At minimum, room and board constitutes a place to sleep and meals. What constitutes acceptable room and board in a live-in nanny situation, however, can vary greatly from nanny to employer and even from nanny to nanny. Detailing exactly what room and board includes can ensure that there are no surprises and everyone enters into the live-in arrangement with a clear understanding and expectations.
While parents may think having the live-in nanny share a room with the children is an acceptable living arrangement, virtually all live-in nannies will require at minimum, a private bedroom that has a lock on the door. In reality, however, the accommodations for most live-in nannies include at minimum a private bedroom and bath.
It’s not unusual for a live-in nanny to have an in-law set up in the lower level of the home which includes a sitting room and kitchenette, in addition to a bedroom and bath. Live-in nannies with these accommodations typically have separate entrances as well.
Some live-in nannies will live in a guest house on the employer’s property or an apartment above the garage. In the cities, where families may reside in apartment style buildings, it’s not unusual for a family to rent an additional unit for their live-in nanny.
Prior to committing to a live-in nanny arrangement, parents must consider if they have the space or resources to provide a comfortable living area for their live-in nanny. The nanny should also tour the accommodations prior to accepting the position to be sure it can meet her needs.
Parents should create a list of the amenities that come in the nanny’s living quarters. This list should include the size of the bed, any furniture, if there are any lamps, if there is a television, if there is an Internet connection, and if there is a small refrigerator. The parents should also let the nanny know if towels and linens will be provided, or the nanny needs to take care of those on her own.
Sometimes a family will encourage the nanny to decorate her living quarters and provide a budget for decoration or ask the nanny to choose a bedspread, linens and towels in a color and style of her choice.
It is important that the live-in nanny has a clear understanding of what is and what is not included in her living area prior to committing to taking a live-in position. A written work agreement should outline all amenities provided.
Utilities such as electricity and heat are covered as part of the room and board arrangement; however things like telephone usage, pay per view movies and Internet usage may or may not be covered. Parents and nannies should discuss what utilizes are included with the live-in nanny’s room and board, and include that information in a written work agreement.
When parents and nannies talk about board, it’s essential that they talk in the most specific of terms. At minimum, all of the live-in nanny’s meals should be included in boarding provision.
Live-in nannies who have special dietary restrictions should discuss this with potential employer to ensure that proper accommodations for food and beverages can be made. Most families simply ask the nanny if there are any special items she wants to be included on their grocery list, or more often, the nanny does the family’s grocery shopping and adds any items she wants while she shops. Sometimes parents will provide the nanny with a weekly food allowance and the nanny takes care of her own shopping independent of the family.
Typically, live-in nannies share their mealtimes with the children. They eat when the kids eat or when the kids are napping during the day. Depending on the family and nanny, some nannies will eat dinner with the entire family, others will eat on their own, and still others will eat dinner with the kids before the parents return home and relieve the nanny from her duties. Parents and live-in nannies should discuss mealtime expectations to avoid any confusions or misunderstandings.
10 Things that Are Usually Included in a Live-In Nanny’s Room and Board
While live-in nannies and parents should make a point to discuss what is included with room and board, typically the following 10 things are part of every live-in nannies room and board package.
- Private bedroom. Live-in nannies need their own personal space too. A private bedroom ensures a live-in nanny has her own place to retreat to outside of her working hours.
- Bedroom furniture. Most employers provide a full furnished bedroom for their live-in nannies.
- Private bathroom. A private bathroom, typically near the bedroom, ensures she’s not stuck sharing the bathroom with the kids.
- Towels. Live-in nanny employers typically provide towels for their nannies.
- Look for bedroom door. A bedroom lock keeps the children out and ensures that the live-in nanny can maintain her right to privacy.
- Electricity. The employer’s always foot the bill for electricity for their live-in nanny. The same is true for water.
- Use of a car. Live-in nannies who are responsible for transporting the children are typically provided with a designated vehicle to use during working hours. Most employers allow the nanny to use the vehicle during off hours as well.
- Local telephone access. Most live-in nannies utilize their own cell phones to make local and long distance calls, however live-in nannies are typically given access to make local calls on their time.
- Internet access. If a home has wireless Internet, the nanny is typically given the code to access the network. She may also be given direct access to a modem to gain access.
- Use of laundry facilities. Live-in nannies are typically allowed to use their employer’s washer and dryer to tend to their laundry needs.
Items like toiletries and basic cleaning supplies may or may not be included in a live-in nanny’s room and board. It’s up to the parents and the live-in nanny to come to a mutually agreeable understanding of what is and what is not included and to put it in writing to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.