regular shift the other days. Also, if the nanny puts your children to bed but must stay in the suite/apartment/home because you and your partner are out dancing or enjoying evening entertainment, she is still working until such time as your relieve her from her duties.
Vacation weekends often become problematic. Nanny is working during your vacation, and should have two consecutive days off. If you cannot schedule time off and nanny is required to work additional days and hours, she is entitled to hourly compensation at the rate agreed to in her work agreement. This is usually overtime, to which the nanny is legally entitled.
Accommodations: Nanny should have her own bedroom - not one shared with your children. Nanny needs a personal space to retreat to on her time off.
Expenses: Nanny's business travel expenses are the employer's responsibility. This includes airfare, meals and lodging. If nanny will not be eating meals with the children or the family, consider agreeing to a per diem meals allowance. This includes her days off if she is unable to return to her home. Remember, resort meals are typically more expensive than your average Subway Sandwich Shop. The nanny should not incur out of pocket costs to travel with you to care for your children. If nanny is accompanying you with the children to destinations (Disney World for example) that have admission charges, these too should be paid by the employer.
There is a niche market of nannies who strictly fill in to travel with families. These temporary nannies either work through nanny agencies, or on their own. A select few have many years of 'travel nanny' experience, and come equipped with tips, tricks, etc. to make the travel experience pleasant for children and parents. Some resources...
Many resorts and family travel destinations have temporary nanny services available to out of town families. There are agencies in New York, Orlando, Las Vegas and Los Angeles who specialize in providing temporary nannies who are thoroughly background screened (Trustline registered in CA) and bonded. Ask your destination hotel for a referral; they will typically only refer the best, unwilling to risk their reputations.