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What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Babysitter

What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Babysitter


– The babysitter and the children: an exercise of responsibilities

– The babysitter is an employee, and the parent of the children she is looking after is her employer

– The babysitter signs an employment contract subject to the application of a collective agreement

– The babysitter can be placed at the parent’s disposal by an agency

Whether for an evening or a specific period, babysitting is a salaried activity subject to social regulations and a collective agreement.

Aside from the sporadic case of volunteer work, a parent’s use of a babysitter confers the status of a private employer because it is assumed that the parent employs a young girl/woman under the terms of a salaried position, regardless of whether the childcare provided is for one evening or a few hours per month.

This presumption is based on the National Collective Agreement for employees of private individuals. It qualifies as “employees” of private individuals who perform household and family tasks such as childcare in the individual’s private home and provides for the signing of an employment contract.

On the other hand, this presumption does not apply to an agency’s babysitters made available to the parent. This structure is the employer and the parent, a simple client with no legal link with the babysitter.

The babysitter and the children: an exercise of responsibilities

Even if it is punctual, the babysitting activity implies enough consequences that the parent must be careful not to call on just anyone.

The babysitter is a young girl/woman who occasionally comes to look after the children or pick them up after school when the parents are unavailable: dinner outing, cinema, work schedule constraints, etc.

Know how to “recruit” and test

Even if the period during which she intervenes is short – a few hours – the babysitter, being in direct contact with the children, has essential responsibilities since she is in charge of their well-being and even safety.

For this reason, and before entrusting his children for the first time, prudence requires the parent to

– check the experience and know-how of the babysitter beforehand;

– use the services of a young person known and recommended by his/her family and professional network;

– validate the babysitter’s statements by putting her in contact with the children to observe her reactions.

Observe certain precautions



During the first time the babysitter works at home, it seems appropriate that the parent

– Spend time with her to:

◦ observe that all is well;

◦ pass instructions and recommendations to her;

– leaves her helpful phone numbers in case of problems:

◦ personal cell phone;

◦ numbers of close people: family, neighbors, friends;

◦ fire department;

◦ children’s doctor/pediatrician,

The babysitter is an employee, and the parent of the children she is caring for is her employer

The use of a babysitter entails the completion of formalities identical to the hiring of any nanny.

The parent who, without using an agency, directly hires the services of a babysitter must

– verify the legality of her stay in America and the right to work there if she is foreign;

– obtain, if she is under 16 years old, a double work permit:

◦ the one from the labor inspector;

◦ that of the parents;

– register the babysitter with the social security system if she does not already benefit from a social security system;

– check or update the situation of her “home” insurance policy (and civil liability) concerning the reception under her roof of a person who will work there, even occasionally.

The babysitter signs an employment contract subject to the application of a collective agreement

The use of the babysitter gives rise to the drafting and signing of an employment contract with all that this implies.

Because the babysitter works in the private home of the private individual to perform family tasks, she is hired:

– under an employment contract – similar to that of a home-based employee – subject to specific rules regarding:

◦ its nature and duration;

◦ its content;

◦ its working hours;

◦ its modification;

◦ its termination;

– with the application of the national collective agreement of employees of the particular employer in particular in the matter of:

◦ classification;

◦ salary level.

Important: the minimum wage (hourly and monthly) applies to the babysitter. Therefore, the parent must pay the babysitter at least the minimum wage under penalty of sanctions, including fines.

The babysitter can be provided to the parent by an agency.

The parent may not directly employ the babysitter: in case of emergency or to avoid the administrative/legal constraints of the status of a private employer.

In this case, he can “buy” a babysitting service from an agency which

– is itself the employer of the babysitter;

– provides a service to the babysitter, not as an employer, but as a client.

Parent client of a private babysitting agency.

Nature of the service

The service provider is the direct employer of the babysitter provided to the parent; the parent has no contractual relationship with the babysitter.

Advantages for the parent

– No management of an employment relationship (no payroll to operate, no employment contract to draw up, no collective agreement to apply)

– No management or constraint of an ongoing human relationship: if dissatisfied, quick change of personnel

Disadvantage (total cost of labor + expenses):

– almost double the conventional minimum hourly wage

– about 25% more expensive than the most expensive negotiated hourly wage

Billing method

– Service/hour + agency fees per intervention

– Fixed price ” book ” of X services or monthly or annual fixed prices either on the expenses or ” all included “.

These agencies have, in general, Internet sites. Some may depend on local authorities and family allowance funds. In this case, the rate charged depends on the income level upon verification of the amount of taxation.

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