- Make time for your nanny during their first couple of weeks Your nanny isn’t a mind reader, even if she comes from the top nanny and childcare agency, so setting aside some time to sit down with her when she first arrives and in the first few weeks is crucial. This is your opportunity to reinforce your parenting style and family values, run through responsibilities and any specific requirements or ways you like to do things. It’s also a chance for the nanny to share any of her preferences. This is the perfect opportunity to set the tone for open dialogue and successful communication throughout your relationship.
- Be clear about your expectations
Have clear expectations that build upon the job description you agreed. For example, a parent might say, I’d like you to take my child out every day, come rain or shine, for two hours. Or a nanny could say, if you get delayed at work, I’ll be able to stay late on any day except Thursdays when I have my zumba class. Also be clear about how you’d like to communicate with them during the day, for example via WhatsApp for non-urgent questions and photo updates, and in the case of an emergency, call.
- Don’t go back on what’s already been agreed
There is nothing worse for getting your relationship off on the wrong foot with a nanny than changing what you originally agreed. Changes that should be avoided at all cost include changes to salary and/or hours and significant changes to responsibilities. Here are some examples we unfortunately see all too often:
● A job was agreed for 5 days a week and the nanny is now expected to do 5.5 days a week (sometimes for the same salary).
● 50 hours a week was agreed originally but the nanny only gets to work 40. That’s a 20% drop, not only in hours, but in salary that the nanny’s lifestyle depends on.
● A nanny’s responsibilities change from cleaning for the children, to housekeeping. We’re not saying these changes aren’t feasible. But it can’t be a unilateral decision and they need to be specifically agreed between you. Some nannies will be flexible and open to
change, and some not.
- Don’t throw your nanny into deep water (without a paddle)
- Yes, your nanny may be experienced and from the best nanny agency in UK , but she doesn’t have experience of working for your family in your home. You can’t expect her to just walk into the position and know what to do or where everything is. This may not seem like a big deal but taking time to show her around your home and how things work will go a long way and help her feel at home much quicker. Try to be around and accessible for the first day so you’re there to answer any questions or help with anything she’s not sure of. The more information your nanny has up front the quicker she will adapt and relax into her new role. Tell her about any specific routines or schedules, allergies or intolerances, any local activities for children that she could engage in, and any friends for play dates, etc.
- Check in regularly and provide feedback
Checking in with your nanny every day for the first week and then at least once a week. Take some time to sit down and understand how she’s doing, what she’s struggling with and how you can make things easier for her. That’s also your opportunity to share your observations, suggestions, or anything else you’d like her to do differently. And of course, don’t forget to praise! People who are happy at work, perform much better!
- Don’t expect too much too soon
It’s important to have realistic expectations. A nanny won’t get everything right immediately and will need a few days to a couple of weeks to settle into her new working environment and the required nanny services. Also, children need time to get used to a new person.
Toddlers in particular can be quite tricky.
While you make yourself available in order to help the nanny settle in, also give her time on her own with the children to build her own rapport with them. No one wants to have their boss behind their back all the time.
We know all of this can be challenging, so at myTamarin , we play the role of an intermediary. Both parents and nannies can voice their concerns, suggestions and complaints on our common platform. So, when parents and nannies meet through us, we help mediate discussions that need to happen.