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For Nannies

Wondering what to do with your ECE background? Become a Nanny!

 

An increasing number of Early Childhood Educators are leaving the daycare world and are finding professional jobs working as nannies in private homes. Parents want the best for their children and many families are choosing to hire in-home educators to provide one on one learning throughout the day.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the reasons why ECEs are transitioning from working in a group environment to becoming professional Nannies.

Nannying gives you the opportunity to continue using your education
Do you have a diploma or degree in Early Childhood Education or Child and Youth Care? Being employed as a Nanny is a wonderful way to make use of that education. Nannies are not glorified babysitters; they are caregivers, teachers, and a source of support and guidance for children during their most formative years!

Less children = more time to form quality relationships
When you’re working one on one with a child, rather than with a group of children, you are able to develop a special relationship with them. You will form a close bond that they will likely remember and carry with them for the rest of their lives!

Competitive Wages
Nannies with ECE diplomas and backgrounds in Education are currently being paid $23-30 gross per hour.

Not paid “under the table”
As a Nanny, you are hired as an employee. You will receive a payslip, have taxes deducted from your pay, and receive a T4 at tax time. This also makes you eligible for Employment Insurance and other applicable government financial supports and subsidies.

Not required to do housekeeping
Nannies are not required to do housekeeping. Their primary purpose is to provide care for the child and ensure they are safe. Aside from tidying up after any meals or activities they may do with the children, Nannies do not need to do any cleaning for the family. In fact, many of our clients also hire housekeepers to take care of that.

Paid vacation
That’s right, Nannies get paid vacation, and often receive 2-6 weeks of paid vacation! Do you even need another reason to make the switch?

Health and safety
Working in a private home, as opposed to a daycare centre, means you’re exposed to far less bugs and viruses. You’re able to limit exposure and better protect yourself and any “at risk” people in your life, which is especially important in light of the recent global pandemic.

Appreciative parents
When you work for a family, the parents come to depend on you and regard you as part of the parenting team and family unit! You are invaluable to them and that level of appreciation sure feels nice.

More autonomy and independence
As a Nanny, the parents are your employer. Aside from that, you have autonomy and the ability to work independently without constant supervision. The family trusts that you know what’s best for the children and can make decisions and plan around that.

No workplace politics
When you work in a private home, there’s none of the usual workplace drama. No conflicts with co-workers, unfair power dynamics, lack of cooperation and communication, etc. When you’re just working with the family, the structure is far more simple.

It’s free to register with an agency
Working with an agency comes at absolutely no cost to the Nanny! The families pay the agency a finder’s fee.

Opportunities for fun field trips and activities
Taking the children out for a field trip or even to the park for an afternoon doesn’t require extensive planning, waivers, and coordination when you’re just working with one family. Think of all the fun places you can explore and activities you can do with the children in your city! When the weather is nice, you get to spend the days outside in fresh air.

World-wide travel (if that interests you)
Some families hire Nannies to travel or go on vacation with them as well. They cover the expenses and you have the opportunity to visit new places while also getting paid to do so!

Categories
For Parents

Onboarding a New Nanny

 

Hiring a Nanny and getting them acquainted and comfortable with your family and home no small task! Each family does things a little differently, and no matter how many years of experience the Nanny has, it will take them some time to get familiar with a new family. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can help make the on-boarding process as easy and effective as possible.

Family Manual
A family manual is a binder or e-document with everything the Nanny needs to know about working with your family. It includes important information such as emergency contacts, medical needs and allergies, dietary information, house rules, the family’s schedule, parenting approaches, and so on. Not only is a family manual helpful when the Nanny is first starting out, it is something they can refer back to at any time.

Written notes and lists
Nannies may choose to carry a notebook around with them to record important information shared with them during their first few shifts. They may also continue to use one to write down to-do lists, grocery lists, and other noteworthy items from the day. We strongly recommend that families do the same.

Schedule
Similarly, it is helpful to have a daily and/or weekly schedule for the Nanny to follow as well. The schedule should outline the Nanny’s tasks and responsibilities, as well as scheduled nap times, activities, appointments, etc.

Shared calendar
Having a shared calendar is also a useful tool, as it allows busy families to keep track of activities and appointments, vacations, and the Nanny’s work schedule. You may choose to have a wall calendar visible somewhere in the house or to share an online calendar, such as Google Calendar or iCalendar.

