In order to ensure things go smoothly in the home, it’s important for a family and their nanny to work together and establish a routine that works for everyone. Hopefully, much of this has already been accomplished during the hiring process, but even so, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re on the same page from time to time. Here are ten ways to do that:
- Work Agreements – As stated above, when the nanny is hired draw up a working agreement that establishes standard work hours and clearly defines the role and responsibility of the nanny in your home. Discuss in as much detail as possible what a typical work day will consist of, and what each party can expect from the other.
- Reassesments – Situations are apt to change over time, and what worked previously may need to be amended as a result. Re-visit your working agreement periodically in order to track progress, determine what’s working and what isn’t, and make any necessary revisions.
- Regular reviews – Agree to meet regularly to grade your nanny’s job performance. Feedback is a valuable tool to help stay on course. Let your nanny know how well she’s doing her job and that she’s appreciated, and talk about areas of opportunity to help make her job easier.
- Make a schedule – Live-in nanny arrangements can be a challenge as far as establishing boundaries goes. Living full-time in the home with the family makes it more difficult to set limits for working hours and responsibilities. Make sure you set firm guidelines on this.
- Know who the boss is – Also, when both the parent(s) and the nanny are at home together, it can be confusing to the children if there isn’t a clear delineation of authority for them to see. Make sure it’s clear that when a parent’s home that the nanny’s job is supplemental to the parent’s authority.
- Brainstorm together – It might be a good idea to share ideas occasionally about activities for the kids, where to take them on field trips during the day, and whether they are allowed to attend events to which they are invited.
- Stay on the same page – Sit down each week and go over the schedule for the coming week so that you can get everyone up to speed on any appointments or errands that need to be handled. Make sure everyone knows what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and by whom.
- Talk often – Keep in regular contact throughout the day whenever necessary, such as letting parents know when the nanny is out with the children and where they’re going. Provide contact information if need be also.
- Keep information current – Update emergency information and contact numbers periodically to ensure that everyone has the most recent info in their phones or devices. Older children with cell phones need to have everyone’s info in their phones too.
- Take classes together – An optional idea for staying in tune with your children’s care is to attend local classes or seminars together on childcare topics. You can both develop a better understanding of one another and your jobs as parent/care giver in the process.
Making sure that the family and their nanny are on the same page is imperative to having a successful relationship. If you aren’t on the same page then it just sets everyone up for disaster, so regularly check in with one another and address any concerns immediately.