As a nanny, you’re focused on building solid relationships with the children in your care. However, it’s also important to find ways to nurture your relationship with the parents, who serve as your employers. Learning the best communication tips for nannies can help you grow as a nanny and nurture your relationships.
Figuring out the best ways to communicate with your family can be challenging, especially if your family is extremely busy or going through a particularly tough time. However, it’s essential. Communicating with your family regularly will ensure that you have a strong employer-employee relationship that puts the children at the center.
Some families may recognize the importance of communication and have systems in place already. Others, especially those new to hiring a nanny, may be at a loss when figuring out how to communicate effectively.
These five ideas can benefit both you and your family by creating clear lines of communication during all stages of your relationship.
1. Define expectations and put them in writing
Ask detailed questions upfront about what, exactly, the family expects from you. Then, create a document detailing their expectations. These should include things like the hours you will work, when and where you need to pick up or drop off your children, whether you will be fulfilling a hybrid nanny role, their views on screen time, and anything else that is pertinent to your position.
You should also set your expectations. For example, if you cannot work certain hours, tell your family up-front. Discuss your methods of engaging and disciplining children to ensure they align with the parents.
It is easy for both parties to forget what you initially agreed to, so having a written document is an excellent way to make sure you and your family are on the same page. You should sign and date it, then give your family a copy for their records.
2. Work with their preferred communication method
Let your family know that communication is a priority for you, and ask how they prefer to communicate. For example, some families might love a lunchtime phone call detailing the morning, while others may want to check in just once a week. Still, others might want you to keep a daily log that tracks what activities your child engaged in, how they felt throughout the day, and any questions you have.
If you don’t prioritize frequent communication, you could easily end up going months without it. That’s why it’s essential to set this expectation early in the relationship. If you have a preferred method of communication, let your family know. But, be prepared to work with whatever is best for them.
3. Embrace transparency
Hiding something from your family is never the answer. Instead, be honest and transparent with your family. Let them know as soon as a challenge arises, such as if you are unable to work a particular day or if something happened during the day that they need to know about.
Be open about how things are going instead of trying to cover them up or bottling your frustration inside. Often, families will be happy to make adjustments if they know that doing so will result in a happier nanny and better care for their children.
4. Discuss financials
Nannies often have access to some cash to spend on activities related to their children. Be proactive when discussing how you will access this money and what qualifies as an approved expense. Keep receipts in case these expenses are ever questioned. You can create a weekly report that itemizes each expense and details how the money was used.
5. Put yourself in the shoes of the family
As a professional nanny, you likely feel confident in your abilities and have a workflow that suits you. Your new family, though, might need some time to adapt. Instead of brushing off their questions or their involvement in your day, put yourself in their shoes. Remember that they are entrusting you with the people they love most in the world. It can be challenging to hand a child over to someone new.
So, be patient and calm. Remind the parents that you have their children’s best interest in mind, and don’t be afraid to let the parents know how much you love caring for their children.
At Ease Family Solutions loves pairing professional nannies with elite families. We support nannies at every stage of the business relationship, from applying to a new position to managing expectations and creating clear lines of communications once they are placed with a family. We hope these communication tips for nannies will help you build relationships with your family.
If you are a trained nanny who is looking for a new position, we’d love to talk to you! Fill out an application, and someone from our team will be in touch soon.