10 Important Nanny and / or Au Pair Tips

by Claire Minnaar

Hiring a caregiver, whether a nanny or an au pair, is a big step for any Mom! I really believe that these are possibly one of the most important employees you will have as they are hugely responsible for your children when you are not around.

My last article on Top 10 Tips for Working Moms, I received some feedback about the nannies and au pairs, so I thought this would be a valid and useful article to put together.

I hope it helps!

Top 10 Tips

  1. Your caregiver is there to help you! You have hired this person to assist you with your children at specific times and days – this sets the basis of your working relationship, so stick to it.
  2. When hiring a caregiver, make sure that you have a employment contract in place. This protects both you and the caregiver.
  3. Make sure you understand your rights as an employer. This is very important! If you do not understand what you are allowed to do or not do as the employer, you could find yourself in a very difficult position. At the same time, make sure to understand your employee’s rights. You may not like some of their rights, but it’s the law and quite frankly, there’s absolutely NOTHING you can do about it!
  4. Make use of warning letters. This is your right as an employer. Not only does it show your seriousness as an employer, these letters are there to protect YOUR RIGHTS as an employer further down the line should a dispute between you and your caregiver arise further down the line.
  5. Record and / or document everything including leave days, warning letters (they must be signed), sick leave, compassionate leave, late for work days, etc. – this is for your protection in the long term.
  6. If there is ever a dispute between you and your caregiver, NEVER EVER say YOU ARE FIRED!! You will more than likely be VERY SORRY. Replace YOU’RE FIRED with YOU ARE SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Then, make sure to consult a labour consultant. The CCMA not a place you want to go visit!
  7. Make sure to pay UIF. I have many people who haven’t paid UIF. This is protection for your employee should they find themselves without a job for some reason whether due to dismissal, you immigrating, etc.
  8. Remember to give credit when credit is due. A happy employee is the best employee and rewarding when you can and crediting for good work / ethics can only be well received!
  9. Avoid their personal issues – this is a very difficult one for me and those who know me well will know it’s true. I care too much and I then get involved. DON’T DO IT!
  10. Keep communication channels going by having a regular sit down so they know their roles and responsibilities and to keep communication going between you and the caregiver – allow them to feel heard and try to listen before getting cross / annoyed.

Useful Links

I hope this helps you! It’s not easy being an employer, so understand that dealing with the more difficult situations is normal and although they may not be fun and can be quite stressful, you need to address things given that we are dealing with your kids and with someone who is in your home.

Have any more tips? Please leave a comment below.

Join the List

Subscribe to our mailing list and stay informed on what's happening on MomTalk!

Awesomeness! Thank you for subscribing!

Oh dear! Something has gone wrong. Please try again.

You may also like


Tess July 17, 2012 - 8:18 am

Thanks for the great points C, I’m putting this all to practice at the moment and yes it is a challenge!

Sizile July 17, 2012 - 2:49 pm

Hi C

That was a great article. It is important that when you employ a domestic worker/nanny/au pair you also do the responsible and be compliant with the necessary laws.

My Claim Mate provides a great service to employers of domestic workers to asst them with being compliant (www.myclaimmate.co.za)

siphilile January 11, 2013 - 7:00 am

Thank you. Its so fustrating and scary leaving my baby with a stranger. You never know what could happen. I struggle to lay down laws I dont know if its because my caregivers are much older than I am.


Leave a Comment