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Hiring a Nanny in 2011 (Part 2)

In Part 2, we're assuming you have hired your perfect nanny, and now it is all about how you both settle into this new employer/employee role



In Hiring a Nanny in 2011 (Part 1) Katy Hayden gave some hints on how to go about hiring a nanny.

Having been through this process myself, I thought I would share with you 10 key pointers.

10 Tips when settling in as a Nanny Employer

  1. Always have a contract of employment in place. That way you both know what is expected out of the role, what the hours are, and what duties you expect the nanny to carry out for you.
  2. For the first few days (or if you can stretch to it, the week) make sure you are there to go through all the routines with the nanny.  I know it is not easy when you are working, but booking out some holiday from work so you can be at home at this time I think is crucial.
  3. Run through absolutely everything about your children: their routines, their favourite toys, their foibles, their fears, their best friends.  I am completely OCD when it comes to lists, so don't be exactly like me, but it may help to write things down.  Also let them know what the house rules are from the start (use of phone, computer, nanny friends over etc).
  4. Try and spend some time at the end of the first week to sit down with the nanny without the children (TV comes in handy here) and find out how she is feeling.
  5. Constant dialogue is a must – sometimes hard to do at 6.30am or 7.30pm but do try and fit in some time to talk to your nanny about the day.
  6. Some parents swear by a nanny diary, where the nanny catalogues what they have done with the children that day, what they ate and any naps etc.
  7. Do the right thing, and payroll your nanny, so she gets regularly paid and gets a payslip as well.  For one thing, it is the law, and for another it makes them feel much more secure in their role.
  8. Of course you need to get on with your nanny, but I wouldn't advocate becoming best mates.  It is still an employer/employee relationship and if you cross over into more than that, it can often end in tears.
  9. Try to stick to their hours - remember they have a life outside of work, so if you are constantly late home, it could make them resentful.
  10. Reward your nanny if she deserves it – they do an amazing job looking after your children so let them know they are appreciated.

My fantastic nanny!

If you are lucky like me, and have a fantastic nanny, then one more piece of advice -  look out for "poachers".  I feel I have to constantly fight off mums who are trying to steal her away from our family!

Parents who register with Tinies get access to a free legal helpline, where we offer advice on employing your nanny.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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