A professional nanny offers suggestions to nanny seekers on how to keep a nanny long term.
I have been a live-out nanny for twenty-one years. I would like to share with you, the nanny seeker, what your prospective nanny will want besides a nice salary.
Share Personal Space: Get Out!
There is only one queen or king of your house and that is you. It will be difficult for you and the nanny to move around in your personal space and adding the responsibility of the care of your children will heighten the stress. So the sooner you get out of the nanny’s way, the better.
Avoid Conflict for the Children’s Sake
Conflict begins early on when Mama, Daddy and the nanny all jump at the same time to care for the child (children). Children naturally want their parents over the nanny and sometimes resent the nanny’s intrusion if the parents are at home. It is frustrating to the nanny and the children to watch you sit in the living area talking on the phone or checking your e-mail for long periods at a time. The nanny wishes that you would disappear where your children will not be aware of you. When you disappear that is when the nanny can do her job.
Provide a Vehicle
If you expect your nanny to drive your children all over the city, provide her with a vehicle or pay her a nice car allowance to cover gas, wear and tear and insurance. The salary that you provide will not cover those expenses.
Respect the Nanny: No Late Arrivals at Her Shift’s End
Remember that your nanny has evening rush hour traffic to contend with and a life beyond taking care of your most precious possessions. When you are consistently late, your nanny hears that you think your time is more important than hers. If you are later than her agreed upon departure time, pay your nanny one dollar per minute that you are late. Or, begin a time bank where for each minute you are late, the fee is time and one half to be accrued and used at her discretion.
Arrive home ten minutes early if you want a full report on your children’s day. Don’t expect her to stay longer than her departure time unless you want to pay her extra.
Pay the Nanny on Time
Don’t make the nanny have to ask for her pay check. If you have trouble remembering to write out the check, offer direct deposit.
Clean Up After Yourselves
Don’t leave your mess for the nanny to clean up. Pick up those dirty plates and half filled glasses and cups of water and coffee before you leave. And don’t expect her to unload Monday morning’s dishes in the dishwasher.
When Christmas arrives, think bonus check, not a personal gift.
Your nanny will love her new job, if you consider these suggestions. You want her to stay on, happily, with your children until you no longer need her service.
Published in: Family