It’s that time of the year! The holidays are here and life is busier than ever. An added complication for many families comes when your regular nanny takes time off for the holidays, and your routine is disrupted when you need to find a temporary replacement. But we’re here to tell you that, if you take the time to have the right conversations and set the right expectations with your stand-in holiday nanny up front, the festive season will be smooth sailing.
Here’s how we help our clients ensure their time with their replacement holiday nanny is successful and stress-free.
Create a “work package” for your holiday nanny
Rather than paying your holiday nanny by the day or the hour, create a salary package for the entire period she will be with you. Agree in advance between the two parties what her hours and responsibilities will be, and come to a sum for the entire period that everybody is happy with. If you are paying your nanny by the hour or day you may find you’re asking too much or too little of her, and one or both of you will be left feeling frustrated.
Agree the "non-negotiables" upfront
Before you sign a contract, let your holiday nanny know what your non-negotiables are at the outset. For example, as this is your holiday you may wish to be able to sleep late in the mornings, go out with friends on Christmas and New Year’s eve, and have three lunches alone with your partner over the next two-week period. The nanny should be prepared to be “on” during these times, as well as the regular working hours you agree. At the same time, you can let her know when you are sure that you will not be needing her (and that she’s therefore free to make other plans). For example, if the children are in ski school or kids' club five mornings of the week, and you have a number of family dinners planned, she is free during those times. Remember also that this is a two-way conversation - you want your nanny to be happy with what she is agreeing to or it will not work out.
Let her know how meal times will work
It’s important for the nanny to know how you like meals to be done. Will she eat with the children while you and the other adults eat separately? Will she eat on her own on the nights you are home with the children? Or will she eat with you all? Will she be included when you go to restaurants (and if so, is she in charge of the toddler while you’re out?)? Be clear about all of these details so that she feels confident and comfortable in the plans, and you can relax knowing you’re both on the same page.
Clarify which expenses are covered
Agree with your nanny what you are covering financially and what you’re not. For example, will you pay over and above her salary to cover meals outside of her working hours, or is that her responsibility? Also make sure she knows how much you are happy for her to spend when she’s with the children on her own. What is their daily budget for treats and activities? Our experience tells us that people only really get upset if they are taken by surprise, so take the surprise element out of your relationship by setting expectations, and it will be smooth sailing from there.
Be emphatic about what “safety” means to you
It can be daunting to leave your children in the care of another person, especially away from the security of home. So make sure your holiday nanny understands what safety means to you. For example, if you’re staying near water, can your children swim or should she make sure their floating devices are on before even getting to the pool or beach? Do you have one child who is prone to running off? Warn her and make sure she’s prepared to keep hold of their hand. Whatever your non-negotiables are around the safety of your children, let her know in a frank and open discussion. How can she enforce the safety rules with your children, and what measures can she use if they do not respect them? By the same token, your children need to understand that the rules apply in her company as well as yours. She is there to take care of your children and you can set her up for success by sharing as much information as possible.
Let us help
At Good People it’s our job to match families with their perfect nanny - whether permanent or holiday cover. Call us today and let us take this off your to-do list. We can build a holiday package for you that will perfectly suit your family’s needs. One less thing to worry about over the holidays!
Good People is a domestic staffing agency specialising in introducing high quality household assistance. We provide a simple, fast and professional service to recruit trained and vetted staff who match your family values. To discuss what we can do for you, or to join the Good People Club, get in touch today.