Becoming a nanny is not a decision you should make lightly. There are a number of considerations you should be thinking through before making the final decision. Parents place a huge amount of faith and trust in their nanny. This is something you won’t want to violate or break. When making the decision keep these six things in mind so.
- Do your research
Being the right nanny for the family is just as important as the family being right for you. Look around and do your research before making any decision, get to know all potential families. Use online services to find nanny jobs in Melbourne which will give you all the information you might need to make the decision. Learn about the children’s needs, motivations and overall state of mind. Understand parents expectations and demands. All of these factors will ensure both you and the family find the right fit.
- Communication is key
Being an open and honest communicator is the key to any good relationship when becoming a nanny. Not only with the children you will be caring for, but with potential parents as well. Setting up a weekly catch up to debrief and give parents a run-down of the week is a really great way to create trust and great communication. This can also allow everyone a forum to raise any issues or concerns. Leaving things unsaid is never a good idea.
- Create a contract
A nanny is not a babysitter, a nanny is a caregiver and a professional. As such, when becoming a nanny you need to treat yourself like the expert you are or want to be. Create a standard employee/employer contract for your families to sign. This will set expectations about what each party can expect. It also immediately allows you to show a potential family that you aren’t just “great with kids’ but working with children is your career.
- Boundaries are necessary
A personal relationship with any parent will almost always be an expectation, after all, they are leaving you with the most important thing in their world. However, you must create boundaries with the degree to which you share information about your life. Talking about what happened on your favourite TV show or the latest book you’re reading are fine. But discussing your bills, your partner or family disputes is a step too far.
You want your family to think of you as a professional and someone they can trust. Create a positive relationship with open communication, but don’t let yourself push the boundaries of what is acceptable to share.
- Being a nanny doesn’t mean you can’t be professional
As mentioned earlier, a nanny and a babysitter are two very different professions. When becoming a nanny, consider which you want to be seen as. A nanny needs to act in a professional manner. Be on time, dress appropriately, keep time on your phone to a minimum and ensure contracts are agreed and abided by.
When you are a nanny, you are also a business owner. Create a professional reputation and soon enough that business will be both personal and financially rewarding.
- Always remember they aren’t really your kids
Having love for the kids you work with is a trait any great nanny should have. With that said, knowing where that stops is also a mark of a great nanny. A nanny must always remember that no matter how special the children are to them; they are still not your children.
Giving parenting advice or tips which weren’t asked for to the parents is a sure-fire way of burning bridges. You are there to care for and look after the kids, not raise them. Leave important decisions about diet, beliefs and education to the parents. If you believe you need more information about those things, have an open conversation with the parents. But remember, above all else, never tell a parent how they should raise their children.
Being a nanny can be a very big responsibility, but it can also be one of the most rewarding careers there is. Use these 6 guidelines and keep them in mind when becoming a nanny.