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Tips for Firing a Nanny…

Hi It’s Mariah,

I know I know…this is not a nice topic – however it is one that has to be done and must be done correctly. Being fired does not mean you are a bad nanny or bad person, some situations are just not a good fit.  As a parent and employer, firing a nanny can be hard. With some tact and effort on both the part of the nanny and family, the transistion can work well for everyone involved.

Here we share some family friendly tips for firing a nanny.

1. Refer to your Nanny Agreement/Contract

You should have a written agreement that you created with your nanny when you first hired them outlining what you expect from them for the job. When you are feeling unsatisfied with your nanny, refer them to this agreement and let them know exactly why the relationship is no longer working.

2. “I” Statements

The best way to handle disagreements with your nanny (or any other negative interactions with people) is to use “I” statements. Let your nanny know what you are feeling and why you have let them go without being too accusatory. It can be a hard thing to hear for your nanny, so be compassionate.

3. Give it time

If your nanny is not doing things in a way you like or going against your written agreement, let them know. Refer them back to the agreement or let them know what you’d like them to do differently and give a warning. Then give it time – a grace period or probation period in which your nanny is given a chance to adjust to the critiques you have. If this continues, refer back to your warning and written agreement when letting them go.

4. Do not involve the children

Especially if you are firing your nanny for a lack of adhering to your standards, this can be an emotional conversation, and it is best to have a separate conversation with your children following your dismissal of the nanny.

5. Give notice

Give your nanny enough notice to find a new nanny position. You have probably required a two weeks notice from your nanny in the written agreement, so give them the same courtesy.

6. Be considerate

Maybe you are firing your nanny for reasons that are out of her control such as money issues, the family moving, or the children no longer needing a nanny. Be empathetic and considerate to your nanny. Offer to write them a letter of recommendation to help them find a new position. Maybe even give the nanny a parting gift from the family.

7. Give valid reasons.

Here are some valid reasons to fire your nanny: they have broken the agreement, you are moving, your needs have changed, theft or abuse, they are lying, etc. Some reasons that are not very valid are: jealousy, you are micromanaging, you have not given them enough time to settle in, you have set unrealistic expectations, etc.

8. Trust your gut.

If you feel something is not working with your nanny, and you have given them a trial period for both of you to adjust to each other, then listen to your instincts. You want to work with someone you like and someone who your kids like.

9. Don’t draw it out.

Be compassionate yet firm with your nanny. Let them know exactly why you are letting them go, and keep it short and simple.

10. Keep it professional.

Remember that this is a business interaction. It can be very hard and emotional to let go of a nanny that you have grown close to, but keep in mind that the best thing for both of you is to keep it professional. Your nanny is an employee, so handle it with the same care and professionalism as any other employer/employee relationship.


About Mariah: Mariah Goolsby is a graduating senior at the University of California: Santa Barbara. Her four years at UCSB, she has been an Honors student double majoring in Communication, BA and Theater, Acting BFA and has earned multiple awards and recognitions.  Charismatic, kind-hearted, and a perfectionist, Mariah currently works in two departments on her campus along with being a Social Media Assistant for My Good Nanny.

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