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Hiring a Nanny with a Child of Her Own

You are recruiting to hire a nanny for your children.  The best qualified nanny among your candidates is a mother herself.  She has a toddler of her own, and she would like to bring her toddler with her and watch her own child while she watches yours.  Here are some things you should consider as you contemplate your hiring choices.

  • Federal and state employment laws and regulations forbid discriminating against employees and prospective employees based on their care-giving status, reproduction, and related issues. While your household may be exempted from these laws and regulations, the federal and state standards are worthy of your consideration.
  • Your children may benefit from having a new friend in their peer group. That new friend would be the nanny’s toddler. This built-in playmate has an added advantage: s/he would be spending time with your kids every workday, which can be a wonderfully consistent social outlet for your kids.
  • You would need to set clear expectations for your nanny regarding her toddler in your home and family. If the toddler and one or more of your children engage in a typical childhood tussle, the nanny must respond in an unbiased manner; she must not show favoritism toward her own child. Regardless of how the nanny parents her child in her own home, she must parent that child according to your boundaries when she is in your home so that she doesn’t run afoul of your household rules or display differing standards between her child and your children. (An example would be a nanny who allows her toddler to “run wild” in her own home because she does not have expensive breakables within the toddler’s reach in her home; whereas, in your home, that toddler, as well as your own children, will be expected not to touch certain household items.) How would you expect your nanny to handle the situation if her toddler becomes ill on the nanny’s workday? Similarly, how would you expect your nanny to handle the situation if one or more of your own children becomes ill? What if these illnesses are contagious?
  • How do you feel about your nanny not being able to focus solely on your children?
  • How do you feel about the liability of someone else’s toddler in your home full-time? Toddlers are accident-prone. They fall down and bump their little heads. They get bruises and cuts because their fine motor skills are not yet fully developed and their cognitive development is such that they cannot yet fully grasp the consequences of their actions. Additionally, toddlers are not aware of all the hazards that exist in their environment. As the homeowner, you may be liable for injuries that occur on your property.

By considering the above points, you can make the choice that is right for your family when hiring a nanny for your children.

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