You did it! You took the plunge and hired your first nanny. And while I am sure this feels like a huge accomplishment (which, by the way, it is), you are also probably feeling ALL the feels of having a newly-hired nanny.
Feeling all sorts of emotions when adding a new caregiver to your team is totally natural. Take a deep breath, you’ve got this. Just as you are feeling all sorts of emotions… your new nanny is feeling them, too. Learning the rhythm of your unique family and home, getting to know your (and your partner’s) personality and how to best support you, bonding with your kiddos, learning the lay of your home, your route to school, local grocery store, kids’ activities locations, and more. It’s a lot.
Now, I know all the mamas out there will know exactly what I mean when I say “nanny nesting.” Remember parents, your home is your nanny’s office. Getting to know their new workspace and getting into a rhythm that is both efficient and comfortable are so important to your newly-hired nanny in being the best nanny they can be.
Here are the top five things can help your newly-hired nanny feel set up to win when starting at a new job (after signing a contract and squaring away taxes). Perhaps they will be of some inspiration for you!
Choose a great calendar / planner / app
In a healthy nanny/employer relationship,communication is vital! Having a calendar in place where you can write out the children’s appointments, playdates, days off school, etc. will help your nanny plan out their schedule with the children more efficiently. It is also a great place to keep emergency contacts and disaster plans, log hours, and write notes back and forth to each other in the mornings and evenings. I have had mom-and-dad-bosses who prefer pen and paper and others who enjoy getting updates throughout the day via an app. Either are great with me as long as a form of communication/schedule organization is set in place.
Give them a designated cupboard or space
A nanny loves to be creative with her charges. Whether that means finding age-appropriate sensory play activities for baby or putting together a holiday craft calendar for a school-aged child, incorporating creativity and color into my charge’s day is very important. Of course, as most of us know, these things take up room. This is why I always ask for my own cupboard or space when starting as a newly-hired nanny. A place in the home that I can fill up with popsicle sticks, cotton balls, finger paints, pipe cleaners, and all other the other magical things I may need while on the clock.
Let them create a nanny Amazon wishlist
When I start with a new nanny-family, I like to take inventory of the child-related things and craft supplies they already have. Also, please note, just because your nanny creates a wishlist doesn’t mean you are obligated to buy everything (or anything) on it. It simply gives you some insight into things that would be useful to her while caring for your children while you are at work. You also may learn about new products that you weren’t aware of yet or have some fun inspiration for family time! Win win.
Let them pick some snacks / meals to have in the house
Since nannies typically work long hours, it can actually be really difficult for them to always be able to meal plan—and with sleeping babies and such, going out is not always an option. It is such an awesome gesture to let them pick out some snacks and meals they enjoy having around so they feel at home.
Set up a petty cash system
Leaving petty cash or a form of payment for your nanny so they are not paying out-of-pocket for nanny- or child-related expenses is so important. Have your nanny leave all receipts and change in the envelope and balance the petty cash for her each week (or biweekly/monthly… whatever you agree on). You can also have prepaid Visa gift cards or company credit cards if your nanny runs regular errands for you or is helping in a household manager role. All of these are great options depending on what your family needs are. Please refrain from asking your nanny to make purchases for your family with her personal money. You never know how their financial situation is, and if this just so happens to be the week that paying for your groceries upfront could break them.
I hope that some of these things were helpful to you as you are preparing for your new nanny, or simply trying to show your appreciation to your current nanny. When a nanny is appreciated, trusted, and respected—I swear they channel real life nanny magic and perform at a much higher capacity. When you set your nanny up to win, you are setting everyone up to win. Your children and home will reap the rewards!
SOURCE: The Nannyhood