I have 3 children and live in Texas. We have always had an au pair until this year. In the past we have participated in a program where there was a set salary per week. All three of our children are in school until 3:30. Our nanny does a few extra things like helping with the laundry and the grocery shopping for me.We have recently hired a live out nanny. She asked for a rate of $ 15/ hr. We agreed on this and agreed to pay her when we went on vacation. ( We are generally out of town 3 weeks out of the year.) If she chose to take time off on certain days or for vacation outside of the 3 weeks we are gone, we told her she would not be paid for those days. We also offered to pay her for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's day. Other holidays such as President's day , MLK, etc could be taken off, but would not be paid days as I work these days and would have to make other arrangements for child care. I have asked her to keep track of her hours on a daily basis so that we can pay her the appropiate amount each week. ( We have asked her to work from 12-6 daily, but sometimes she leaves at 5:30 if I get home early) She keeps on listing her hours as 12-6. She called me today about working on Monday and seemed put off when I told her that she would not be paid for it if she decided she wanted to take it off. She has also been upset when I have asked her to keep track of her exact hours ie if she leaves at 5:30 she puts down she worked until 5:30 rather that 6.( She usually asks to leave early, but there are things she can do until 6) I think I have been fair about things. What do you all do with your child care provider? What benefits do you give them and what kind of vacation? I want to be fair with her, but she does not seem to be happy with these terms. If these are not reasonable or standard I will change them as I want to be fair to her.Also what do you give them for their birthdays and Christmas? I gave her $ 100 gift certificate for Christmas which I thought was nice since she had only worked for me for 6 weeks at that time, but she did not thank me for it so I got the impression she felt it should have been more. I have heard some people say a week's salary, but $ 500 for Chistmas and her birthday seems excessive to me as I don't even spend that on my husband's gifts.Thanks in advance.