5 Things Your Nanny Wants You to Know

By Emily Miller Owner/Domestic Placement Specialist at Charlotte’s Best Nanny Agency October 10, 2016
1.    “I would like my career path as a nanny to be respected just as much as any other profession.”
     If a family is hiring or have hired a nanny, they have made the choice a to hire a professional to provide childcare to your children. Some nannies feel that their career path is not valued as much as other career paths such as bankers, retail clerk, lawyers, etc. All nannies should have the respect that you would give any other professionals. Nannies care for children in the earliest parts of their lives and can be very instrumental in the children’s early childhood education. Professional Full-Time nannies work 40 hours a week in their professions, pay taxes and are dedicated professionals in their industry. Nannies take on enormous responsibilities in keeping your children healthy, happy, educated, and safe day in and day out. All nannies want is for families to show them respect as professionals and value their career. When nannies are valued the nanny/family relationship usually thrives and both the nanny and family can create a long lasting professional relationship with mutual respect for one another. 
2.    “The household duties you are asking me to do are piling up, and interfering with my ability to provide excellent childcare.”
     As your nanny/family relationship grows over the months and years that they have a nanny, the family might ask their nanny to do certain household duties. Most nannies are completely happy to do these household duties, keeping in mind childcare is the priority. Typical duties include tidying up the children’s room and cleaning up after themselves and the children, help unloading/loading the dishwasher, children’s laundry, and light meal prep. Nannies usually agree to help out with these things as they have time to do them. Over the years a family’s needs might change on some household duties they need help with. Keep in mind the nanny’s primary responsibility is to provide quality care to the children. They are not there to scrub toilets (unless it’s an emergency), Mop (Unless it is an emergency), vacuum excessive area of carpet in your home (should only have to vacuum kid’s bedrooms if agreed to ahead of time), scoop the litter box (unless agreed to ahead of time and you are compensating them for the extra pet duties), etc. If a nanny is a people pleaser or does not want to let the family down, they might not tell you they are stressed by keeping up with extra duties as well as providing excellent childcare. The best thing a family can do is lay out all the household duty expectations clearly in a nanny agreement and if anything needs to be added sit down and amend the agreement with your nanny. Also always try to maintain open, honest dialogue at all times with your nanny. 
3.    “Please respect my personal time.”
     I think we can all relate to this in any profession we are a part of. Everyone talks about work-life balance in corporate America; this concept also applies to your nanny. Families must respect a nanny’s personal time and try not to overreach too much into their nanny’s personal time. All hours that you need a nanny to work should be laid out in advance and agreed upon. If any changes need to be made in the work schedule, your nanny needs to be given as much notice as possible, and know that if it is last minute, your nanny will try to accommodate, but do not penalize him/her if they can’t help you on a last minute notice. Nannies should not constantly be emailed, called, or texted on their off time unless there is a legitimate, important reason. With technology, these days it is hard not to think people are always available at your fingertips, but sometimes nannies have other things going on in their lives they need to attend to on their off time. Also, families should respect their nannies time; they can do this by being as on time as possible to relieve your nanny at the end of the day. When a nanny is working an extra thirty minutes to an hour a day, it can become a major problem for the nanny/family relationship. May I suggest to make an agreement with the nanny to pay them 15.00 – 20.00 for every 15 min you are late. I have seen this arrangement work successfully in the past. Families should always respect a nanny’s personal time, as the nanny should always be on time for work and communicate any changes in their work schedule as soon as possible. 
4.    “I need some time off.”
     Some nannies have a hard time asking for time off (of course there are others that have no problem with this subject). Asking for time off can be daunting for a nanny, as they are working in a profession where a family relies on them every day and would be in a major bind if the nanny could not make it into work. Nannies sometime stress and are not able to find time to take off to handle personal things or to take a sick day when they are feeling under the weather.  Nannies should know to ask time off in as far in advance as possible, and always respect the family’s time and expectations for asking for time off. Also, no nanny should abuse taking vacation time or sick time. On the family’s side, they should always be clear and put the expectations in their nanny agreement on what set amount of vacation and sick pay a nanny has and what the protocol is for asking for time off. There should also always be some sick days available to the nanny, as we are all humans and may one day be ill. Open, honest communication can open up the proper dialogue for a nanny to be able to ask for the appropriate days off. Also, it is important for a family to implement a backup care plan in advance so if the nanny is out of work for the day, the have childcare covered. 
5.    “I need a raise or was expecting a bonus.”
     The last most common thing that nannies struggle in asking for is a raise or a bonus. Nannies typically get a yearly salary review and living wage increase every year. This is an industry standard and a great way to keep your nanny around long-term. Raises, of course, should be at minimum a living wage increase, and on top of that a performance-based raise, if the nanny is doing an awesome job with the kids. Also, all nannies expect a bonus at some point during the year, typically around the holidays or at “National Nanny Appreciation Week.” This is an industry standard when employing a nanny. A bonus can be anything from 500.00 – 3,000, it is totally up to the family and what they can accommodate, but a monetary bonus should be factored in when considering how much total a year to pay the nanny. Also, any small gifts of appreciation throughout the year are a nice touch as well to keep up nanny morale. Raises and bonuses are also usually spelled out in a nanny agreement, we highly suggest using one to keep your nanny and family on the same page. The nanny you hire will be doing the most important job anyone could ever do for you, so make sure the lines of communication are open and expectations are clear from the start. 

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