As nannies, we can experience a lot of pressure from the family we nanny for. Want to go above and beyond your family’s expectations? Make an impression by following these 5 ways to impress the family.
1. Dress for the job
Casual and Active attire is the name of the game. When we come to work dressed formal or to ‘uppity’ it doesn’t give off the impression that we will be interactive and relaxed with the children. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Will I be able to walk at least an hour, sit on the floor play, get spit up on, or climb a ladder in what I am wearing.” If the answer is yes, you are good to go. Some ideas for comfortable work attire would be: jeans or work out pants, simple t-shirt or sundress, and definitely sneakers, sandals or boots. (I tried heels when I first started out…not a good idea!)
2. Have an art or craft to show at the end of the day
A drawn picture hung on the refrigerator, clay creation on the dining room table or a fort set up in the living room is a perfect display of the fun you and the child have had! It is so nice for a parent to come home and see evidence of their child learning and being creative. I would say though, with the fort in the living room or bedroom, to just ask the parents before you venture into this project. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming to come home and find sheets, towels and pillows strewn all over. Better to ask first than be greeted by an unhappy parent later.
3. Bake or cook a snack
This is such a fun thing to do with the children and also a great sight and smell when mom and dad come home from work! By baking or cooking with the child, you have provided an example of how they could include the children in baking adventures in the future, displayed one of your skills as a nanny, and also supplied a yummy snack for them to enjoy when you leave for the day. Toddlers could be your expert pourers/mixers and older children could practice their measuring and adding skills.
4. Offer to do extra activities and take interest in the ones they attend
Switching up the ol’ routine is a great thing to do sometimes to keep you and the kids from getting bored. A few creative and fun adventures could include a trip to the Zoo, Aquarium, local nature reservation or beach. Another great way to let the parents know you care about their children’s development, interests and activities is by noticing when their current activities end and start back up. A friendly reminder to their busy parent about when the next music class will be starting is so helpful and appreciated.
5. Be reasonably flexible
It is a good rule of thumb to plan for occasional overtime hours when a parent has to work late or is stuck in traffic. The original hours that you agree upon at the time of contract SHOULD be the hours that are normally kept. If the tardiness or expectation of you staying 20-30 minutes late becomes normal, then this should be addressed. But it is good to be somewhat flexible with the give and take that comes by nannying. For example, I have been asked to come in 2 hours early on Monday because a parent is leaving for a business trip, in exchange for me leaving 2 hours early on Friday. Likewise, I have asked for an early leave one day in exchange for a little extra work on another. Some parents and some careers do not allow for such flexibility and availability, but it is good to be aware that this could happen.
Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be well on your way to blowing your family away!