Building a Long-term Nanny / Family Relationship
Nanny Training 101
Congratulations on hiring your nanny! Now comes the crucial piece of getting him or her started on the right foot. After all, a nanny is “custom childcare”, so now is the time to give all the information he or she needs to be able to provide that custom care. Even if you’ve hired a seasoned pro, don’t forget that your nanny is walking onto the job with little knowledge on how YOUR family operates. Your nanny needs to be fully armed with this information. So, let’s get started!
Before your nanny’s first day, be sure that their role is clearly defined; always refer back to your job description and offer of employment. If things shift and change along the way, acknowledge it! Make it a point to sit down with your nanny and make sure that they are comfortable with these changes. If the nanny’s workload is affected (as in, taking on MORE work due to changes), please be sure to address this in accordance with the salary.
Please be sure to schedule at least one day of paid training before your nanny’s first day. There is a pile of information to go through, use this list to track what you need to talk about and share it with your nanny. Please also keep your training topics on file for future use or reference.
Use this list as a template. We encourage you to add, edit and delete to make this list is the most relevant to your family.
Nanny Training Topics
- Where would you like nanny to park her car?
- Car seats: Would you like the nanny to become certified in car seat safety? Will the car seats go in her car, stay there during the week? Or, is she driving your car? Be specific on your preferences.
- Access to the house: are you providing a key to your front door, back door, or mailbox? Make a record of what access you grant to your nanny.
- Who do you want to have access to your house? Is the nanny allowed to have friends to the house? Other nannies and their charges? Family members? Set your house rules, and again, be specific!
- Home etiquette: Do you prefer shoes off in the house? Is there a certain way you want your nanny to dress for work (for example, no high heels)? We aren’t suggesting a uniform for your nanny, but if there are any things that would REALLY bother you, now is the time to mention it in a kind manner.
- Food…is nanny welcome to what you have on hand? Will you provide specific food to the nanny? Or do you prefer that they bring their own meals?
- Money: Please don’t expect nanny to front any expenses for your family. Set up a system that works for you. Some families leave the nanny “petty cash” on a weekly/monthly basis to use for outings, meals, etc. Make sure that nanny knows exactly what is appropriate to spend that money on, and encourage them to ask you if they are not sure. You can also set up a debit or credit card for nanny’s use.
- Emergencies: Talk about what nanny should do in an emergency! Run through some scenarios. For example, if your child has a serious food allergy, make sure that nanny knows EXACTLY what to do if the child accidentally is exposed and has a serious reaction.
- Emergency contacts: Make sure that you not only have a printed list of emergency contacts, but that it’s also saved in nanny’s phone.
- Medical release form: If you are not sure that you could get to your child immediately it is imperative that you put your nannies name on a medical release form so that in your absence he or she is able to get medical care for your child. If your nanny is going to provide care while you are out of town, this is essential.
- First Aid Kit: Make sure nanny knows where ALL of the medicine is in the house, including YOURS (to ensure that the kids don’t get into it). Band Aids, Tylenol, Benadryl, etc. Please be clear about when it is okay for nanny to administer each type of medicine and whether or not you want to give your permission first. Make sure that nanny knows the proper dosage based on your child’s height and weight (post the form your pediatrician sends home with each well child visit!).
- Important house information…make sure nanny knows where the water shut off is and the circuit breaker panel. If you have a home alarm system, teach him or her how to use it. Be sure to be upfront about any quirks with home appliances, doorknobs, etc. Show them where appliance manuals are stored in case they can’t get ahold of you.
- Social Media/Digital policy. Make sure your nanny knows exactly where your comfort lies regarding photos of your children on social media, digital sharing, etc. Some families love to have their nanny share photos on Facebook, and even have their nanny manage a Facebook account that is just for the parents to see what the kids are doing throughout the day. Maybe that works for you, maybe not! See what works best for you, your family, and your nanny.
- Snow day/cancellation policy. Have a policy in place that ensures everyone is on the same page. Put your nanny’s safety first. Make sure you talk about pay, does nanny get paid on snow or sick days or will you flex those hours to be made up later? It’s better to figure it out now.
- Have a good, long conversation about discipline guidelines! You have likely had some conversations about this during the interview phase, but now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and get specific. This should be the first of many conversations, as your needs, views and strategies will change as your child grows. It is so, so important to stay on the same page for your sake and your child’s.
For a printable version of this training guide, there is a downloadable version of this on our family resources page.
If you’d like help finding a nanny, or have questions about this guide, email us!
If you are a nanny or private educator looking for a job, apply now!