Communication book
We always recommend that families use a book or diary (one day per page style) to communicate with the Nanny. A communication book is where everyone can record and relay day-to-day information, such as how the child napped, diaper changes, upcoming appointments for the children, parents, and Nanny (e.g., “I have a concert on Wednesday evening, so I must leave no later than 6 PM”, “Spirit Day at school”, “I have an early meeting on Tuesday, so you will have to arrive at 8 AM”).

Shadowing
It can be very useful to have a “shadow day” with a new Nanny, where they spend a day with one of the parents or another caregiver (such as a relief Nanny or a previous Nanny whose contract is ending). This gives the Nanny an opportunity to get acquainted with the home, experience a typical day with the children, and learn about details that may otherwise be overlooked.

Trial shifts
We also highly recommend having the Nanny do a trial shift with your family to ensure that it is a good fit. This is especially important if the initial interview took place virtually and you haven’t had a chance to meet the Nanny in person yet. It’s hard to get a true sense of someone you’ve only ever met through a computer screen. A trial shift gives both your family and the Nanny the opportunity to assess whether the relationship will work or not before making a commitment.

Categories
COVID For Parents

It’s Time to Check In with the Nanny

 

It’s not an easy time to be a Nanny! The ongoing global pandemic is creating unique challenges for professional childcare providers, which is leading to high rates of burnout and mental health struggles among those in the field. Nannies’ roles have changed drastically in order to abide by social distancing measures. They are now expected to be teachers helping children learn in their virtual classrooms; quiet coworkers and behavior management experts for parents who are working from home; and endlessly creative in coming up with new activities and projects to do with children while libraries and playgroups are closed. While they are dealing with the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic themselves, they are also the ones helping children cope with the confusion and feelings of loss associated with the “new normal”. Nannies are doing all of this — and more — without the usual support of their other Nanny friends and, often, without any additional praise or financial compensation from their employers. It’s no wonder they are feeling overwhelmed, under-appreciated, and undervalued! 

Families, it’s time to check in with the Nanny! Make a genuine effort to find out how they’re doing — how they’re really doing. Discuss ways to better support them. Show that you appreciate them, in any way you can. Keep communicating and checking in on a regular basis. Let them know they can be open with you and ask for additional support. They’ve been there for you and your children throughout the pandemic — show them that you’re there for them too. After all, we’re all in this together! 

* Thank you to Nanny Care Hub (Nanny Care Hub website, Facebook) for reminding all of us here at The Nanny Solution and Nannies on Call just how important it is to show the Nannies that we care! You have inspired us to write this post and to check in with the wonderful Nannies in our lives.

Categories
For Nannies For Parents

Introducing The Nanny Solution

 

This month, Nannies on Call is celebrating its 20th birthday. To celebrate, we wanted to share the story of how it all began, and introduce you to our new sister company, The Nanny Solution!
 

Our story:

When working mom-of-two, Michelle Kelsey, started Nannies on Call in 2001, it was out of necessity — she couldn’t find trustworthy, high-end childcare for her daughters and it was impacting her life in a negative way. So, she created what she had longed for — a professional, easy-to-use, reliable Nanny service. Since then, Nannies on Call has pre-screened over 18,000 Nannies and provided 1,552,310 hours of on call childcare to families. Our Placement Team has connected over 26,000 families with exceptional Nannies and placed over 1,800 Nannies.

In 2021, twenty years later, Nannies on Call has had to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing needs of both clients and Nannies. We recognize that there is an increased need for safe, health-conscious, reliable child care. At the same time, parents’ and Nannies’ roles have also changed — they have to be educators, as well as caregivers. While many families are familiar with our on call babysitting services, they may be unaware that we also offer full-time and part-time Nanny placements to fulfill their ongoing child care needs. Our Nannies on Call team assessed the situation and saw an opportunity to provide a solution — The Nanny Solution.

The Nanny Solution is made up of the same knowledgeable, experienced staff and offers the same high-quality Nannies on Call service. We recruit educated, engaging, and experienced Nannies, and offer families personalized childcare solutions to fit their unique lifestyles.
 

