Congratulations. You’ve found the nanny of your dreams, and everything is going wonderfully. Great nannies are very hard to find, so make sure you follow these best practices to avoid losing your dream nanny.
Set clear and realistic expectations & communicate clearly
Let the nanny know what is expected up front to avoid any conflicts in the future. Address concerns as they come up, and communicate clearly if expectations change. Communication is key to every successful relationship. Because a nanny works in your home, it’s easy for lines to become blurred and boundaries to be crossed. If your nanny does something you’re not okay with, respond clearly, respectfully and promptly. You can’t expect the nanny to read your mind, and if you don’t communicate when something is bothering you, you’re likely to explode when it reaches a tipping point.
Pay fairly and on time
You should always pay your nanny a salary that is commensurate with his or her experience and always provide payment on time. Failure to do this might cause the nanny to be resentful, which can be reflected in the way he or she cares for your child. It may even lead the nanny to leave you in favor of another family who is willing to pay a little more. Nannies rely on their income to support themselves, so if you can’t provide what they need, they may turn to another family who will.
Guarantee the nanny’s pay
When you hire a nanny, you agree to pay a certain salary, and the nanny agrees to be available to you during certain times. Typically, you’re expected to pay even if you unexpectedly come home from work early and relieve the nanny. You are also expected to pay the nanny even when you go on vacation. To avoid paying when you’ll be out of town, you can try to find the nanny some replacement work, but only if that’s what both parties agreed to. The nanny deserves a break just like you do, so expecting her to continue to work while you’re off playing may send the nanny on a hunt for a new job.
Even though you want to make sure the nanny is properly caring for your children, the nanny won’t be able to excel if you’re always watching. Some nannies won’t even take a job if one of the parents stays home because they feel as though they can’t truly take control of the caregiving situation if the parent is always around. You went through the trouble to make sure the nanny was perfect for your family, so trust that your child will receive the care that you expect. If you keep hanging around, your nanny may quit.
Don’t pile on the housework
One of the best qualities of amazing nannies is the ability to pitch in where they can, and when they could. While a nanny should be responsible for cleaning up after the children’s mess, the nanny shouldn’t be required to dust the dressers or polish the floor. It’s ok to ask the nanny to help around the house now and then, but don’t leave a mess in your sink the night before and expect the nanny to clean up after you. If your caregiver has to clean up your mess all the time, he or she isn’t going to stick around for long. If you wouldn’t want to be treated like that, don’t treat your nanny that way.
Some parents are always punctual, but then, there are also some who are always late but expect the nanny to be on time. If you expect your nanny to be punctual, you must be punctual yourself. Relieve your nanny when you say you will, and pay the nanny for the time spent chatting about the day’s events. Respect your nanny’s personal time. We understand that sometimes, unexpected events can make you a little late, but don’t let it happen continually. If your lack of punctuality becomes a regular habit, your nanny is sure to quit.
Don’t send the nanny mixed messages. Caregivers are an extension of you when it comes to parenting. Make your methods of discipline clear and keep the rules consistent whether you’re around or not. For example, it can be confusing if you don’t allow the nanny to let your kids watch TV or use the computer but you sit them in front of the TV when they’re with you. Doing this can set up a situation where the kids resent the nanny, and it can ultimately frustrate the nanny enough to cause him or her to quit.
In summary, you should treat your nanny just like you would like to be treated. Don’t forget that your nanny has a life, responsibilities, and interests. Respect your nanny both as an individual and a professional, and you will have a successful relationship.