For almost three months, many working parents have had to balance work and family responsibilities without childcare and the stress is starting to show. At Nannies on Call, we’ve been receiving more requests from parents looking for short and long term childcare, while online we’re seeing more and more childcare job postings.
If you’ve started looking for a nanny, here are 5 things to consider before starting your search that will help set up a positive and long-lasting working relationship.
Define the exact days and hours you need childcare for:
We see many job postings that say “Looking for a nanny to work 3 days a week, any days and hours are fine. We’re flexible.”
We have rarely found this total flexibility to be beneficial when finding a nanny. To save yourself time in responding to requests from nannies that do not fit your needs, make sure you are clear about what you require. Do you need 30 hours a week between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday? Or are you looking for help on the weekends? Realistically, there are boundaries to what you are looking for. Know exactly what they are before you begin looking to save time and avoid disappointment.
Many families want a nanny to work part-time and be available on the other days in case they need them. Or half days but then they want them to be available full days during Christmas and Spring Break. Many nannies who work part-time have other commitments, part-time jobs to make ends meet, or are in school part-time so asking for additional availability is unreasonable.
They don’t have the flexibility to offer when they are working with other families or have a changing school schedule.
Do you need the nanny full days on Pro D days, March Break, summer holidays or when the nanny is sick? Then hiring a full time nanny/house manager is something to consider.
Know the going Nanny rate:
Things have changed significantly over the last few months. Children are at home full time and so are many parents. Homes are full and have changed the nanny workspace. Many nannies have added responsibilities in their jobs like extra children who would normally be at school, helping with homeschooling children and being extra creative to keep children entertained at home instead of being able to go out to the playground.
Give us a call to find out what the nanny rate in your area.
Make sure you have a contract
Having a contract has always been important. It helps outline the expectations of each party so there is no confusion later. At the very least you should have salary, hours, days, sick days, vacation and job duties in the contract. After COVID-19 struck we received calls from nannies and clients panicking because they did not know what to do. Before your new nanny starts make sure you also tackle some of the following topics and add them to your contract if you wish.
- Communicate about what will happen when/if the second wave hits.
- What will happen if things go back to normal (because of a vaccine)?
- Transportation to and from work (covering transit and rules, parents driving, wearing a mask or not etc)
- Hand washing and sanitizing policies (changing out of clothes when arriving to work for example)
- Symptom checking policy
- Guidelines for physically distant meetings with children’s friends and household guidelines for work from home parents
Have a plan if you are going to be working from home with your nanny.
Do you have a separate office space (ie not working at the kitchen table)?
What are some ground rules for the children being able to see you during the day. We hear lots of nannies not wanting to work in a home with a parent there as the children get mixed signals. When the nanny says ‘no’ to the cookie the child wants, and then goes and knocks on mom’s office door. She will then give in to get the child to leave. There should be clear expectations from the get go as to protocol for the children/parent/nanny.
Childcare is one of the most important aspects of parents getting back to work. The economy depends on quality and dependable childcare. Nannies are a large piece of the childcare puzzle and should be compensated and respected as they care for and educate the children in our communities.
We would be happy to help you find an extraordinary nanny. Contact Lisa or Kate at [email protected] for more information.