As a nanny, private educator, or infant care specialist, we work diligently to exceed the expectations of our nanny families on a regular basis. We work hard to establish strong, iron-clad references, and when we finally land that dream job, we do everything in our power to support the family in the best possible way, keeping in mind the specific needs and dynamics of their family.
Once we are hired, the family depends on us so strongly to master our role so that they can perform their work in other sectors. We all know that nanny families want their employees to be organized and communicate clearly and consistently. Disappointing your nanny family can tarnish not only your reputation + future references, but it can also create a breakdown of trust between you and the family. If they cannot rely on you, then your role is not being fulfilled professionally.
Here are some specific things to avoid doing:
Delivering Unexpected News To Your Nanny Family With Zero Notice
If something comes up and you’ve got a personal emergency or are ill, you need to have a back-up plan! Never leave your nanny family stranded with no childcare and no notice. Work this into your contract, have approved fill ins that can cover for you, and manage this precisely. Communicate the issue to your nanny family immediately and let them know that the contractually agreed upon replacement nanny/educator/NCS will be there in your stead.
Lack Of Consistency On Commitments
Of course we all want to the best absolute *best* nanny/educator/NCS that our nanny family has ever worked with, but when they approach you with requests that may be near impossible for you to fulfill, be straightforward about that. Seek and set clear expectations around what your role entails, and if you aren’t going to be able to pick up that second cousin’s childhood friend’s great aunt at 4am at the airport the night before your big final: say so! Don’t wait until it’s a major catastrophe, be direct and be swift about what you can and simply cannot do for the family, this strengthens their trust in you.
Forgetting Important Occasions
As a nanny, private educator or NCS, you become such a vital part of the family and remembering to participate in family birthdays, holidays, and special occasions is a lovely way to show your compassion for your nanny family. The family may be hurt, disappointed or surprised by you forgetting a child’s birthday, school play, etc (sometimes it may even be your job to remind the parents about these occasions!) It is important that you remember all of their important moments and plan ahead. Grab a super cute card for a birthday, bring flowers to the play, and do what you can to show the nanny family how much you care for them and the family as a whole!
Causing Your Nanny Family To Feel Used
Your nanny family should never feel used or manipulated by your actions. Know where the boundaries are within your nanny family, and work to always respect them. Don’t ask for favors that are inappropriate, don’t use their entire home as an extension of your own. Be respectful of the family when traveling with them – don’t ring up a high room service bill. Don’t bring guests over to their house (whether they are at home or not) without permission and plenty of advance notice. Maintain a high level of professionalism at all times!
Lack Of Clarification
Do not assume anything, ever. Take the necessary time to explain yourself when advocating for some aspect of the children’s well-being. Schedule a time for a meeting if need be, but invest in clear communication in every exchange with your nanny family. If everyone is on the same page, they can work together as a unit to get everything done properly. The first step toward achieving this is always going to be knowing what’s expected and clear communication of those goals.