If there’s one thing busy moms know all too well it’s that time goes so quickly. While the memory of the past year can seem a bit hazy, hopefully your nanny has provided an invaluable pair of helping helps when it comes to your family life.
With another year behind you and your nanny, it’s time to start thinking about an annual review to help make sure you both agree on the way forward for the next 12 months. While everyone will have different priorities to cover, we’ve identified some essentials points to cover below.
1. Review the Year
You and your nanny should both take advantage of the opportunity to talk about what is working and what needs improvement on either side. Discuss issues such as safety, cleanliness, punctuality and attendance.
2. Address Any Changes to Family Life
The one thing you can be sure of is nothing stays the same. Are you expecting another baby? Planning a move? Possibly, your child is now entering preschool for part of the day or you are bringing a new pet into the home. Whatever changes are coming your way, they will affect your nanny as well. Discuss these changes with her and let her know how you anticipate her role will change.
3. Revisit the Job Specification
Your child has grown over the past year and currently has different needs. Possibly, potty training or bottle weaning will begin. Wherever your child is developmentally, different tasks will be required of your nanny. Discuss these changes in depth, as well as ways in which the family and nanny can work together.
4. Renew the Contract
Your nanny will likely wish to discuss a raise and other potential changes to her compensation package, particularly if the list of her responsibilities will be growing or changing. It makes sense to look at your budget and know what you can afford, prior to discussing a pay raise. Other alterations in your nanny’s responsibilities should be noted in the contract as well.
5. Levels of Initiative
“Some families will want their nanny to take a great deal of initiative, and others will prefer the opposite,” says Susan Tokayer, co-president of the International Nanny Association. “Do you wish your nanny to be proactive and research activities, such as library programs and playdates, or would you prefer she take a back seat to making these arrangements? The one-year review is a good time to determine if your nanny’s style matches your own or if it needs to be adjusted.”
6. Style of Discipline
As your child grows, their need for direction and guidance from the adults around them changes. Make sure your nanny understands your expectations for disciplining your child and that these strategies will vary, depending upon the child’s age. For example, how should tantrums be handled? Can your nanny stay calm in the face of a tantrum and direct your child to do the same?
Determine if your current communication system is working. Some families keep electronic logs of things like feedings and nap time. Others simply share a written list or have a daily conversation. Whatever system works for your family and nanny is fine, just make sure the system is in-place and humming.
8. Your Child’s Development
Your nanny spends a lot of time with your child and you should let her know her opinions and observations are valuable. Check in with her and ask if she has any concerns about your child’s developmental progress, particularly if you have concerns of your own. Compare notes and if necessary, take the next steps to have your child evaluated early.
As your child grows, so do the relationships and good times you all share. Remember communication between you and your nanny is a key ingredient to keeping things running smoothly and meeting the next year’s challenges head on.
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