As we all can agree, there is a huge difference between the “14 year old babysitter down the block” to working as a professional nanny. A lot of the distinctions are not only related to experience and certificates but also how to initiate discussions in a professional manner.
It is always best to address issues before the parent does. An example is, if you know you will arrive late it is best to try and reach the parent(s) ahead of time, apologize and offer an estimated time for arrival. Follow up with initiating the conversation on how you can make up the time or state that you certainly will not be billing them for time not worked. This will be a huge relief to the parents as it is not always comfortable for them to bring up “sticky situations” with you right before they hand over their children into your care. Parents may feel awkward or fear bringing up something like that will cast a negative vibe so take the lead and address any issues so they are not left wondering.
It is also a proactive step to discuss with the parent(s) and document things that may come up; how to handle any disciplinary measures, foods they can and cannot have and the policy on usage of electronic devices. If you are like 93% of the population you are carrying your phone with you – be sure to keep the ring tone on silent and do not take calls while you are working unless it is an emergency or the kids are asleep.
Lastly, behave like a pro and always ensure children follow bedtime routines such as brushing their teeth and using the bathroom prior to bed. If you have babies in your care, check or change the diaper before putting them to sleep and let the parent(s) know the last time each child went to the bathroom.
All these tips will keep you in demand with happy, well informed parents!