As a nanny agency in San Diego and Orange County for almost 10 years we have worked with many families from the time that they have a newborn through to the years where the kids begin elementary school. There are things, as parents we never think about when we have a new baby that pertain to life down the road with older kids.
Normally the nannies we place for a family with a new baby encompass a significant amount of experience specifically working with newborns. They comprehend things like defining a regular feeding schedule and sticking to it, working with sleep patterns and recognizing the needs for sleep training or making a conscious effort to improve sleep, knowledge and understanding of the preparation of baby foods and when the time comes working with first finger foods, and light housework during nap time to keep the household efficiently running.
As the newborns turn to infants, and in time enter the preschool world either the family has another baby and the position become more complicated managing a preschool age child and a newborn OR the needs of the family change. Many clients after years of having their nanny come back to us to consult on revising the pay on a position that encompasses two children and more juggling or to reevaluate their needs and the position and nanny they have in it.
For the most part when the family does not have another baby they usually have a strong bond with the nanny they have (most of our families have their nannies for quite a few years) we like to see them retain their nanny and keep things stable for the kids and frankly for the parents.
We consult with both the family normally AND the nanny acting as a objective third party to share insight about what other families do and ideas they can explore with their existing position.
Many times the family will keep the nanny on full time and utilize the her as a Personal Assistant in the mornings while the child is a preschool, performing tasks like grocery shopping, Target and or Costco runs, going to the dry cleaner, planning for the weekend’s birthday parties, organizing clothing, and doing meal preparation. There are times when the nanny falls into more of a pure housekeeping role during this time of day and this solely depends on the interests and skill set of the nanny. It is important to play on the strengths that the existing nanny has in order to effectively retain the relationship. Other responsibilities are created for either role such as communicating with schools administration and teachers, being prepared for activities and projects in the classroom and communicating to Mom and Dad, and driving to after school activities and appointments.
The process of redefining the position should be very direct and clear done in a style that treats the nanny like a professional, giving her the opportunity to either take on the new role or to make a decision to mutually part ways. Suggested tools are a new offer letter, a revised responsibility list, and reevaluation of the compensation.
There are so many creative ways to maintain a good relationship with your nanny and to have the needs of your family met. In most cases a redefinition of the position is effective if both parties want it.
For more information about Crunch Care and our consulting services in San Diego contact 858-228-5584 or in Orange County 949-715-4350.