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Navigating Nanny Pay During Summer Vacations: What Families Need to Know

, June 5, 2024

As summer approaches, many families start planning vacations, and questions about nanny pay during these times inevitably arise. It’s crucial for both nannies and families to understand how pay should be handled to ensure fair and consistent practices. At our nanny agency, we often address concerns about whether families need to pay their nanny when they go on vacation and what happens when the nanny takes time off. Let’s explore this topic, provide clarity, and emphasize the importance of maintaining a fair employer-employee relationship.

Why Families Need to Pay Their Nanny During Family Vacations

When a family decides to go on vacation and doesn’t require the nanny’s services, it’s essential to continue paying the nanny. Here are key reasons why:

1. Consistency in Employment:

  • Nannies rely on a steady income to cover their living expenses, just like any other employee. They have bills to pay, rent or mortgages, and other financial responsibilities. Consistent pay ensures they can meet these obligations without disruption.
  • Just as you expect your salary regardless of taking time off, nannies deserve the same financial stability.

2. Respecting Employment Agreements:

  • Most nanny contracts include clauses about paid vacation time for the family. This arrangement ensures that nannies are not financially penalized for time off that they did not request or plan.
  • Families should honor these agreements to maintain a professional and respectful relationship with their nanny.

3. Retaining Quality Caregivers:

  • Ensuring that nannies are treated fairly and paid consistently helps retain quality caregivers. High turnover can be disruptive and stressful for children and families alike.
  • Happy, well-compensated nannies are more likely to stay with a family long-term, providing stable and continuous care for the children.

Examples to Illustrate Fair Pay Practices

Let’s look at some examples to clarify how pay should be handled during vacations:

Example 1: Family Vacation Without the Nanny

  • The Smith family plans a two-week vacation, leaving Los Angeles to go to Hawaii. They decide not to bring their nanny, Emma, along. According to their contract, Emma is entitled to her regular pay during this time.
  • Despite not working, Emma receives her usual salary for the two weeks the Smiths are away. This ensures she can cover her rent and other expenses, maintaining her financial stability.

Example 2: Nanny’s Paid Time Off (PTO)

  • The Johnsons’ nanny, Maria, requests a week off to visit her family in Houston. Maria has accrued enough PTO to cover this time. The Johnsons approve her request, and Maria uses her PTO to receive her regular pay while she’s away.
  • Maria enjoys her time off without worrying about a loss of income, knowing her job and financial situation remain secure.

Example 3: Nanny’s Unpaid Vacation Time

  • Rachel, the nanny for the Davis family, wants to take an additional week off beyond her accrued PTO. The Davis family agrees to the extra time off, but since Rachel has exhausted her PTO, this week will be unpaid.
  • Rachel understands she won’t receive pay for the additional week but appreciates the flexibility offered by the Davis family.

Addressing Common Concerns from Parents

“Why should we pay when we don’t need her services?”

  • Consider your nanny as an employee who expects regular income to manage their expenses. Just as you wouldn’t expect your employer to withhold your salary while you’re on vacation, your nanny relies on consistent pay.

“We’re already spending money on our vacation.”

  • Budgeting for your nanny’s pay during your vacation is part of the overall cost of employing a full-time caregiver. It’s essential to plan accordingly to ensure fairness and maintain a positive working relationship.

“Can’t we just adjust her pay for the weeks she’s not working?”

  • Adjusting pay based on fluctuating needs can create financial instability and stress for your nanny. It’s important to provide a predictable income to ensure their financial well-being.

Tips for Smooth Vacation Planning and Communication

1. Review and Update Contracts:

  • Ensure your nanny contract clearly outlines policies regarding vacation time and pay. This prevents misunderstandings and provides a reference point for both parties.

2. Plan and Communicate Early:

  • Discuss vacation plans well in advance. Inform your nanny about your vacation schedule and ask about their plans for time off. This allows for mutual planning and minimizes disruptions.

3. Consider Bringing the Nanny Along:

  • If your budget allows, consider bringing your nanny on vacation. This can provide continuity of care for your children and offer a paid working vacation for your nanny. But please remember, this is NOT a vacation for your nanny. She is working and will need to be compensated accordingly.

4. Acknowledge the Nanny’s Needs:

  • Remember that your nanny’s financial needs and job security are just as important as yours. Treating them with respect and fairness fosters a positive and loyal working relationship.


Understanding and respecting the financial needs of your nanny during vacation times is crucial for maintaining a harmonious and professional relationship. By continuing to pay your nanny during your vacations and honoring their PTO, you ensure their financial stability and demonstrate your commitment to fair employment practices. Clear communication, well-defined contracts, and mutual respect are key to navigating summer vacations smoothly and ensuring a safe, fun, and stress-free season for everyone involved.

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Huntington Beach, CA 92646

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