10 Tips on How to Be a Great Nanny
Whether it is your first day on the job or your seven-hundredth, being a great nanny requires a little preparation each day to help you get through the day. It does not matter whether you are a live-in or live-out nanny. It would help if you took a little time each evening to prepare yourself for the next day using these professional nanny tips.
#1: Prioritize Timeliness
The parents and children are counting on you to be on time. Make allowances for the unexpected like heavy traffic, car troubles, and oversleeping. By getting up a few hours earlier, you can ensure you will be on time. If you are delayed, make sure to call the parents to let them know why and when to expect you.
#2: Have a Positive Attitude
Every once in a while, you can run into specific challenges that could affect your attitude. Rather than let it get you down, maintain a positive and sunny disposition. When you come across as happy, perky, and full of cheer, it is contagious and makes others feel good too.
If you have an issue, think about what type of solution would be best for you. If you can implement it without approval from the parents, then give it a try. Otherwise, if you need to get permission first, present it as a proposal to the parents and explain how it would help you. Just remember to be open to compromise and the parents’ point of view.
#3: Be Ready to Go with the Flow
There will be days when nothing will go as planned. Even though your structured plan for the day hasn’t worked out, it does not mean you have to worry about it. Just go with the flow and try to get back on track as best as possible. As long as the children are safe, fed, and happy, that’s what matters most.
#4: Be Very Familiar with Your Job Description
Professional nannies need to thoroughly understand the nanny responsibilities covered in their job description. These can vary based on the ages of the children and the desires of the parents. For example, your work as a nanny could include doing laundry for the children or light housekeeping duties.
Another reason you need to be very familiar with your job description is in case your employer asks you to do additional tasks that were not covered in the job description. If it is something that they ask you to do once in a while, such as stopping to pick up the dry cleaning when picking the children up from school, then it is acceptable to do the task.
However, if it is a task they ask you to do more often, you may want to discuss with your employer if it is something you are not comfortable doing or requires more pay. For instance, the parents might ask you to stay late several times a week to watch the children while they go out.
If this was not included in the job description as part of your nanny responsibilities, you would want to negotiate with the parents about an acceptable pay rate for the additional time to stay later each evening.
#5: Always Put Safety First
You should take the time to familiarize yourself with any safety risks around the house, such as medicine cabinets, stairs, pool access, etc. You want to make sure these areas are kept secure to help reduce the risks of accidents.
It is highly recommended also to obtain first aid certification. You never know when an accident could occur that requires medical treatment. Having this certification also puts the parents’ minds at ease since they know you can handle an emergency should it arise.
#6: Turn What You Are Good at Into an Educational Opportunity
Take something you like doing and share it with the children in your care. For example, if you like painting, turn it into an arts and crafts activity for the children. On the other hand, if you like solving puzzles, you could create a scavenger hunt for the kids to enjoy. As they find different objects, you could hide clues for them to solve a riddle or answer a question.
#7: Keep a Copy of Emergency Contacts on You at All Times
Take the time to get a list of emergency contacts from the parents. The list should include:
- The parents’ cell phone numbers and office numbers.
- The phone numbers to the children’s doctor and dentist.
- Other emergency contact numbers you need.
If the list is on a piece of paper, take a picture of it with your smartphone and favorite the image to have quick access to it.
#8: Explore the Child’s Interests
Being a nanny is more than just keeping the children occupied and busy. Great nannies take the time to explore the interests of the children in their care. Some kids might like dinosaurs. Other kids like superheroes. Some kids want to learn how to cook and bake.
Whatever the child is interested in, develop creative activities that focus on their interests. Sometimes it is acceptable for you to act like a kid, too, as when they want you to play a superhero or a princess who needs to be rescued.
#9: Plan a Daily Debrief with the Parents
Before leaving at the end of the day, take a few minutes and update the parents on the daily events. Let them know the high points and low points of the day. Share the status of various tasks with them. You may already have fed and bathed the children, so they are ready for a story before bed.
#10: Remember to Take Time for Yourself
A career in child care can be very demanding. After a long day of caring for children, you need to remember to take time for yourself. Whether it is going to the gym, spending time with friends, reading a book, or watching your favorite TV program, end the day with something pleasurable to you.
How to be a good nanny can seem challenging at times. However, by using these great nanny tips, your work as a nanny will be enjoyable for you, the children you care for, and their parents.
If you are interested in becoming a nanny, Staffing at Tiffanie’s can help you with our exclusive placement of full-time and part-time nannies and mannies. Please feel free to apply online or contact us at 866-484-5550 today!