UPPER WEST SIDE — Hiring a nanny is tricky business.
First, there's finding the right person, someone with whom you feel comfortable leaving your child and perhaps eventually forging a deep bond.
But beyond developing trust, there are myriad issues to take into account — including salary, bonuses, days off, perks, responsibilities, taxes, health benefits and more.
Parents oftentimes rely on word of mouth to establish guidelines, said Valerie Gerstein, a local mom who runs a blog geared towards raising kids on the Upper West Side, which has a section devoted to sharing nanny and babysitter recommendations.
Similarly, a group in Park Slope has a formal reference guide for parents, but "each neighborhood has a personality," Gerstein said.
The expectations of nannies working in certain enclaves are different from those employed on the Upper West Side, she said. For example, the nanny for a friend of Gerstein's who lives on Park Avenue "had negotiated a lunch stipend of $15 to $20," she said.
"That’s what [the nanny] expected and had gotten paid in the past" from Park Avenue families, Gerstein explained.
DNAinfo has put together a completely anonymous survey to track neighborhood trends on how locals are approaching nanny pay and benefits, as well as general issues related to child care.
We're asking Upper West Side parents who've had a nanny or currently have one to fill out our survey so that we can report back on the findings.
And while we'd love for participants to fill out the entire survey, they can choose to answer as many questions as they like.
In addition to just knowing how Upper West Siders' practices measure up against their neighbors', the survey results should help shed light on common sticking points for parents — like how to let a nanny go.
If parents give their nanny two weeks' notice, "you’re giving them access to all of your belongings and your child’s safety" at a time when they may be frustrated or angry with you, Gerstein explained, noting the issue has arisen numerous time on her blog. (One common solution is to give two weeks' pay but let the nanny go the day they are informed, she said.)