About the Nanny Solution:

The Nanny Solution is dedicated to providing families with trustworthy, high-end childcare that is tailored to fit their unique needs and lifestyle.

Nannies who are hired have impressive skill sets, up to date certifications, and varying personalities. All our Nannies are educated, engaging, and adaptable. You tell us your situation, and we find you your personalized Nanny Solution.
 

All our Nannies have:

  • Clear Criminal Record Checks
  • Valid First Aid and CPR certification
  • A minimum of 2 years child care experience
  • Verified references

 

If you’re looking for a personalized childcare solution to fit your lifestyle, book a consultation with one of our Placement Managers to find out if The Nanny Solution has the right fit for your family.

Lisa Bruce – Book a consultation
BC, Alberta and Nationwide Searches
Ext 104
lisa@thenannysolution.ca

Kate McGeachin – Book a consultation
Ontario and Nationwide Searches
Ext 108
kate@thenannysolution.ca

Find us:
The Nanny Solution
Facebook
Instagram

Categories
For Parents

Nanny Search Discrimination

 

In our 20 years of experience as a professional Nanny agency, we have heard clients make every request in the book. For the most part, we try our absolute best to accommodate families’ requests and help them find a Nanny that’s the right fit for their specific needs. On occasion, however, we do encounter clients making discriminatory requests, which we are absolutely not willing to accommodate.

What are discriminatory requests?

  • Requests for Nannies of a certain race or ethnic background (or Nannies who are not of a certain race or ethnic background)
  • Requests related to the Nanny’s gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Requests for Nannies of a certain age group.
  • Requests related to the Nanny’s size or body type.
  • Requests related to the Nanny’s physical appearance.

What are you actually looking for in a Nanny?

Before specifying that you want “a Filipino Nanny” or that you don’t want “someone under the age of 25”, take a moment to reflect. What specific qualities do you value in a Nanny who is _____? Is the request you’re about to make based on a preconceived idea or stereotype about a specific group or demographic? What is it that you’re actually looking for, and how might you phrase it differently?

Below, we’ve listed some of the qualities that families desire in a Nanny. This language may be helpful for reframing your request, so that we can help you find a Nanny that’s the right fit.

  • Language skills (For example: “We would like a Nanny who is fluent in _____” or “we prefer a Nanny who also speaks _____”.)
  • Energetic
  • Active
  • Experienced
  • Mature
  • Patient
  • Engaging and attentive
  • Caring and nurturing
  • Communicative
  • Fun and enthusiastic
  • Creative
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Reliable
  • Punctual, good time management skills
  • Organized
  • Housekeeping skills
  • Meal preparation and cooking skills
  • Positive discipline skills

 

But, why?

We understand that, as parents, you only want what is best for your child(ren). Most of the time, there are no negative intentions behind the requests that are being made, however, they are often based on a preconceived notion or stereotype the client has in mind. Stereotypes (even seemingly “positive” stereotypes) can be harmful, as they result in people having implicit biases toward a specific group or demographic. These biases may then lead us to deny opportunities to those belonging (or not belonging) to that group. As an agency, we are not willing to deny highly qualified candidates the opportunity to apply for a position simply based on a family’s prejudice.

Although we do, unfortunately, encounter racial biases with some clients, we are not speaking exclusively about race and ethnicity. We also often receive requests based on ageism — for example, clients who don’t want a Nanny under the age of 25, or who don’t want someone over the age of 50. When we inquire as to why they would prefer someone older, more often than not, we learn that their real concern is that the Nanny will not be hardworking or that they will be on their phone all day. Conversely, some clients would prefer a younger Nanny, as they feel that someone older won’t have the stamina to keep up with their energetic children. In our experience, age does not determine whether someone is a good Nanny or not — work ethic, energy, and enthusiasm do. We’ve placed 19-year-old Nannies with families who have reported that they were the most hard-working, responsible employee they’ve ever hired. We’ve also placed Nannies in their 50’s who can carry twins up and down multiple flights of stairs all day, and who run marathons in their spare time. When it comes to being an exceptional child care provider, age is truly just a number!

We also sometimes have clients requesting a Nanny who is “thin” or “in good shape” (yes, this does happen). Quite often, what they are actually requesting is a Nanny who is active and energetic, and can keep up with their children. Unfortunately, as a society, we often equate size and body type with level of fitness. If you need a Nanny that has the stamina to keep up with your busy family, we will find you that Nanny! The Nanny’s physical appearance, however, will not be a deciding factor in our search.

