You’ve just hired a nanny! You are now a household employer, and as such, you need to prepare for nanny’s first day on the job. He or she needs to become acquainted with your household, its operations, its environment—even your household’s culture. Be ready to spend some time with your new nanny during his or her first several days, perhaps spending the entire day with him or her the first day, and reducing the number of hours on the following day. You want to be there to help the nanny become accustomed to the nuances of your household, the children, and their schedules. It is also an opportunity for you both to get to know each other, to treat one another with respect and professionalism, and begin to establish trust.
To help, prepare a list of activities and information you need to cover with your new nanny during his or her first few days.
Some ideas to make the transition proceed smoothly include the following:
- Introduce your new employee to the members of the household. In particular, take whatever time is necessary for you to encourage your children to become familiar with the new nanny.
- Introduce your new nanny to your neighbors.
- If applicable, make sure the nanny’s name is on the list of authorized persons to pick up the children from school or other facilities and that proper documentation is submitted.
- If the nanny will be using your vehicle, spend some time reviewing the vehicle with the new employee. Make sure he or she is comfortable driving the vehicle prior to transporting the children. Also, be certain the nanny can properly install a child safety seat, if applicable. (Local fire departments often provide free training regarding proper child safety seat installation and usage.)
- Review all household policies and procedures listed in the employee handbook. (Remember, now is a good opportunity to discuss household rules on visitors, as well as phone and computer use.) Be sure the new employee understands these policies, procedures, and rules.
- Address all emergency contact information and post it in a designated area for the nanny.
- Review all safety procedures and appliances for the household. (Alarm system, washer, dryer, and any other household equipment that the employee is expected to use.)
- During the first workweek, review job responsibilities detailed in the job description, and take the time to sit down and discuss with the employee how the first week went.
- After the first few days, drop by unannounced for a quick visit to see how things are progressing, or telephone at different times during the day to check in.
To help you prepare for your new nanny, think about the following:
- What information, tools, and instruction does the nanny need to know to successfully do his or her job?
- What are the priority tasks and what are the secondary tasks?
- What support or assistance do you need to provide to your new nanny to make his or her adjustment to your household as quick and easy as possible?
Schedule a meeting for one week after the start date for a discussion on how the job is going, issues that have arisen or may arise, questions that need to be answered, and so forth. This will help ensure that any uncertainty is resolved, and will establish the relationship with open and clear communication. An employer’s efforts to be available to nannies for reviews and discussions of the job, expectations, work environment, and the like will go a long way to foster a respectful and trusting relationship.
Please contact us at (518) 348-0400 if you have any questions or need more information.