How to Hire a Nanny During Back-To-School Season

SurePayroll offer tips and advice for hiring and paying a nanny for your child during the busy back-to-school season. Learn about the best resources for finding babysitters and childcare, how to pay your nanny, and tips for simplifying the nanny search. 


No sooner are parents getting into the summer groove than it’s time to start thinking about getting ready for the new school year. Even during the “relaxing” summer months, parents have much to account for: stocking up on school supplies, navigating back-to-school clothes shopping, coordinating bus schedules and for working parents, after-school care is another critical item that must be addressed.

Parents hiring an individual caregiver like a nanny or babysitter face what can be an overwhelming process. While their top priority is the safety of their children and the security of their home, before hitting the beach to enjoy the summer parents also have to figure out complicated legal, payroll and tax considerations. Because no one wants to start off the school year battling the IRS!

“Hiring a nanny requires many critical considerations from the very safety of your children to whether the person will be a good personality fit for your family. What’s sometimes overlooked is that you have to also be aware of the rules and laws that apply to hiring a nanny. These legal considerations don’t have to lead to added stress for parents already hustling to get their kids ready for the school year,” said SurePayroll CEO and president Michael Alter. “Fortunately for parents, there are affordable online options that can make the process easier, from finding the perfect nanny to making sure their payroll is handled accurately, on-time and in compliance with federal and state laws.”

Finding a reliable, trustworthy nanny and following the proper procedures to ensure compliance will give parents peace of mind that their children are in good hands as backpacks get zipped up for the first day at school.

Here’s what you need to know: 

1. Know what you want in your nanny. Create a detailed list of must-haves (schedule, disciplinary practices, experience with multiples, etc.) and a list of preferences on which you’d be willing to negotiate. Knowing your priorities will not only help you attract the right candidate, but also make the right decision.

2. Get a referral from someone you know and trust. Consult with family members, friends, teachers and colleagues to get recommendations for responsible nanny candidates.

3. Involve your children in the interview process. After all, they will be the ones interacting with your nanny the most. Make sure they are comfortable with their nanny.

4. This is a business relationship; don’t allow yourself to slip into thinking you’re chatting with a friendly acquaintance when interviewing nanny candidates. Be sure to ask all the tough questions about topics that are important to you.

5. Reputable selection services like SitterCity can help you identify and screen appropriate candidates. Be sure to utilize background checks, check several references and conduct personal interviews before making a final decision.

6. Agree to wages in advance and determine wages based on experience and competitive rates in your area. Nannies must be paid at least minimum wage for each hour worked and may be entitled to overtime.

7. Get your paperwork in order to avoid penalties, including the 1040-ES, a signature-ready Schedule H, the annual 1040, and W-2. If you pay a seasonal nanny more than $1,000 per quarter or $1,800 per year, you most likely need to pay the “Nanny Tax” (which includes Social Security, Medicare and the Federal Unemployment Tax).

8. Pay the nanny either with direct deposit or by check.

9. Payroll needs to be set up and provisions made to pay Social Security, Medicare, FUTA and other payroll taxes. Keep track of tax deductions, medical benefits and other insurance. Mistakes can be costly: Failure to pay the IRS nanny taxes can result in back taxes, penalties, interest and fines up to $25,000.

10. Set up an easy payroll system and pay your nanny according to federal and state labor laws. Consider working with an online payroll provider like SurePayroll to manage the pay, tax and filing to ensure compliance.


About SurePayroll
SurePayroll is the trusted provider of easy online payroll services to small businesses nationwide. Whether a business has 1, 10, or 100 employees, SurePayroll delivers peace of mind by combining innovative, industry-leading technology and personalized support from an award-winning, U.S.-based customer care team. SurePayroll also provides private-label and co-branded services for accountants and banking partners as well as offering efficient online solutions for managing 401(k) plans, health insurance, workers’ compensation, employee screening and more. SurePayroll is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex. For more information, visit SurePayroll.comTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, and Facebook.
About Paychex
Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ:PAYX) is a leading provider of payroll, human resource, insurance, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. The company offers comprehensive payroll services, including payroll processing, payroll tax administration, and employee pay services, including direct deposit, check signing, and Readychex®. Human resource services include 401(k) plan recordkeeping, section 125 plans, a professional employer organization, time and attendance solutions, and other administrative services for business. A variety of business insurance products, including group health and workers’ compensation, are made available through Paychex Insurance Agency, Inc. Paychex was founded in 1971. With headquarters in Rochester, New York, the company has more than 100 offices serving approximately 570,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2013. For more information about Paychex and Paychex products, visit