I posted this on the financial sub-forum as well, but I think it may get more responses on this forum....
My wife is going back to work this fall on a part time basis as a teacher. We have found a babysitter/nanny (whatever you want to call her), but we have not yet agreed on terms like pay, number of hours etc., because my wife does not yet know her schedule. The woman that will be watching our daughter is my wife's friend's mother.
One debate my wife and I just had about this was regarding the weeks my wife will have off. My wife gets a week for Christmas, a week in February, and a week in April for spring break. My wife is in favor of paying the babysitter for those weeks. I am not. Also, my wife is in favor of paying the babysitter for a full weeks worth of work when there is a shortened week (ie Thanksgiving). I am okay with this, as I think it's a sign of our gratitude. I don't however see how it makes sense to pay her for a week where she literally did not see our child for a minute. My wife thinks it would be rude and tacky to not pay her for these weeks. I just don't see how it makes sense. We aren't planning to pay her during the summer, so why would we pay for these weeks? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!
Huh. Honestly, it depends on how long-term you see this being.
Of course there is no obligation to pay for weeks when your wife is off and the babysitter is not working. None at all. However -- if this is something that you want to work on a long-term basis, it's probably wise, and worth more than the money you will spend. In return, you get someone who is more committed to your children, and indeed, to your family, than your basic rent-a-babysitter.
I don't think there's any etiquette saying that you should, but I do think it would be a good strategic move. But it's completely up to you.
Things may have changed - I haven't needed child care for a few years - but when my kids were in daycare I still had to pay the full monthly amount whenever I didn't take them for a day or a week. It was to hold their spot.
In-home care was different though. Whenever I had someone come to my house I just paid them by the hour. That wasn't a regular thing though.
Usually you pay a nanny a salary, not an hourly wage, in which case they get the same every month whether they work every day or not. If it's you giving them time off. If they're sick or call in, I wouldn't pay them for those days.
Your wife wants to do this so she does not feel embarrassed or dissapproved by her friend. The danger in your arrangement is if you are not happy with the babysitter your wife loses a friend or feels uncomfortable, torn etc. My view is this is not a salaried positoin like a professional or a teacher... Others may argue but the workers in Day Care are certainly paid by the hour... What I would do is pay her an hourly rate better than what she could earn in day care... Thus you are giving her more money for less work.
I think you have to lead your wife that in this situation, you are thinking about your family first (leaving her to realize she is being selifsh to avoid embarassement), and that the idea you have is more than fair and will work out best all things considered.
Our son's first day care was a private, in-home day care. Granted, since she kept multiple kids, she was licensed by the state, but she also had a standard contract for child care. In the contract, she got two paid "vacation" weeks per year, but we also got two weeks of "vacation" per year, where we could keep him home, not have to pay, and still keep his spot. (Naturally, as in any contract, it was written in the contractor's favor...we couldn't take our weeks when she was taking hers.) Posted via Mobile Device
In the weeks your wife is on holiday the nanny needs some pay to 'keep her' (otherwise she could use those weeks off to find a new position where the conditions are better).
If she's good then she is well worth the money...why quibble about a few dollars when this is the woman that cares for your children ( I say this partly as your wife obviously believes she can afford to pay the nanny).
Is she qualified? Trustworthy? Fun? Do your children enjoy her?
She has to eat and pay rent every week too... this gesture would go along way to building a good relationship between you all.
We have an agreement with our nanny that for two weeks out of the year we will be on vacation and there is no pay, as long as we're gone for no more than one week at a time. However, should we decide to go somewhere and be gone for more than a week consecutively, we pay her 50% of her salary.