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What you need to know before your nanny drives your kids

If you're considering hiring a nanny, you'll likely need them to drive your children at some point. Even if driving them to school, extracurricular activities or play dates won't be a regular part of the routine, they may need to drive them somewhere if you can't make it home in time for an appointment or if there's a medical emergency. That's why it's crucial to check out their driving record and see their driving skills first-hand before you hire them.

Any prospective nannies should be willing and able to provide a copy of their driving record. This will let you see how long they've been driving and whether they've had citations for any red-flag issues, like accidents and DUIs. Another option is to ask for a copy of their driver's license and then have your insurance agent obtain their motor vehicle report.

A couple of test drives are also a good idea. Use whatever car your nanny will be driving, whether it's yours or theirs. If they seem like a safe driver, take another drive with the kids along to see how they deal with that distraction and how comfortable they are using child safety seats.

It's typically safer if a nanny drives one of the family cars. Then you can be sure it's well maintained and safe. However, you'll need to add the nanny to your car insurance policy -- even if they're only driving the car occasionally. You need to be insured in case they're in an accident.

It's wise to establish driving rules for your nanny and incorporate them in the employment contract or whatever written agreement you have that you both sign. This can include things like:

  • No talking or texting (even hands-free)
  • No one outside the family in the car
  • No trips that aren't specifically for the children
  • No destinations that you haven't approved
  • No driving past a certain hour of the day

Make sure that your nanny knows what to do if they're involved in a crash and that they're not afraid to notify you immediately, regardless of who was at fault. If you're a nanny who has been in a wreck caused by another driver, be sure you get the compensation you need and deserve to deal with lost wages, medical bills and other expenses and damages.

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