How to Prepare for Your New Nanny
You’ve recruited your nanny, and the day of her arrival is almost here. Have you thought about how you’ll help her to integrate into your household? Taking the time to onboard her and ensure she has all the resources to do her job well is the best way to ensure a smooth transition for her, you, and - most importantly - your children.
There are lots of things to think about, so we’ve put together this list to ensure all your bases are covered.
1. Essential contacts and information
It’s helpful to put together a file for your nanny with all the information she might need in an emergency. Of course you’ll put your phone numbers in it, but think about other numbers that would be useful for her - neighbours, grandparents, the paediatrician and emergency response. Also include a bold, clear list of your children’s allergies, medical history and blood types. You can never have too much information!
2. Her daily schedule
The most important thing your nanny needs when she’s new on the job is a clear daily schedule. Does she need to do the school drop off? When is nap time? What time is pick-up, and who gets picked up from where? When and where are the extra-curricular activities? Does she have directions to everywhere she needs to go? It’s best if you can go along with her for the first few days, so you can show her yourself and you both feel comfortable, but after that ensure she has all the schedules and places written clearly on a weekly calendar.
Make sure you let the school and any extracurricular teachers know who will be collecting your children. Introduce your new nanny to neighbours and friends so that she feels supported, and give her contact details to anybody who may need them. Likewise, let her know when you are expecting visitors at the house - if a courier is expected, a garden service is coming, or another parent is fetching a child for a playdate. It is unsettling to be caught off-guard and she will want to know these things ahead of time instead of having to call and disturb you at work.
4. How the house works
Make sure you give your new nanny a tour of your home to show her how everything works - the TV, dishwasher and washing machine (and what can go into these machines and what can’t), the oven and stove, the heating or A/C, and anything else she will need to make use of during the day. If there are gate codes or access keys she needs, ensure she has them, and if she will be driving your car, check that she’s comfortable in it. Also, if you are going to require her to do any grocery shopping or take your children to activities that need to be paid for, work this out with her beforehand and be sure to give her access to petty cash or a bank card.
5. House rules
Every household is different, and every family lives by a different code. Don’t expect your nanny to guess yours - be explicit and go into detail from the very start. The more she knows, the more she will be able to support you and your family’s ethos. Tell her what your children’s screen time limit is, when it’s nap time, when you expect homework to be done, when or if treats are allowed, and how you like to impose discipline or remind them about good manners. Children respond best to consistency, and having an open line of communication with your nanny about the rules in the home will help to reinforce them and ultimately make your children feel more secure.
6. Let us support you
At Good People agency we want to make sure that our families and staff are happy with their new partnership, so we are here to help with on-boarding, to facilitate communication, and to support you along the way.
All it takes is a little bit of planning and preparation, and welcoming your new nanny into your home will go smoothly. Remember that she is adjusting to her new surroundings, just as you are adjusting to your new partnership. Keep communication clear and open, and be specific about what works for you and your family. Follow these steps and it’s bound to be smooth sailing.