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Managing the nanny: How to keep everyone happy

 Managing the nanny: How to keep everyone happy (Photo: iStock)

Work, school runs, shopping and everything in between - there is only so much a parent can juggle at any time. That explains why many families rely on the assistance of nannies and house managers to provide care and support for their children as they attend to work and other responsibilities.

While entrusting the care of your precious little ones to a nanny is a significant decision, ensuring their safety and well-being in your absence remains a top priority.

That is why it is crucial to implement strategies to monitor their performance to give you peace of mind and ensure your children receive the highest quality of care especially when you’re not at home.

Many of us have gone through terrible experiences with nannies and it would be a travesty if our children followed suit. So how do you watch them without invading their privacy? 

Set expectations early: Before hiring a helper, communicate your expectations regarding their duties, responsibilities and behaviour while caring for your children. Outline specific tasks, schedules and routines to provide guidance and clarity. By setting clear expectations from the outset, you can minimise misunderstandings and ensure that your nanny understands their role within your household from the word go.

Use technology:  You have no reason to live in this modern world if you can’t take advantage of technology. You have every right to monitor your nanny’s activities as long as they are under your roof. If you have to, install nanny cams or home security cameras in common areas of your home such as the living room, kitchen and children’s bedrooms to keep an eye on interactions and activities throughout the day. Opt for cameras with remote viewing capabilities allowing you to access live feeds from your smartphone or computer while away.

Communicate: Establish regular check-ins to maintain open lines of communication with your nanny throughout the day. Schedule brief phone calls or video chats at designated times to touch base, discuss any updates or concerns, and ensure that everything is running smoothly. Encourage your nanny to provide updates on your children’s activities, meals and any noteworthy events that occurred during the day.

Stay informed: Keep thorough records of your children’s daily routines, activities, meals and any other pertinent information whenever they’re at home. While this may sound extra, it can help in the long run in case one of your children is unwell or has a special condition. Provide your helper with a daily log or journal to document their activities and observations while caring for your children. Review these records regularly to check your children’s well-being and ensure that their needs are being met consistently.

Seek feedback: One way communication will drive away even the most patient, introverted nanny. You want to foster open communication with your nanny by regularly asking for feedback on their experiences and challenges while caring for your children. How else will you find out that your children are little rascals masquerading as angels? Encourage them to share any concerns, questions or suggestions for improvement. Actively listen to their feedback and address any issues or areas of concern promptly and constructively.

Review their performance: Schedule periodic performance reviews to evaluate your nanny’s performance, discuss strengths and areas for improvement, and set goals for the future. Provide constructive feedback and praise them for their accomplishments. Offer them support and the resources they need to carry out their role.

Value boundaries: While it is important to monitor your house manager’s performance, it is equally essential to respect their privacy and maintain professional boundaries. Avoid micromanaging or surveilling every aspect of their work. You would not want your boss breathing down your neck every second either. Instead, focus on ensuring that your children are safe, happy and well-cared for.

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