For families across the world, having a nanny makes lives easier; a nanny creates wonderful experiences. In most cases, a nanny is more than an employee, and she’s an integral part of the family – through yours and your child’s life.
But looking at the nanny world from your end as the nanny, things might not turn out to be as smooth as you anticipated. Also, if you are thinking of becoming a nanny for the first time, even after passing all the hiring interviews, you will soon learn that there is more involved than you’d expected. For example, will you be a self-employed nanny, or will your employer claim you as their full-time employee? And is a nanny contract that important? At the end of the day, you need to figure out the best way to get the whole nanny thing right.
That said, here are the three most important things that all nannies must consider before signing up for the job.
- The Nanny Contract
While a nanny contract may seem irrelevant or even unnecessary when starting out, not having a contract is one of the biggest mistakes you will ever make.
Despite the instant bonding with your potential employer and that feeling that makes you think you’ve known each other all your lives, a nanny contract is important since it ensures that you have everything on the same page. While the voice inside your head may make you think that asking for a contract translates to a level of mistrust, don’t let it stop you. In fact, you should not drown any thoughts that make you think you could mistrust your employer for whatever reason.
Although a contract seems like a trivial thing when you are certain you are trying to find nanny jobs, it’s important since it covers the terms discussed, as well as your agreement on your responsibilities, pay rate, hours, holidays, vacations, overtime, sick days, and quitting, among everything else. By putting everything down in writing, you can easily refer to the contract in the event of a disagreement. The contract also serves as the reference point, it reduces all chances of misinterpretations, while minimizing frustrations.
Lastly, ensure that you review the contract each year and make necessary adjustments and updates.
- The Morning Routine
Every home has a unique morning routine. Never assume that things will remain unchanged in the new house. There always are some things that change, and however, slight the change, you must know about it to handle the change. So, ask your employer for a run-down of their morning routine.
With kids around, even the smallest change in a child’s habit/ routine can throw everything off for the rest of the day. So, you should ask about and watch out for all changes in morning routines.
- You need all the help you can get
This might sound like counterintuitive advice, but if you are going to work with a new family, your ability to do your job well depends on how much information you obtain about the family.
In addition to learning the morning routine, you also need a run through different things and emergency information.
For example, emergency contact, safety tools such as car and stroller straps, safety locks, first aid kit, and a safe space for the kids to sit for you to take care of other things or go to the bathroom without freaking out.
Finally, know that being a nanny means shouldering every little bad thing, not always the good. But most importantly, you must always remember that even if you get paid, childcare is more than the money. Be ready for non-monetary tasks that are draining physically and emotionally.