6 tips to start your new nanny job the best wayJuly 16, 2021
You got the job! Now what?
You did everything right as a nanny in the interview process, impressing a family with your great resume, your thoughtful answers, and experienced insight. They loved you, hired you, and now you’re ready to start your new nanny job! How can you make sure your first week on the job is a success? What tricks are there to set you up for a great start and a stellar time with this family?
Ask all your questions – but be mindful of how and when
There will always be a lot of questions your first week at any job. And it’s important to get the answers you need! However, some parents are not available to answer questions throughout the day. Others may want you to shoot a text anytime something comes up. In some instances, the best thing will be for you to collect your non-urgent questions until the end of the day or the beginning of your next shift, when the parent can set aside some time to handle all your questions at once. On your first day, ask the parents what they prefer and then adjust accordingly. This way you know you’ll get your questions answered and be able to do a great job, without putting unnecesasry stress on the family.
Check in on the routines
Before your first day on your new nanny job, go over your job outline and familiarize yourself with the routines of the family. If any scheduling looks tight, say between a school pickup and getting to an activity across town, ask how they do it. Is there a particular bus that drops them right where they need to be? Does the little sibling sleep happily in the stroller while the older one has soccer practice, as long as you put them down by a certain time?
If the family had a nanny or sitter previously, ask if they might have a moment to chat or write down their tricks. Go over this list before you start your new job, and you’ll already have a leg up.
Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood
Kids have a lot going on in their neighborhood. If you can avoid stressful scrambles to reach places or confused pickups in school mazes, you’ll already have a leg up. If you don’t know the neighborhood well, consider spending some time there before you start the job. You can also look up the area on Streetview. Make sure you are familiar with the places the kids go every week. Learn which door they come out from after school. Know how to get to activities and regular appointments. This guarantees smooth pickups and prevents the kids from having to wait for you.
Remember, the kids are new to trusting you and connecting with you, too. If you can make their first week with you seamless and prove that you will always be there when you need them, you are well on your way to building a great relationship.
Get to know important people in the child’s life
It takes a village to raise a child. Your new charges probably have lots of important people in their life besides their parents, and it will be a great help to you and your relationship with the kiddos to know them. It might be teachers, coaches, tutors, friends’ parents and nannies. Introduce yourself to these people right away. Make sure everyone knows who you are and that you will be a part of these kiddos’ lives. They may prove a great help to you as you navigate new routines and neighborhoods, and seeing you interact with people they already know will give your new kiddos extra reassurance that you’re a great person they can trust.
Give parents a run-down of the first few days
Some parents will want a thorough run-down every day throughout your working relationship, but not everyone does. That said, in the first few days it can be a great help to tell the parents about your day. Handing over the care of one’s children can be a pretty big deal, and hearing about the day can reassure families that you are on the right track and that you’ve handled the day well. What did you do together? How did things go? What’s a fun thing that happened?
This does not mean you should only tell them how great everything was. If you also tell them about any challenges that came up and how you handled them, the parents are more likely to trust that you can handle challenges with the children’s best in mind. After all, the children are just getting to know you and that may take some adjusting. Write things down or keep a log so you can remember what happened as well as any questions that have come up.
Go above and beyond in your new nanny job to instantly make the family happy they hired you
You know you are a stellar nanny. You have great experience, connect well with the kiddos, and know how to get everything done that is required. But what really makes you stellar is those little details that aren’t necesarily required, or maybe even asked for. In the interview process, or at the onset of your job, ask the parents if there are particularly tricky obstacles through the week that stress them out. Then see how you can help lessen that burden.
Maybe it’s prepping food or snack boxes for the coming day, or filling up diaper drawers and wipe boxes. Maybe it’s getting the kids to do homework during downtime in the afternoon so it’s not left for the parents to do late at night when everyone is tired. Always make sure to clean up and set the home up well for after you leave to reduce workload for the parents in the evening or the weekend. These details may not seem like a big deal, but for a tired parent who is really relying on this working relationship, it can take them from feeling good about hiring you to feeling amazing about it!