Keeping A Good Nanny
Parents … how many of your friends with nannies seem to have had an enviously easy ride, with seemingly no problems and happy children, in what looks to you like a Mary Poppins style montage?! So, if your situation doesn’t always seem to run as smoothly as your lucky mates, are you doing something to make your nannies want to leave? Or are you just not choosing the ones with staying power in the first place? If you have ever wondered this, it may be time to stop and think about whether or not there is more you can do to keep your nanny happy, or to simply keep your nanny! Once you think you’ve found the right person, you want to make sure she or he will stick around. Here are our top tips on keeping good nannies:
It may sound like a simple employer/employee dynamic, but respecting the person who you choose to look after your most important assets makes obvious sense, but doesn’t always come easily to some parents. Make sure you discuss any issues you may have immediately with your nanny, and make her feel like you value her opinion on your children (after all she will be getting to know them very well). Remember that even though you are the parent, your nanny is the expert in child care, so admit if you think she is right and you aren’t about something!
– Keep the green-eyed monster at bay!
It is only natural that you may feel some pangs of jealousy that your nanny is spending time with your children and seeing them do things whilst you’re at work. Good nannies are well aware of this and will do their best not to make you feel like you’re missing out. If you start to feel jealous that your child is enjoying his or her time with nanny, or even preferring spending time with them, remember that this is just a sign that your nanny is doing a very good job. Wouldn’t you rather have a happy child, even if it does mean swallowing that green-eyed monster feeling for the time being?!
Much like respecting your nanny, she will do a better job and feel more comfortable if you trust her. Of course, this may take a little bit of time to build up naturally, but the sooner you can make her feel as though she is in charge and running her position, the sooner she will come into her own, resulting in your child feeling more at ease and happy with the nanny and the situation. On the flip side, if you really do think there is a trust issue then speak to her straight away to keep things as open, and honest, as possible.
– Keep it real!
Like any job, make sure you have a realistic job description for your nanny right from the off, so that you both know- and are happy with – what is realistic. It’s true that no two days are generally the same in child care, but this doesn’t give you an excuse to expect her to work longer hours than agreed in the beginning, or to do household jobs that were not clear at the start. This is one of the quickest ways of de-motivating any employee, so if there is anything that you think you’d like to add to your nanny’s duties, make sure you ask her thoughts first.
– Realistic pay rises
Again, just like any other position, a good nanny should expect to be rewarded appropriately financially, and you should consider annual pay rises as a part of this. The standard annual rise is around 5-10%, but if you are unsure, ask other families in your area what they offer. Of course, pay is just one part of the reward that a good nanny gets from her job, but it is likely she will know other nannies and if she isn’t getting a similar financial reward to her peers, a good nanny can move on very easily.
The most important thing for you as a parent is to make sure your children have a happy and consistent care routine, and for this, holding on to a good nanny is key.
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