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100 tips for nanniesThe advice in this book comes from Candi Wingate, President of Nannies4hire.com.

The Nanny Factor bookThe latest book from Candi offers more valuable advice for nannies and families.

Responsibilities of a Nanny

Keeping Your Nanny For The Long Haul

The hiring process for finding the right nanny can take weeks, if not months, if you’re holding out for the perfect childcare provider to work for your family. It’s a smart move for you, as the employer, to think of how you’ll be keeping your nanny for the long term.

During the interview process, when you’ve found the ideal candidate, be prepared to ask whether she’s willing to make at least a one-year commitment to care for your child. Her response and reaction to the question should give you an idea of what her goals are for the immediate future.

Keeping your nanny becomes a task that you need to work at as her employer. Since it’s impossible to reinforce a nanny’s commitment to staying with your household for a period of time, you need to foster a solid working relationship with her. Be clear and consistent with her duties and role as a nanny, keep the lines of communication open, and iron out any issues as soon as possible.


Making Reasonable Requests Of Your Nanny

It’s ultimately your nanny’s responsibility to perform all of the duties you’ve discussed to the best of her ability. However, keep in mind that it’s important for you as an employer to be reasonable with your expectations. Keep in mind that if your nanny has a long list of daily tasks such as cooking, picking up the dry cleaning, and running miscellaneous errands for you during the day, she’ll have a harder time tending to the most important task at hand – caring for your children. Consider your requests and whether or not they are all things that are reasonable to accomplish in a day, given her role as caretaker of your children.

If you have a need for a spotless household, but also have an infant and a young child in the care of your nanny, consider hiring a separate person to take care of household duties. You can also stress that household chores unrelated to the care of your children take secondary priority over making sure your children are safe, happy, and healthy.


Nanny Responsibilities: What’s Typical

When you’re hiring a nanny, you should be clear about the responsibilities you’d like her to have. While nanny responsibilities may vary from household to household, the basics remain the same. Typically, nanny responsibilities include everything that correlates to the care of the children in her charge. This can include preparing meals for the children, clothing them, providing mental stimulation for them, doing laundry for the children, and reinforcing appropriate discipline. Additional nanny responsibilities can include providing transportation for the children and facilitating playgroups and outings.

It’s important to keep in mind that some nannies will only perform duties associated with the care and cleaning of the children and will balk at performing other household duties. Other nannies have no issue with providing services such as meals and cleaning for the remainder of the family. The most important task at hand is for you as the employer to discuss and clearly outline the duties you expect with your nanny.

Nanny responsibilities can include the care of just one child or multiple children. If she’ll be responsible for more than one child in the family, be clear on how many children she’ll be caring for and compensate her accordingly.


Parent Expectations For Nannies

Parents can be full of worry when hiring a nanny. This is especially true for parents who are leaving their children in the care of a nanny for the first time. However, if you’re a parent who has been thorough in the hiring process and clearly outlined your nanny’s role, you should try to put your fears at ease and let your nanny do her job. Here are several childcare requirements you should expect from your nanny.

  • You can expect your nanny to arrive on time for work.
  • You can expect your nanny to notify you in a timely fashion if she is ill or will be late in arriving.
  • You can expect your nanny to keep you up to date on any significant milestones, changes, and issues regarding your child.
  • You can expect your nanny to keep you informed of your child’s activities, whereabouts, and eating habits during the day.
  • You can expect your nanny to provide a positive environment for your child where all of her basic needs are attended to.
  • You can expect your nanny to respect your privacy and behave in a professional manner with you and your children.


Signs You Should Be Letting Go Of Your Nanny

If you ever have an instinctual feeling that the care your nanny once provided is no longer up to par, it’s always a good idea to listen to your gut or at least investigate it. If you’re not certain if you should be letting go of your nanny, here are three signs you definitely should.

  1. You see a noticeable drop in the quality of care your child is receiving. For instance, your child used to be in fresh, clean clothes and had activities to fill her day and now she seems to be watching more TV and needs a change of attire when you see her.
  2. You should be letting go of your nanny if she often appears impatient with your child. Watch for her body language and speech to see if she appears to dislike being around your child.
  3. You should expect your nanny to follow through with your instructions. If she isn’t, she’s either not understanding you or doesn’t respect your authority as the parent and employer. If it’s the former, try to make yourself clearer. If it’s the latter, it may be time to let her go.


The Word On Nanny Cams

If you’re concerned about what your nanny does at home while you’re at work, you may have thought about adding a nanny cam to your house. But is it legal and ethical to do so? It’s always in the best interest of the relationship between you and your nanny for you to disclose that you’ll be installing a nanny cam if you plan on doing so. It’s also a good idea to inform your nanny at the time of her hire if possible. You should not only discuss it with your nanny, but address the issue in your written contract with your nanny.

On a legal note, you can technically put a nanny cam in your home. However, there are laws regarding using electronics and a person’s privacy. According to the Federal Wire-Tapping Law of The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, it’s illegal to tape a conversation if that person has no knowledge his or her conversation is being taped.


Your Nanny’s Role And Your Changing Family

You’ve hired the perfect nanny and been very happy with her care. However, with a changing family, nanny roles change also. Usually, a few things can happen. The nanny that you’ve hired who so lovingly has taken care of your infant isn’t as ideal for the needs of your now active toddler. Or the full-time nanny care that you required is no longer necessary as your child heads off to preschool. Sometimes, you have an additional child in your fold and while your nanny’s role was ideal for your first child, her skills and personality aren’t a match for the needs of your second child.

Whatever the situation is with your changing family, there always comes a time to reassess your needs. You can deal with the changes in a number of ways. You might decide that you no longer need the nanny you’ve hired and can do without. You might decide you need a new person to fill the role. Or you might decide that part-time hours are an option for your nanny if she’s willing to reduce her hours and find work with a second family.