At some point in your career you are likely to leave your nanny job and need to hand in notice to your employer. You may be leaving for many different reasons, but whatever has motivated your decision you should follow the following steps.

  1. Check your contract for your minimum contractual notice period. If no notice period is given then you should observe the statutory minimum of one week for a job which has lasted more than a month.
  2. Draft a letter for your employer. Your letter should clearly state that you are handing in your notice, give your last day of employment and suggest arrangements for any holiday owed e.g. taking your holiday during the notice period or being paid for any holiday not yet taken. You do not need to give a reason for handing in your notice, or say that you have enjoyed being their nanny, but you may feel that you owe your employers an explanation or want to express your appreciation for the time you have spent as their nanny. You can find sample letters in the docu-zone or a basic free template here: Editable nanny resignation letter
  3. Hand in your notice in writing. We recommend that you give your employer a letter and follow this up with an email confirming the contents, but you can also choose to send a letter in the post via recorded delivery. It is important that there is a written trace of your decision in case of any dispute, but handing in your notice in person preserves the nanny - employer relationship.

Avoid resigning in the middle of an argument or dispute with your employer. You may feel at the time that the situation cannot be resolved but it is very difficult to take back a resignation even if given verbally under pressure. Handing in your notice from a nanny job should be a considered decision, and if you are resigning because your job is not working out as you'd hoped it's always best to make an effort to resolve any issues before handing in your notice in order to protect your relationship with the family. Being open and honest with your employer will help them to respect you and your decision, and raising any problems may warn your employer that all is not going as well as they may think.

Nanny - employer relationships during the notice period

If you are leaving because of an issue you cannot resolve, or you have found a job with better working conditions, then your employer may feel unhappy and resentful. As a nanny it is important that you continue to offer the highest standards of care and professionalism through your notice period. You may want to explain to the children you nanny that you are leaving, and give them your reasons, but it is the parents' place to decide how they wish you to break the news and how much detail you can give. As a professional nanny you have a responsibility to manage the transition to a new caregiver, whether that is another nanny or another form of childcare, and you can learn more about this in our managing transitions training.

Pay during notice periods

You are entitled to be paid during your notice period. You should typically expect to work your full contractual notice but you may be able to negotiate a reduced notice period in return for reduced pay. Some employers feel that their relationship with a nanny relies on trust and their trust in you has been broken if you resign as their nanny. If your employer does not wish you to work they must pay you in lieu of notice. If your employer does not pay you then they are in breach of contract and you can take them to an Employment Tribunal.

Handing in notice from a nursery job to work as a nanny

If you are currently working in a nursery and have found a job as a nanny with a family from the nursery, you must check your employment contract with the nursery carefully and advise the family to do the same in case there are any restrictions. Some nurseries have what is known as a restrictive covenant which forbids you from having contact with families from the nursery, including babysitting or working as a nanny for them for a period of time after leaving the nursery. The family may have signed a clause which prevents them from employing a member of nursery staff as a nanny, or which has a financial penalty for poaching a member of nursery staff to be a nanny for them.