If you decide a professional nanny is the best fit for your household, your nanny becomes an important part of your family and a very unique relationship develops. For many parents, their nanny is the person who, after them, is closest to their children.
While it can be a challenging relationship to manage at times, if your arrangement is founded upon mutual trust, you’ll pave the way for an easier time for both you and your nanny.
Trust is critical to any relationship; trust between parents and those who are responsible for their children’s care is no different. Following are my five top tips to develop a relationship built on trust with your nanny.
- Manage and set expectations
Work with an Agency to compile a detailed description of your nanny position. Before you commence interviews with potential nannies you should have a vey clear idea of what you do and don’t want from your carer. These wishes need to be communicated at the interview stage. Clearly outlining the nanny’s role and articulating your expectations about how you want things done will set the foundations for a positive working relationship.
You want your children to look forward to spending time with their nanny. Your nanny will provide your children with enjoyable and meaningful activities that stimulate and develop their learning. Take an interest in the program your nanny designs for your children and where necessary provide input and direction.
As your relationship grows, don’t be afraid to share appropriate information about yourself with your nanny. Let them know what your interests are outside of work and share moments in your life that are important to you—without over sharing. A quality, professional nanny will incorporate these interests and important events into the curriculum they plan for your children.
Communication is key for any in-home relationship, and these days, it’s easy to rely on email and text messages to share information. Ask your nanny to provide you with updates regarding achievements and activities so you can share their success and enthusiasm—being a busy parent doesn’t make you a distant parent.
Always take time out of your week to sit down with your nanny to be updated on what’s happened at home. Discuss the highs and the lows of the week, share your planning for the week ahead and confirm any upcoming changes to work rosters. Your nanny needs to know that you can all sit down and talk openly and honestly about what happens in your home, and in turn, this will build a stronger bond between nanny and family.
- Respect boundaries and set rules
Despite your nanny being involved with your family on a very personal level, you must always acknowledge that your relationship within the home is a professional one. Ensure that your nanny is familiar with the signed employment agreement and aware of the associated responsibilities. The in-home employment role is very unique and your nanny will respect your privacy and confidentiality.
Outline your personal and physical boundaries—areas of the house that are private need to be explained. It may seem common knowledge to you that bedrooms that do not belong to the children are off limits, but unless it’s outlined your nanny will not know they are breaking your boundaries.
It’s also important to outline your expectations about your nanny taking and sharing photos of your children and celebrating birthdays, Christmas and milestones.
- Be honest
Be honest with your nanny about your family dynamics, the way you like your home to operate and personal traits about the children. The smallest of white lies can affect long-term trust within the home. Be sure that your nanny is always made to feel they can communicate with you openly and honestly.
Do you think a Nanny or Au Pair would be the perfect fit for your family? Nannies offer flexible care suited to your family’s needs. All CHARLTON BROWN® Nannies and Educators hold relevant qualifications so you’ll have peace of mind that they are educating your children and planning curriculums that stimulate your child’s cognitive and motor skills. Visit our brand new website to discover more benefits of hiring a Nanny or Au Pair.
Petrina Fraccaro is General Manager of CHARLTON BROWN®, one of Australia’s leading training providers and job placement agencies for the child care, aged care, community services and disability care industries. With more than 20 years of experience in Senior Marketing and Communication positions, and 15 years in the private and public tertiary and vocational education industries, Petrina drives the Operations, Sales and Marketing, Student Recruitment and Enrolments and Administration for CHARLTON BROWN®. She was a 2014 Business Person of the Year finalist in Brisbane’s Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Business Awards and holds a number of positions with boards and industry associations. www.charltonbrown.com.au