For Nannies

The BIGGEST Mistake New Nannies Make


Setting clear boundaries and expectations from the beginning of your nanny job is crucial. 

It might not be obvious, but having clearly-defined boundaries and expectations can make the difference between a successful, fulfilling position and one filled with misunderstandings and frustration. 

This post explores why this step is so important and provides practical tips to help you set those boundaries effectively.


The Importance of Setting Boundaries and Expectations

Not setting boundaries and expectations can lead to misunderstandings and being taken advantage of. This might mean working extra hours without overtime pay, taking on unexpected responsibilities like household chores, or dealing with other issues that weren’t part of the initial job description.

Imagine starting a new position with a family that seems perfect. They’re friendly and casual, and they express a desire for you to be part of the family. Before you know it, you’re not just caring for the children but also doing their laundry, prepping meals, and taking out the garbage. This scenario is all too common in nanny positions, highlighting the need for clear boundaries and expectations from the start.


Creating a Contract

The best way to avoid these issues is by having a work contract or agreement in place before you start the job. This document should outline your hours, days worked, pay rate, and job responsibilities. It should also cover details like sick days and vacation time.

If you don’t have a nanny agency to assist you, consider using a resource like Laura Brawley’s A to Z Nanny Contracts. This comprehensive contract, available for about $45, includes everything you need. You can customize it by removing sections that don’t apply to your situation.

Don’t hesitate to discuss the contract with the family before starting. While it might feel uncomfortable initially, advocating for yourself is crucial. Setting boundaries doesn’t make you difficult; it makes you professional.


Tips for Setting Clear Boundaries

  1. Create a Contract: As mentioned, this is the first and most important step. There are free and paid contract templates available online. Use these resources to outline your job expectations clearly.
  2. Have Open and Honest Communication: If you feel taken advantage of, address it immediately. Whether it’s about extra duties like taking out the garbage or staying late without compensation, communicating openly prevents these issues from escalating.
  3. Schedule Regular Check-Ins: Regular meetings with the family ensure ongoing communication and address any issues before they become significant problems. Aim to have these meetings during working hours when the children are occupied elsewhere, allowing for honest and open discussions.


Maintaining a Positive Work Environment

Not setting clear boundaries can lead to miscommunication, burnout, and misunderstandings. 

Be proactive and clear with your employer from the beginning to maintain a positive work environment. This proactive approach builds trust and fosters a happier, more productive relationship.

By setting boundaries and expectations from the outset, you create a framework for a positive, professional relationship. This approach not only protects your well-being but also contributes to a harmonious work environment where everyone benefits.

Looking for a nanny job in Canada? Apply with The Nanny Solution.


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