Childcare

How to keep a nanny?

You have found a gem to look after your children and now you don't want to let her go. Here are some tips to keep your nanny.

You have found your nanny, you are excited to start this new, important relationship and hope for the best. Early days are always easy. Potential tensions usually appear later on. What can you do that they don’t appear at all, and ultimately, keep your nanny as long as possible? The secret is simple: communication. To avoid future frustrations and missteps, all you need to do is establish clear rules early on and keep communications open, allowing the relationship that’s developing between your children, their nanny, and yourself to strengthen and last.

So let’s have a closer look at three things you can do to keep your nanny (and yourself) happy:

Explain clearly to the nanny what is expected of her

The first thing to do while your new nanny finds her place in your family is to communicate clearly what you expect of her. You probably had this conversation at interview stage, but it is a good idea to solidify the contract (ideally in written form) that you have with her and to be clear about your expectations. For instance, if you want your nanny to take care of the children’s laundry or to prepare the child’s dinner, say it clearly. Show her how you want things done: how to fold children’s clothes, where to put away toys, etc.. Show her your child’s schedule and establish her role in it. Don’t leave room for missteps: be upfront and clear on what things she can manage independently like the dinner menu or what books to read. The key is to communicate openly to avoid letting frustrations build up.

Set up a log of events, a journal of your child’s day

Once you have clearly explained to your nanny what you expect from her, keep the communication open by starting a daily log of your children’s lives. This way, your caregiver can let you know that your little one woke up early after his nap, that he didn’t finish his lunch or that he has been laughing all day long. You can use the log to communicate with the nanny on day to day issues if regular personal contact is not possible. This is a very effective method already used in day care centers everywhere in the country.

Make sure that you are informed of your nanny’s schedule.

Lastly, encourage your nanny to inform you well in advance on her schedule, so to avoid surprises and know when you need to find another solution to care for your child. Unexpected absences are the first source of frustrations

Organizing the communication with your children’s nanny will help ensuring that an effective and successful collaboration develops and lasts. And remember to take the time to regularly sit down for coffee with your nanny to make sure that all is well and that communication remains open.

Paulina Podgorska
Founder of SOSsitter.ca

Like most women, Paulina wears many hats.  She is a mother, she is an entrepreneur, she is an at home child care expert.  This vocation manifested at an early age when she started being a full time nanny for her baby brother.  Later on, she used her experience to work as a babysitter while in college.  She then became a Mom and started to look for child care providers. Being a single mother, finding the right at home baby sitter was critical to her.  This quest for the perfect nanny gave her the opportunity to meet and work with numerous nannies and  babysitters and further develop her expertise. Realizing that finding the right nanny or babysitter turned too often into an obstacle course, Paulina created SOSsitter.ca, an on line service where parents and local in-home sitters connect, that’s fast, efficient and affordable. Through SOSsitter.ca, Paulina leverages her expertise to help families find the local help they need, when they need it.  The site gives parents the opportunity to use their own criteria to search through a large database of detailed profiles of local nannies and babysitters that have been reviewed by mothers. Paulina also has a blog where she shares advice to help families through the selection and hiring process of a babysitter or nanny.  She also describes on her blog her adventures as a mom entrepreneur and founder of SOSsitter.

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