How to Handle When Your Nanny Gets Pregnant
Accepting the news that your trusted and heavily relied-upon nanny is expecting a child of her own can be a bit difficult, especially if the announcement is a sudden one. While it stands to reason that a woman who has dedicated her career to working with and caring for children would ostensibly want some of her own one day, navigating the changes that come along with having a private childcare provider that’s also a mom-to-be isn’t always simple. It’s natural for you to feel something akin to panic or anxiety after your nanny shares her exciting news, but it can be relieved dramatically by making arrangements and discussing the matter as soon as possible.
Discuss and Plan for Maternity Leave
The first and most pressing order of business after your nanny announces her pregnancy is to determine how her maternity leave will be handled. Paid maternity leave can be far beyond your budget as a household employer, especially if you’ll also be shouldering the salary of a replacement after your nanny delivers. It’s important for your nanny to know exactly what she should expect in terms of compensation, maternity leave and the likes well before her big day arrives, so that she’s able to make her own plans accordingly. If you can provide for her maternity leave and plan to accommodate her after the birth of the child, that knowledge will likely ease her mind and relieve much of the anxiety she’s undoubtedly feeling. If not, she’ll be under some time constraints in relation to providing for herself and replacing her lost wages during her months of recovering from childbirth and bonding with her child, so it’s important that she’s well informed in this regard as soon as possible.
If you will be providing maternity leave, this is also the time to discuss how much time you can reasonably afford for her to take off and what plans you’ll have in place during that period.
Make Training and Replacement Plans
It’s simply not feasible for your nanny to work up to the date of her delivery and return to her duties immediately after being discharged from the hospital, especially if she’s forced to deliver via cesarean section. Realistically, you will have to make arrangements for a replacement to care for your children until such time as she can return to work, and that replacement will have to be trained. Rather than taking on the task of training a replacement nanny yourself, it may be a good idea to discuss the idea with your nanny. She may be more than willing to train her replacement, especially if she knows that the arrangement is a temporary one or she’s willingly surrendering her post in order to stay home with her impending bundle of joy full-time.
Is Your Nanny’s Replacement Temporary or Permanent?
Some nannies may take an extended leave of absence after the birth of a child in order to care for their newborn full-time, provided that it’s financially feasible for them to do so. Others may be eager to return to work as soon as possible after delivering, and may be heartbroken to learn that you’ve chosen not to continue their employment after the child’s birth. You and your nanny should discuss whether or not her replacement is a temporary one until such time as she can comfortably return to her duties, or if that childcare provider will be taking her place in a more permanent sense.
Bringing Baby to Work
Some employers have no qualms about allowing their nanny to bring her new baby to work with her, seeing the child as a potential new playmate for their own children as he gets older and out of love for the woman who cares for their children and who is like part of the extended family. Others, however, may not be keen on the idea because they’re concerned about how much attention their children will receive when Nanny has her own new baby to care for. Whatever your decision is in relation to whether or not you’ll be allowing your nanny to bring her new baby with her to work, you should discuss it with her well in advance.
Revise Your Nanny Contract
Whether you’re opting to keep your nanny on after the birth of the child or to end her contract at the time of her maternity leave, you’ll need to update and revise your work agreement accordingly. If she’ll be returning to work and bringing the new baby with her, you’ll also want to include a new section governing what is and is not acceptable in terms of supply use and such when it comes to her own child.
With a bit of planning and forethought, your family and your nanny can sail through her maternity period and make arrangements that will suit all involved parties. Remember that just because your nanny is having a child of her own doesn’t necessarily mean that her contract must be terminated; there are a variety of arrangements that will allow her to continue caring for your children for the foreseeable future.