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How to terminate a nanny

Updated April 17, 2017

No matter what the relationship is between a family and a nanny, and no matter how good or bad the nanny's work performance may be, every nanny job eventually comes to an end. Children grow up, families move, and parents change jobs. When the time comes to end a nanny's employment, it may be difficult to know how to go about doing it.

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  1. Determine what terms you need to end the job on. If your nanny has endangered or hurt your children, or was caught stealing from you, there is no reason to remain friends after she has been fired. If your nanny is being terminated due to conditions aside from her performance (such as the children have outgrown the need for a nanny) be sure to express this to her.

  2. Determine whether you will be providing your nanny with severance pay. If your nanny is being terminated due to poor performance, severance pay may not be necessary. If the conditions are out of her control, a week or two of severance pay should be given. (If you and your nanny have a contract, be sure to give at least what the contract says you are to give).

  3. Prepare to terminate your nanny by first putting everything in writing. You should include the reason for termination, any severance pay you will be providing, and the date of her last work day. If your nanny's performance was good, be sure to provide her with a letter of reference.

  4. Sit down with your nanny away from your children and tell her in a calm voice that you will be letting her go. Be prepared for a wide range of emotions from your nanny. She may become angry, begin to cry or be completely shocked by the news.

  5. Explain to your nanny why you are letting her go. If it was her performance, let her know, in detail, exactly what she did wrong. If it was not your nanny's performance that resulted in the need for termination, be sure to let her know this.

  6. Decide whether or not you will let your nanny and children say goodbye. If your nanny is uncontrollably angry, or being terminated due to child endangerment, it is best not to let her see the children. If this is not the case, it is nice to let them say their goodbyes. If the employment ends on good terms, you may consider having the nanny come back to babysit occasionally to give her and the children time together.

  7. Tip

    Be prepared for strong emotions from your children as well. They may be angry at you or sad for a couple of days. Remember that they were close to your nanny and developed strong bonds with her.


    If the relationship with your nanny ends badly, be careful. Be sure that you have all copies of your house keys, change your alarm codes, and inform day cares or schools that your nanny is no longer your child's caregiver.

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About the Author

Rheannon Walls has been writing for six years. She has published articles on both eHow, and Associated Content.

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