If your family is one among many other families out there, then you have been through a huge list of nannies. It can be really confusing and frustrating as a parent for you to keep changing nannies and disappointing for your children because they have to break and form new bonds constantly with new nannies. Read below some things to consider when hiring and employing a nanny in your home.
A Confused job description
No one likes to be surprised by extra set of work every day at the office and the same thing will also happen with a nanny. Childcare needs to be seen as a professional aim of a nanny. It is absolutely fine to ask a nanny to do other housekeeping work, but the focus of her work should be childcare. If you are looking for a complete service of maid or house help then you should rather hire one.
Lots of homes hire young girls or women from a variety of places, some fresh from the village without prior experience and expect them to cook, wash, clean, care for children, the home and everything in-between for next to nothing as pay. Childcare should be the primary concern of your nanny, housekeeping work should always be secondary. With the right nanny she can do things like attending school functions if you are unable to and perhaps even film it for you or take pictures, take kids to games and running errands but all these have to mentioned to her while hiring her. You have to be very clear about all these things with nanny from the first day.
Many nannies say that there are various ways by which employers can make them feel appreciated for their work, at the same time there are many ways that show that the employer is just taking advantage of a nanny’s services. Childcare is something more than simply sitting around the house throughout the day. Have you ever thanked her for getting the children to the extra curricular class safely and on time or just show appreciation as a partner in raising your children? Apart from pay, if you appreciate her services, she would be very happy. Part of showing appreciation for her work is to allow her to have her personal time.
Not being treated well
It can be shocking to hear what some nannies go through in the hands of employers. If you feel you constantly need to scold and punish your nanny, then perhaps you need to let he or she go and look for someone else. But it is not acceptable to be physically abusive to your nanny, to put them under a no food punishment, to make them sleep in non-conducive environments such as on the floor, make them close unreasonably late. Above all this you must require your children to be respectful of them, if your children see you being rude to their nanny, talking down to her it will be harder for them to respect the nanny as well. Remember these people spend a lot of time, if not more time than you, with your children and in your home, if they feel mistreated they are going to take it out on someone, most likely your innocent children.
Religious Preferences not being Respected
Are you a Christian family who has hired a Muslim nanny and then refuse to allow her the time she needs to practice her religion if she requires that she needs to pray five times a day? It is even possible to have a nanny with the same religion as you and because you think she should be working you do not allow her to have the time she needs to practice her religion. You might both be the same religion but she has a specific church she would like to attend instead of yours, you should within reason try to accommodate this as well. You have to be tolerant and these are things to discuss upfront in the interviewing process.
Allow Time Off
Realise that being a nanny is a job and a tasking one at that. Be sure you allow your nanny to have time off. Having time off allows them to relax, recharge and have time to themselves. Agree on the amount of time off including the frequency, length of time. Do not disrespect her personal time, yes your nanny is required to have her personal time. You must agree on time-off and stick to it. No matter how well you treat her or she loves your children she needs her time for herself. If you need to ask her to care for the children during her time off occasionally that is fine as long as she is notified properly, but this shouldn’t happen all the time.
Agree on the rules upfront and take the time to go over it patiently and repeatedly especially initially. You are a new family to her and even if she has done the job before every home is different and your children will be different from the ones she took care of before. Confirm everything, it is better to go over even what you consider as minute details. What can the kids eat, when can they eat, how is the nanny allowed to correct your children, what can they watch on television etc. Specify rules that also relate to their living in your home, are they allowed to eat the same food? Can they use their cellphones during the workday? Can they receive visitors in the house and more? What level of cleanliness do you require? Be specific on everything; if they can read then give then a written cheat-sheet.
Agree and be clear on what the pay is and pay on time, if you have agreed on a timeframe for increase in salary stick to it if they have also done their part and lived up to your expectations (clearly defined) for a pay raise.
You need to determine the level of literacy that you require for your Nanny. You must weigh the pros and cons and decide on what works best for your family. If you have young children and you have a Nanny who cannot read, realize that you are exposing your children to some dangers. You don’t want your Nanny giving the wrong medicine or dosage? You don’t want her using carwash to wash the plates because she couldn’t read the label. Also you want someone who is able to compliment your childrens’ learning in the school environment.
Just as you now and then get ill, your nanny can become ill and require medical attention. Do be considerate and get her to see the doctor or go to the hospital if she requires. You could also opt for a Health Insurance policy, which will save on out of pocket costs. Remember she is caring for your children and must be healthy and safe to do so properly. [Read: Health Checks for your Nanny]
Some other posts about Domestic Care – How to hire a nanny here or Nanny Turnover, Technology and your Nanny, Nanny Bonding
Are there some other tips you can share?