We recently posted some advice on how to choose a quality nanny referral agency. We work with agency partners nationwide to help their clients and referred private service professionals alike understand the mechanics of household payroll. Nannies from the Heartland Inc. is a well respected household staffing agency in Minneapolis, MN. Becky Kavanagh, an experienced placement counselor (with 22 years of nanny experience!) shares some of her thoughts on how parents can stay connected to their child's day.
Having your nanny keep a journal about each day's activities, the foods eaten, child's mood and other important information is a great idea. I had a journal for each child in my care. When they were young - infant through early preschool age - I wrote in it each day. As they got older the journal became less formal. The children actually used their journal in a school project at one time or another - they loved reading through them!
Touching base with your nanny throughout the day by phone call is a good idea. Some nannies may think of this as a “check up” call and fear that you don’t trust them. Explain to the nanny that the call will help you to feel in touch with your child, that you simply miss not being there yourself. I appreciated the phone check-in from my employer. It gave me a chance to share some of the highlights of the day and frankly, talk to another adult. I also appreciated knowing I could call them and talk or leave a message if I had any questions. When I started the mother or dad would call at least once a day just to see how it was going. As time went by those calls were more infrequent because we had built our relationship and trust with each other.
We took time, however brief, at the end of most days to touch base. It was a great way to share and feel connected. Scheduling regular meetings at the end of the week or another time that works for everyone is a great idea. You can talk about details in a more relaxed setting. We talked about what was going well, ideas we had, along with setting goals for the future. They asked me about my personal life and interests which made me feel connected with them. I can tell you from experience that connecting on a deeper level is important for the strong relationship you are building with your nanny.