The sidewalks are decorated with chalk, the pools are filling up, and parents are a little more stressed. This can only mean one thing in Stapleton… school is out!
Many parents have secured camps and summer nannies months ago, but is your nanny ready? In order to have a successful, and fun, summer, be sure you leave your nanny comfortable and prepared! I want to take this opportunity to address several topics families (and nannies) need to consider when starting a summer position.
1. Household rules. Sit down with your children and come up with a list of household rules. Not only is this a good reminder for your children, writing it down will help your nanny clearly understand the rules. In layman’s terms, what they can and cannot get away with. A few examples of household rules to include:
• Screen time.
• Guests in the home, playdates and friends visiting.
• Acceptable meals, snacks and drinks; including where children can eat.
• Pet care.
• Shoes in the home.
• Tidying up after the days’ activities.
• Responsibilities, expectations and chores. We talk about this more in number 3.
Keep in mind, even if a rule seems like an obvious rule for your family, it might not be for others.
2. Acceptable activities. I understand you do not want to micromanage your nanny but coming up with a list of acceptable and appropriate activities can be helpful, especially for nannies unfamiliar with Stapleton. Be sure they are aware if you have memberships to the zoo, museums, pools, etc. Communicate your expectations regarding a weekly allowance (ensuring your nanny doesn’t spend $200 at Six Flags every week) and a comfortable driving or walking radius. If you prefer your nanny stays in the neighborhood, be sure to tell them and perhaps offer your bike for them to use.
3. Responsibilities, expectations and chores. Come up with your top priorities. This could be for your children, the nanny or both. For example, your children are responsible for making their bed every day. You expect the nanny to wipe down countertops and load the dishwasher after lunch. A chore list can include must haves and wish list items. Maybe on a rainy day, the nanny can work with the children to wash all the towels and linens in the home. This isn’t an everyday chore but something that would be great to have if there’s time.
4. Schedule. The schedule should be provided with as much notice as possible. Include important mentions such as the days of the week, start/end times, days you won’t need care (e.g., 4th of July- which is on a Thursday this year), start and date, vacations planned, special activities scheduled such as swim lessons or summer camps.
5. Written agreement. A summer position usually doesn’t warrant a contract; although it’s always a good idea to have something in writing. If at the very least, to have a reference point to look back on. This agreement can be sent via email or put in a notebook left in an accessible place. When I was a nanny, many moons ago, a family I nannied for kept a notebook in the kitchen. It was super helpful because it included everything I needed on a day to day basis. There was an envelope with petty cash, membership cards and pool pass, nanny logs, emergency contact information and more. Consider making your nanny a notebook which includes the household rules, acceptable activities and address or directions to each activity, responsibilities, expectations and chores list, schedule, written agreement and last but not least, my favorite- parent resources.
6. Parent resources. I’ve discussed parent resources in previous blogs but because they are my favorite, I’m going to mention them again! We provide our clients with Kiddie Up’s Parent Resources; however, you can make your own. A few lists and checklists we include:
• Medical release form. In case your nanny needs to seek medical attention for your child.
• Emergency contact info.
• Household orientation checklist which includes where certain things are like first aid kits, sunscreen, fire extinguishers, etc. It’s a good idea to list garage codes here too.
• Copies of nanny journals or logs, which records what the children did that day.
• Time sheet if you need the nanny to track hours.
• Mileage log to reimburse for mileage.
• Petty cash summary or place the nanny can leave receipts.
Summertime doesn’t have to be stressful for parents. Yes, it’s likely the routine is a little more relaxed, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo structure in your home. By preparing your summer nanny, not only are you going to reap the benefits as the parent, but your kids will to!
If you need a summer nanny, permanent nanny or temporary help, please contact Kiddie Up Nannies at 720-583-5148.
Have a happy and safe summer!