family packing for move

Your Family is Relocating: What To Do About Your Nanny If You’re Moving

Relocating to take a new position, either within your current company or because of a great new job offer, is exciting. Whether you work for an international firm or a company opening a new branch abroad or across the country, many professionals view transfers as a step up the corporate ladder that mustn’t be passed by. Or perhaps you have decided to relocate from the cold and snowy mountains to the sandy and sunny beachside.

However, when you have a wonderful nanny at home whom your child loves and depends on, the move can suddenly become complicated.

In this post, we offer some guidelines on handling this issue. Do you take your nanny and hope they love the new location? Do you let them go with a recommendation letter for future employers and a solid compensation package? We answer those and other questions here.

nanny along for the ride in car

1) Try to foresee moving when you’re hiring a nanny.

If you work in a field that offers transfers as part of your employment, raise this with candidates when interviewing them for the nanny position. Ask whether they would be open to moving, should the need arise later on. If you’re fairly sure a move is in your future at some point, it’s best you hire a nanny who is open to the possibility of moving with your family. It still may not work out, despite your best efforts, but at least you’ll know whether your nanny will consider the possibility of relocating.

2) Review all the practicalities of the move.

A move to Paris sounds exciting, and there may not be a language barrier for you if you work for a predominantly English speaking company. However, try to consider all your nanny will have to do on a day to day basis, and ask yourself – will they be able to function? Will they be able to deal with school officials, go grocery shopping, and handle other ordinary duties of everyday life? Of course, this is not a problem if you’re moving to a new American city, but other hurdles arise in that case.

map, compass and passport

3) Ask your nanny to research the city before deciding.

Learning about the place they may be moving to is the best way for a nanny to make an informed decision on whether they wish to move with you. For example: let’s say you’re transferring from the west coast to the east coast. Give your nanny time to explore New York City online, and encourage them to talk to friends and relatives who’ve been there. You may even want to fund an exploratory trip so your nanny can see the new city firsthand. That’s less costly than having them move with you only to discover they don’t want to stay, and you have to hire someone new.

4) Be realistic about what you are asking of them.

Nannies are dedicated childcare professionals who make a huge emotional investment in their charges when they accept a position. But though they are extremely dedicated, it’s important that you, as the employer, understand what you are asking them to consider. Do they have family and a strong network of friends in your current location? Are you asking them to leave those people behind, at least until their next vacation, when they can return to see everyone? If so, ask yourself whether you’re putting your nanny in an untenable position and asking them to make an impossible choice. And if they have a child of their own at home, moving is likely out of the question. Since it would mean uprooting their own family too, try to understand that they are facing the same challenges and implications of moving that you are – the impact on family, moving to a city where they likely know no one, etc.

travel items

5) Give them a little time to weigh their options.

Asking your nanny to make a monumental, life changing decision like this in a day or two isn’t fair. While it’s understandable that you want the home side of the move sorted out as quickly as possible, pressuring your nanny to decide is misguided. Let them talk to friends and family, do the research we suggested, and (should you choose to pay for this) take a week or so to explore the new location. If your nanny knows what they are facing in a concrete way, they will be better equipped to handle any and all challenges once settled in the new city.

6) Incentivize the move.

Keep in mind that the cost of living may be higher in your new city. Therefore, is it appropriate to offer your nanny a higher hourly rate? What about providing a relocation stipend and a housing allowance for the first 6 months as a thank you for their dedication to your family?

7) Accept that it may not work out.

Let’s assume your nanny has agreed to move with the family. What happens if they are genuinely unhappy and want out of the arrangement? Ideally, when you raised the subject of moving, you anticipated this possibility. That way, both you and your nanny know (and have put in writing) clear guidelines that allow them to resign their position and move to a new job. No one can know with absolute certainty that moving will be a positive step for them, so set up an agreement that allows your nanny to change their minds.

laptop waving goodbye

In ideal circumstances, moving to a brand new place makes everyone happy – the family and your nanny. But in reality, that’s not always the case, even if you’re only moving to a new neighborhood across town rather than an entirely new city. Try to envision all the contingencies that could make the setup go awry, not to be negative, but rather to be realistic. After all, you may be moving to advance your career or enjoy warmer temperatures, but your nanny may not have included relocating in their career objectives. Nonetheless, a fair and professional solution can be found, if both of you are clear about your goals.