Author: Vanessa Vidal
Nanny jobs are variable by their very nature. Nanny’s duties will change as the children grow. Activities will evolve from changing a diaper, preparing meals and feeding to going to the park, helping with homework and driving children to and from the different activities. Nannies must be prepared for change.
We are now enjoying the summer and its fabulous warm weather. Many nannies with older charges spend their days at the park, pool and different outdoor activities. Nanny and child are having fun together!
For many nannies, the fun and adventure of summer with little ones is bittersweet. This can also be the season of worry for the nanny. Summer won’t last forever and with the end of summer some nannies worry that their jobs may come to an end as well.
Nannies concerns are real; many families make changes to their child care arrangements when school starts, often going from full time to either part time or after school care.
It is often hard for the family and children let the nanny go. Families who are really attached to the nanny and, most importantly, families who can afford to retain the full time help will often work with the nanny to change job descriptions, adding more house management type activities to the nanny’s job. Nanny’s hours won’t be terminated or reduced; their duties will be replaced while the charge is at school. They may request grocery shopping, more meal preparation, scheduling and supervision of vendors such as carpet cleaners, errand running and expanded housekeeping duties.
A nanny in this situation would start the transition to a nanny/house manager position. Be careful; make sure you and your nanny are on the same page with job description and expectation. Many nannies who are fabulous with little ones are either not proficient at or uninterested in general housekeeping. Likewise, there are nannies who have no interest in house manager duties. It is important for both parties to assess realistically what they need and want – it may not be possible for family and nanny to come up with a job description that they can both be happy with and an orderly separation may be the best outcome.
In all situations, open and honest communication between nanny and family about the family’s needs and plans is imperative. The nanny who knows her job will end with the start of school can start preparing for the job search – making applications, updating resume and references, etc. Families who worry the nanny will leave them early – even by a few weeks – can reduce this risk by offering a severance bonus (typically 2 weeks pay) if the nanny stays through a specific date.
Nannies, how do you feel about staying on with different job duties? Would you expect a salary change?
Families, how do you handle this transition? Would you consider a house manager position to keep nanny with your family? If you will be letting your nanny go, do you discuss ahead of time?