Many nannies try to balance their education with their job as a caregiver. If you employ a nanny that is also in school, a very helpful benefit you might consider offering is that of educational assistance.
Although optional, educational assistance for nannies is beneficial in providing a satisfying workplace. But if you do offer this benefit, you and your nanny should agree to certain guidelines, such as:
- Educational pursuits that you will cover (e.g., classes must be provided by an accredited educational organization and relate to the employee’s occupation)
- How much you’re willing to spend on educational assistance per year
- Educational expenses that are covered (e.g., tuition only, tuition and books, etc.)
- What requirements your employee must meet to receive assistance (e.g., the employee must achieve a passing grade as defined by the educational organization).
Also, you may consider paying for professional membership fees, industry conferences, or trade journal subscriptions.
This education, as well as online learning courses that educate nannies, help promote professional growth and elevate employee performance—making the educational benefit a win-win proposition for both you and your nanny. It is important for you as a household employer to decide whether access to education is an important employee benefit, and if so, how often.
Employers can claim up to $5,250 tax-free for employer-provided educational assistance; graduate-level course work is also covered. The IRS does state that employers who offer tax-free educational assistance are required to have a written plan describing the terms and benefits. This is why laying out an educational assistance plan in your handbook or Work Agreement is essential. Read more about educational assistance tax benefits here.
With these guidelines, you should also include information on the process your nanny must follow for assistance. Consider whether your nanny needs to:
- Provide you with a course description and a written request for assistance prior to the start of a class
- Obtain a signed approval from you prior to the start of class in order to be reimbursed for expenses
- Achieve a specific grade or higher to obtain reimbursement
Be precise to ensure that your nanny understands what is required, and make sure to record all agreements.
For more information, contact us at (518) 348-0400.