Engaging a Nanny
When you find a nanny that feels like a good fit for your family, it’s important to sit down together and work out the terms of engagement before commencing. In addition to all the mandatory contractual items, like hours per week and the length of the notice period for terminations, you must also both share your expectations of the working relationship. Talk about how you intend to work together, and what you are expecting of the other person. This could include how the family will provide spending money to the nanny for the children. The more you can discuss and record before you engage, the better your working relationship will be.
It’s acceptable to have a trial day for your nanny before formally agreeing to an engagement. This is particularly useful if you have a number of great candidates and are deciding on who would be the best fit. You will need to pay a nanny for their services during any trial period.
Once you decide on a nanny for your family and an agreement is signed, it should only take a day or two to get a clear idea of how the children respond to the nanny. It can then take another two weeks for the family and the nanny to adjust to the new arrangement (this is sometimes referred to as a “handover period”). You want to know that your children will be comfortable with the nanny and they’ll be comfortable with them.
During this time, trust your intuition and listen to your feelings with how your nanny is engaging with your children. When you’re comfortable with the arrangement, you then need to trust the nanny and provide them with the appropriate freedom to care for your beautiful children.
Maintaining a Fulfilling Working Relationship
When the nanny adjusts to the family’s lifestyle, you’ll notice so many benefits. You’ll have more quality time to spend with your children. The nanny will care for their development and will promote the values that you hold dear. The nanny will strive to bring out the best in your children. You’ll have a greater sense of control amidst the busy-ness of life. It truly is a wonderful experience, and it will take effort on both sides to ensure the working relationship remains fulfilling for everyone.
Communication is the most important element. It is all about teamwork, as you are working together to solve problems and ensure your family’s needs are met. Always keep an open dialogue between yourself, the nanny and your family.
A great tool for staying in touch with your children while they are being cared for by a nanny is a “communication booklet”. This is a record that the nanny keeps about everything your children do during the day, such as eating, sleeping, behaviours and medical requirements. This booklet can also document activities or milestones of your child’s development.
When it comes to the relationship between you and your nanny, you should always focus your communication around the agreement you made before formally engaging. While your relationship with a nanny can be more personal than a typical working relationship, it’s still important for both sides to discuss how the arrangement is going and to review the performance regularly.
If you’re engaging a long-term nanny, you should appreciate that a pay review may be raised during the engagement. Some parents may expect that a nanny will remain with a family for as long as they are needed. While nannies will develop close relationships with your family, they are working professionals and they will explore other opportunities if the terms are more appealing.
Want to keep reading?
Click here for part 1
Click here for part 3