How to Terminate Your Nanny Because Your Family Outgrew Her
Finding the ideal nanny is a time-consuming task, and one that most families aren’t eager to repeat any more often than is strictly necessary. Kids also tend to get attached to their childcare providers, further extending the professional relationship between you and your nanny. Still, all good things must come to an end and there will come a time when your family simply outgrows the need for a full-time, in-home childcare provider. Letting go isn’t easy, but it can be less painful when you follow these guidelines.
Help Her Find a New Job
When you’re forced to let your nanny go because all of the kids are in school or are teenagers who are capable of looking after themselves during the day, it’s neither necessary nor economical to continue paying the salary package and taxes on a full-time nanny. That doesn’t mean, however, that she’s outgrown her need for gainful employment. The most thoughtful gesture you can make to show your appreciation for her years of service is to help her find a new post in order to ease the transition as much as possible. Making sure that you provide her with an excellent letter of recommendation is one thing; if you really want to go the extra mile, place ads for her on job placement sites and even consider acting as a liaison between her and prospective employers.
Give Plenty of Notice
In addition to helping your nanny to find a new post to the greatest extent of your abilities, it’s also important to give her as much notice as possible regarding your upcoming transition. Even if you plan to assist her in the process of searching for a new post, she’ll still need to be well informed regarding your decision to terminate her services. If she’s been working for your family for a number of years, the transition may be a difficult one for her.
Consider Your Contract
A nanny contract is one of the most important documents you’ll draw up with your nanny over the course of your professional relationship, as it governs both the rights and responsibilities of both parties. When you make the decision to terminate your nanny because your family has outgrown her, it’s imperative that you carefully review your nanny contract to determine the appropriate course of action. If she has several months left and has violated no terms of the agreement that allow for an early termination, it’s simply unethical to fire her mid-contract because you’ve outgrown her. Unless she’s committed violations that are grounds for immediate dismissal, it’s always best to wait until the contract ends to terminate her services. That doesn’t mean, though, that you should wait until the contract has ended to let her know about the transition. Give her ample notice that you won’t be renewing her contract, but allow her to continue working and collecting her salary until the existing agreement expires.
Think About the Impact Separation Will Have on Your Nanny and Your Children
Sometimes a nanny comes into the picture with the birth of a child and sticks around until he’s old enough to look after himself when you’re not home. Others have areas of specialty, and are better with infants and toddlers than older children. If your children have not outgrown the need for a nanny but have outgrown the skill set of the one that you currently have on salary, you should understand that the separation could be painful for both of them. Even if your nanny is a bit overwhelmed by the demands of an older child, she will almost certainly have built a relationship with your child that will make separation difficult for them. Be sure that you allow them ample time to say their goodbyes, and consider making arrangements for the occasional visit.
Celebrate Her Efforts
While the loss of a job may not seem like something to celebrate at first blush, there actually is great cause for celebration when your children have reached a certain level of independence due, in part, to the efforts of your nanny. Rather than allowing her to leave without marking those achievements or sending her away on a somber note, why not throw a little party to celebrate the great times you’ve all had together and the impact she’s had on your children’s lives as they grew?Most veteran nannies understand that not even the best posts last forever, and that the children under their care will eventually grow up and away from their need for her. You may be surprised to find that your nanny isn’t at all shocked by your decision to transition away from professional care, but it’s still wise and ethical to give her plenty of notice and perhaps even consider a severance package to ease the blow.
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