These days, it’s comparatively rare for any family to take on a new nanny and not be absolutely delighted with the help and support they provide. This is especially so for those who work with a quality London nanny agency to find and hire the right nanny – services that have pools of pre-screened and vetted nannies of the highest caliber.
Nevertheless, there will always be isolated instances when and where the new family and the nanny simply cannot work together in a professional manner. Contrary to popular belief however, this is an unfortunate eventuality that rarely has anything to do with the nanny and everything to do with the hiring family. How hard can it be to hire a nanny and get along just fine? Well, the truth is it’s not hard at all, but at the same time it’s important to be aware of a few bad habits to avoid at all costs.
Suffice to say, be mindful of the following and you’ll be heading in a positive direction:
1 – Childcare Style Clashes
Some families believe in strong discipline while certain nannies are far more permissive. Some families punishmisbehaviour with ‘time out’ whole some nannies believe more in taking privileges away. The thing is, when and where you take on a nanny it’s up to you to communicate your own take on childcare and its various facets – not to simply assume they’ll do things the same as you across the board. Chances are you’ll find you have mostly common ground and can come to an easy agreement on the rest – making assumptions only to them fall into disagreement on the other hand is wholly counterproductive.
2 – Insufficient Training and Guidance
Regardless of how many families the nanny has worked with before, your family is 100% unique and thus a 100% unique challenge for the nanny. Once again therefore, you cannot just expect them to instinctively know how you run your family or where the boundaries lie in terms of behaviour and the responses thereto. In fact, everything from the way you keep the home in a cleanliness sense right through to the times your kids do what they do are all responsibilities for you to communicate.
3 – Micromanagement
If you don’t fall foul of the micromanagement ‘bug’ with your first nanny, you’re one of a very select few who don’t. While you’ll have a bunch of important rules to follow, scrutinising everything the nanny does right down to the finest detail will make it a professional relationship that’s 100% unsustainable. Of course it’s important for the outcome to be as you want it to be, but if the nanny has a slightly different approach to making it happen, you need to offer at least a little flexibility.
Never forget that in their experience and time spent with other families, they may have come across all manner of little tips, tricks and secrets you yourself could benefit from. It’s of course your home and your rules, but be careful not to fall too far into micromanagement habits for the sake of all involved.
4 – Pay Without Benefits
Something that’s often forgotten by those taking on a new nanny for the first time is that along with a standard pay rate, you also need to be willing to offer a variety of essential perks and benefits. For example, you cannot expect to take on a full-time or even a part-time nanny and not offer them holiday pay at the standard level they’re entitled to. Likewise, they’ll need to know that if ever they’re forced to take time off work due to illness, they’ll still be able to pay their bills at least for the immediate moment. It’s not like you can offer the same kinds of benefits as a large international corporation, but you can at least offer something above and beyond the pay rate itself.
5 – Transport Costs
Last but not least, never forget that if and when any part of the nanny’s job is to transport you or the kids using their own vehicle, they need to be both paid and reimbursed for the costs. Some families inevitably fall into the trap of assuming that the nanny will throw in the odd ride here and there for free – this is a recipe for professional fallouts. Ideally, it’s better to let them use the family car when and where possible, or to have a reserve pool of cash on standby to pay for their transport expenses.