Setting Your Expectations For Your Nanny

What are your expectations? Do you want a person who’s going to clean your home and take care of the kids? Or do you want a person who will be able to assist in educating your children and know age-appropriate play and developmental stages? It’s not likely that the same person will be competent to do both. Many problems arise because the family is not realistic about what to expect from their nanny and/or change the job description after she has been hired.

When a nanny is hired it should be made as clear as possible what her responsibilities are. Her hours need to be defined and maintained. Live-in nannies must have an expected starting time and a reasonable time when their workday is over. Some flexibility is normal for special circumstances, but if a permanent change needs to be made to your nanny’s schedule, think about what the impact will be on the nanny and solicit her opinion. Remember, she is taking care of your children and everything you do will impact, in one way or another, on how well she cares for them. A resentful nanny is not a positive addition to any family.

Do you feel she really enjoys working with your children, or is she doing this simply as a way to make a living? I think we have all seen nannies who look bored and disengaged from their charges. One of the things to look for is your child’s reaction when your nanny arrives and leaves. Is he/she happy to see her arrive and sad to see her go or, even after a reasonable (get acquainted) period is he/she scared and crying when she arrives.