How to Respectfully Ask for Time Off

woman pushing luggage

Whether you are looking to book a winter getaway or planning for spring break, here’s how to talk to your employer about taking time off

Being a nanny isn’t just a standard 9-5 job. You become invested in the children’s lives, develop personal relationships with the parents and began to feel like part of the family. Because of that, maintaining the employee-employer relationship can be tricky. But remember: You are an employee and personal time off is part of the job. (TIP: If you can, sort out paid time off, PTO, in your nanny contract before starting full-time).

The parents should be receptive to a vacation here and there, but you have to understand that finding a good childcare replacement can be a little more complicated. Being considerate when asking for time off shows you respect the family’s schedule and your relationship with them. Read on to learn the three main things to consider when requesting a little well-deserved time off.

Give as Much Notice as Possible

Parents need to make alternate childcare accommodations, and the more time they have to do this, the better! They’re going to want to find a nanny as good as you (go ahead—toot your own horn!), and that vetting process can take some time. At a minimum, let them know two weeks ahead of time. If they’re working parents, they’ll likely need a few free weekends to speak with some potential nannies to fill in for you. If you can, aim for at least one month’s notice. Life with little ones has its crazy moments, so give the parents of time to prepare. The more notice you give, the more it shows that you respect them and their time.

Provide Some Recommendations

Simplify the vetting process and make it easier for the parents to say “Yes” to your PTO request by providing them with some caregiver recommendations! They’ll value your suggestions, which will make their job of finding your replacement that much easier. That being said, make sure you give solid recommendations. Don’t throw out the name and contact information of someone you knew years ago in high school! These are the children you love and care for on a daily basis; make sure you leave them in qualified and trustworthy hands. However, before you recommend anyone, make sure he or she is available the full time you’ll be gone. Having the parents contact someone who is unavailable is, well, a waste of their time!

Try to Coordinate with the Parent’s Schedule

The most considerate thing you can do when asking for personal time off is to coordinate it with the family’s schedule. If you know that they’re taking a trip around the same time you’re planning yours and you can afford to be flexible with your dates, try to take time off when they’ll be gone! This will make it easier for them to find accommodations and will show that you know their schedule and understand their childcare needs. Plus, it makes it easier for you!

Your relationship with the family and kids can make you feel as if you need to be available 24/7. However, it’s important to remember that you are an employee, and a hard-working one, too! Don’t be afraid to ask for time off. You deserve it and the parents know that. Be aware of their needs and time constraints, and they’ll be more than happy to work with your vacation plans. Happy traveling!