What does it take to be a good nanny?
There might be moments in your career when self-doubt starts to creep in and you find yourself wondering if you’re doing your job well enough. What you need to remember is that nobody is perfect and that every nanny, au-pair, childminder or babysitter will do things differently.
There is no one-method-suits-all when it comes to childcare, because no two children are the same and so we’ve put together a list of the most important skills and qualities that you need to be a good nanny.
1. Be Responsible
Can your employer count on you? Are you on time for work? Are you flexible? Can you be trusted?
If your answer to these questions is yes, that’s great. Move on to the next quality. If the answer to any of these is no, then you have some work to do.
Your employer needs to know that they can trust you to take care of their child/children which means that you arrive for work on time, you don’t take unnecessary sick days and that you communicate with your employer daily so that you can provide updates to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Being responsible means doing what is expected of you and more to ensure that your employer is confident in the work that you are doing.
2. Be Energetic
Looking after children and being an active part in their lives takes more effort and energy than you might think. Human beings are social by nature, with children even more so, which is why it’s important that you have the energy and the desire to be actively present with the children in your care.
The first step to achieving this is ensuring that you have enough rest and down-time away from work so that when you are at work, you can be energetic and focused on your job.
Be prepared to play games for long periods of time, plan and join in on activities/events and get creative with food and craft based games.
Simply handing activities and games over to the child is not enough, you must actively participate.
3. Be Proactive
Does your employer need to leave you a list of chores so that you remember to do what they ask or do you already have everything taken care of?
The proactive nanny can take care of things that need to be done during the day, such as tidying the child’s room or nursery and ensuring that the kitchen is clean for use.
It’s also your responsibility to make sure you’re keeping up to date with the child’s developmental needs. If you think that the child in your care is ready for potty training, have a discussion with your employer. Do your research and share your findings with them.
4. Be Engaged
The first thing that the child in your care is going to notice is if you’re not engaged and this will filter back to your employer.
The most important thing to your employer is that you care and that are doing the best for their children. If you make them feel as though you’re simply counting down the hours until you finish, or calculating the money you’ll get on pay day, they’ll send you packing.
Ask yourself; are you a good role model? Do you avoid texting or making personal phone calls at work? Do you promote positive behaviour?
Think of the things you do each day and work harder to be engaged.
5. Be Prepared
Simple ways to be prepared include packing an extra change of clothes and a lunch when you go to the park.
A dedicated nanny will plan for emergencies and take first aid training to ensure that they can handle any accidents that occur.
The better prepared that you are to take care of the child in your care, the more your employer will trust you and relax knowing that their child is in safe hands.
Being a nanny isn’t easy. Some days will be exhausting, others will be amazing. The only thing that you need to give is your best, to ensure that the children in your care are healthy, happy and growing into better people.