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Oct 6

How to keep a nanny – communication is key

You’ve followed all the advice to find a nanny matching your family, your specific needs and your lifestyle and you’ve found the perfect child caregiver. You are starting to relax and your children enjoy the company of their new sitter. But how do you make sure that the nanny will stay with your family for as long as possible? The secret is simple: communication. To avoid future frustrations and missteps, all you need to do is establish clear rules early on and keep communications open, allowing the relationship that’s developing between your children, their nanny, and yourself to strengthen and last. So let’s have a closer look at three things you can do to keep your nanny (and yourself) happy:

1. Explain clearly to the nanny what is expected of her
2. Set up a log of events, a journal of your children daily lives
3. Make sure that you are informed of your nanny’s schedule.

1. Clear expectations

The first thing to do while your new nanny finds her place in your family is to communicate clearly what you expect of her. You probably had this conversation when interviewing her, but it is a good idea to solidify the contract (ideally a written form) that you have with her and to be clear about your expectations. For instance, if you want your nanny to take care of the children’s laundry or to prepare the child’s dinner, say it clearly. Show her how you want things done: how to fold children’s clothes, where to put away toys, etc.. Show her your child’s schedule and establish her role in it. Don’t leave room for missteps: be upfront and clear on what things she can manage independently like the dinner menu or what books to read. The key is to communicate openly to avoid letting frustrations build up.

2. Set up a daily log

Once you have clearly explained to your nanny what you expect from her, keep the communication open by starting a daily log of your children’s lives. This way, your babysitter can let you know that your little one woke up early after his nap, that he didn’t finish his lunch or that he has been laughing all day long. You can use the log to communicate with the nanny on day to day issues if regular personal contact is not possible. This is a very effective method already used in day care centers everywhere in the country.

3. Know the nanny schedule in advance

Lastly, encourage your nanny to inform you well in advance on her schedule, so to avoid surprises and know when you need to find another solution to care for your child. Unexpected absences are the first source of frustrations

Organizing the communication with your children’s nanny will help ensuring that an effective and successful collaboration develops and lasts. And remember to take the time to regularly sit down for coffee with your nanny to make sure that all is well and that communication remains open.