First Day On The Nanny or Private Educator Job:
How to Inspire Confidence + Win Little Hearts
You’ve done it! You made it through the rigorous screenings, interviews, trials, reference and background checks, and now it’s time to start your first day of work as a nanny or private educator. We recommend setting yourself up for success with some strong preparation and purposeful planning.
The day before you start as a nanny or private educator, make sure you’ve taken care of the basics: your clothes are clean, and ready for the day, you’ve got transportation worked out, and you’ll be able to arrive early and in top form. We recommend taking time to loosen up your body and mind, whether that means yoga, going for a walk, doing a few jumping jacks – whatever your mobility allows for. Get your blood flowing, and ground yourself before you show up for the first day.
Once you arrive, here are a few tips to ensure success:
You will have already gone over the family handbook, or reviewed all the expectations set out by your hiring family. Implementing their household rules and preferences immediately is crucial to gain the trust and respect of the parents, while also making your transition into the family smoother for the kids. You want to familiarize yourself with their daily schedules from the get-go. Add appropriate reminders into your calendar, and triple check the details so you don’t miss a beat.
Manage Your Time
Organizing yourself and your time is a huge part of joining a family successfully, and adding immediate value to their day-to-day. We like the Fantastical app for their easy voice reminders and in-app capabilities, but there are so many different calendars and task managers that can assist you with managing your time. The key is to figure out what works for you and make it a consistent part of your day. If you’re responsible for multiple aspects of the household, research some home management apps and consider utilizing something like 2Do and PlanToEat, or Evernote for longer lists and project management. However you decide to organize your tasks and your time, be consistent and be thorough.
Invest in the Details
The first day of any new work environment is exciting and full of unknowns, but the best way to guarantee that you’ll knock their socks off is to genuinely engage with each individual. Do your research ahead of time, does one parent travel to Europe often for work? Figure out a few relatable details to discuss on the subject, and fill those awkward first day moments with meaningful connections. Does one of your charges play soccer 3x a week? Google a bit about local and international soccer, figure out some cool tidbits that could come in handy when they’re trying to suss you out. The key here is to actually put in time trying to understand a little bit about each member of the family ahead of time, so you can interact with them on some common ground. If you’re insincere and just spout facts about their hobbies, expect it to backfire: you’re not trying to one-up anyone, you’re trying to find a starting point for the relationship to grow from.
Don’t Wait For a Sign
One common mistake that nannies and private educators make is waiting for the parents to initiate them. Once you’re hired, the expectation is that you know enough about how to approach a child and guide them towards the best behavior/task, etc. Jump right in there, (being aware of the family’s specific boundaries), and tie their shoes, fill their juice cup, change their diaper, get them ready for their next lesson. You want to glide into the home as a private educator or nanny with a deep understanding of the family, the kids, their schedule, and your role: ideally you arrive and immediately get down on the floor with the kids and engage them right away.
Be Ready For Feedback
The beginning of any work relationship is full of new discoveries, missteps, and victories. Let the parents know from the first day that their feedback will be graciously received, and when that feedback comes, take immediate action to implement their expectations. Particularly after the first few days, check in with the family and discuss how the day went, and what could be improved. You’re joining a busy schedule, so you don’t want to go in with tons of new strategies and ideas right off the bat. Take the first several weeks to assimilate to their status quo, and do your best to fill in all the gaps by intuiting what they’ll need before they have to ask.
Active families hire private educators and nannies because they’re confident that your presence will make their lifestyle smoother. You have the incredible opportunity to provide priceless education, companionship, and support, and your preparedness will make this experience exceptional for everyone involved. For more resources, and up-to-the-minute tips, check out our other blog posts, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and reach out to our recruitment coordinator Emily with any questions.