Once you are have agreed to the position and show up there is more to your job than taking care of the wee ones. It is in your best interest to be proactive and find out “5 Household Details every nanny needs to know”:
1. Emergency Information – Mapping out an emergency route and having a plan in case of an emergency or natural disaster occurs. Laminate the sheet (so it is waterproof) and record a meeting spot of where to go in case the going home is not an option. Keep a list of phone numbers of the families’ friends or relatives to stay in touch if you cannot reach the parents. Locate or initiate a “Emergency Box” and get the family to supply it with bottled water, shelf-friendly food, batteries, a flash light, blankets and other provisions that may be useful.
2. Security System – If the family home has a security system it will be important to know how to enable and disable the alarm. Also in case the alarm does go off it is good to know the monitoring company name and number should you interacting with them.
3. Fusebox – Nothing like being in the dark…knowing the location of the electrical panel will come in handy should a fuse or breaker blows. Be sure to have access to a flash light and know how to reset or replace the breaker.
4. Water shut-off valve – Ask for the location of the main shut-off valve for the water supply. If there is an water leak is is good to discuss options of what to do when this happens (permission to hire a plumber etc;).
5. Household equipment & supplies – Familiarize yourself with more than the diapers and baby bottles, know where the vacuum, garbage bags, laundry detergent, cleaning and bathroom supplies are kept in case their is an ‘accident’ you need to clean up. If the client has certain home features such as granite, brass or marble and you are unsure how to treat it, best to ask what products to use or not use.
All these tips will show off your professionalism and allow you to be a successful nanny in all household emergencies, no matter how big or small they may be.