Having a new caregiver or Nanny in your home can be stressful for all parties; parents, children and Nanny. Transitions can be hard for young children, especially toddlers who are never happy with change and can play ‘strange’ to new people in their lives.
Here are few helpful tips that will help ease the transition time as well set your new nanny up for success.
If at all possible, we suggest having your new nanny shadow you or your current nanny before starting. Have her start a few weeks before you go back to work or before your current nanny leaves. This gives you the chance to see how your nanny interacts with your child. Use this time to explain your house rules, discipline, and safety. Do they get down to the children’s level? Are they quick to take initiative? This transition time is not only important for you, but for your child so they have the time needed to ease into having a new caregiver.
Set aside some personal time with your new nanny to get to know her better. The relationship between you and your nanny is unlike any other working relationship, it is very personal. It is important not to cross that gray area and become friends, as it can often backfire if you need to discuss any issues with her work. But it is great to get to know her hobbies and interests and why she started her career as a nanny!
Communication is key. Nanny’s are not mind readers so it is important to communicate how you want things done and your expectations. By setting this up ahead of time and by being very clear with your nanny, will set her up for success. Consistency is key with what you are doing in regards to child rearing, discipline, how you manage your household, etc. Your nanny is not a mind reader, so it’s important to educate her with how you want things to be done. You should a have a contract in place when your nanny starts and make sure that both parties have a signed copy. This agreement should clearly lay out all of your expectations including duties, schedule, pay, and causes for termination.
Communication books Do you like texts/pictures or would you rather her write everything down? This will give you a better sense on how the nanny fills their day. Make sure to discuss things with her verbally at the end of the day as well. This keeps the lines of communication open and gives your nanny the impression that she can come to you with any issues, concerns or questions. If you only email and text with your nanny, she may get the sense that you don’t have the time to talk with her.
Remember, children can handle change . Any transition can be tough, but if you give yourself enough time and make communication with your nanny a priority, you will set you and your nanny up for success!
Lisa Bruce is a mother first and foremost to her 2 wonderful kids, wife, and Placement Manager at Nannies on Call.