Where can I learn more about being inclusive?

Here are some informative resources to check out:

7 Ways to Be More Inclusive in Your Everyday Life
Guide to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Gender-Neutral Pronouns 101: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know
Types of Discrimination
The Terrifying Power of Stereotypes – and How to Deal with Them
3 Reasons Positive Stereotypes aren’t that Positive
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

Categories
For Parents

Happy Nanny, Happy Family

 

Our Placement Team has connected over 26,000 families with Nannies and placed over 1,800 different Nannies, 95% of whom stay with their placement families for longer than one year — this doesn’t just happen by accident! In our twenty years of experience in the industry, we have learned the secrets to keeping your Nanny happy and ensuring a successful, lasting placement. We want to help your family have the same wonderful experience, that’s why we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help you navigate the working relationship with your Nanny and ensure that everyone is happy.

 

How to aid clarity and happiness in relationship with your Nanny:

  • Follow the contract. It’s really that simple — follow the contract and keep a copy on-hand to refer back to when needed.
  • Always pay your Nanny on the date that was agreed upon and the amount you had both agreed to.
  • Set clear guidelines. Be upfront about your expectations, boundaries, and preferred methods of communication.
  • Stay on schedule and always try to be on time. Your Nanny’s time is valuable — do not expect them to stay longer than their work hours, unless previously discussed and agreed to by both parties, or in case of an emergency.
  • Use a day planner to write down a schedule for the day, including the tasks that need to get done (e.g., the nap and feeding schedule, fold cloth diapers, prepare formula or a certain meal for the children, classes the children have scheduled, etc.). Leave space for your Nanny to write down what they did with the children, what the children ate, when they napped, and so on, as well.
  • Just as you would in any workplace, meet with your Nanny on a regular basis to review their performance, and to give and receive constructive feedback. Be sure to give your Nanny the opportunity to discuss anything that may be coming up for them or any questions they may have.
  • Start and end any discussion on a positive note. Try to approach all conversations in a non-confrontational tone, and be specific about any concerns you may have. It is important to be clear about roles and responsibilities, and to talk through important issues in a timely manner, before they become a source of tension or conflict.

 

Some questions to clarify with your Nanny at the beginning of the working relationship:

  • What are your rules around screen time for the children? Are they allowed to watch television, use the computer, handheld devices, etc.?
  • Is it okay for the Nanny to use the home computer?
  • What are your rules regarding cell phone use while the Nanny’s watching the children?
  • Do you want the Nanny to call or text to update you throughout the day?
  • What do you want your child to eat for meals and snacks? Are there foods that you do not want your child exposed to? What about sweets?
  • Do you want your child using a pacifier?
  • Are the children expected to help out with tidying up or chores around the house?
  • Do you discipline your children? If so, how (e.g., positive discipline, time-outs, etc.)?
  • Can the Nanny help your children with their homework?

 

Categories
COVID For Nannies

Helpful Tips for Nannies with Parents Working from Home

 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Nannies rarely worked in homes where the parents were present during the day. Now, since offices have closed and many parents have transitioned to working from home full-time, it has become the norm, rather than the exception. This arrangement can present some challenges, particularly for Nannies who are used to having the parents be absent and prefer to work independently. We recognize that it is an adjustment, which is why we’ve put together a few helpful tips for Nannies placed in homes where the parents are also working.

Have a designated workspace

If the size and layout of the home allows, parents should set up a designated workspace that is separate from the main living area. This separation is beneficial for both the parents and children, as the parents can work without being distracted or interrupted throughout the day, and the children can have a better understanding of the distinction between work and family time. As a Nanny, this will also allow you more autonomy to look after the children without having the parents constantly monitoring and, potentially, micro-managing.

Establish roles and boundaries with parents

With parents being present in the home, there is a natural tendency for them to feel a sense of responsibility for tasks related to childcare. It is important to discuss boundaries with the parents and have a mutual understanding of what your duties are, as well as where and when they can step in. For example, if you are there to provide childcare from 8:00AM until 4:00PM, you are responsible for feeding the children breakfast, lunch, and snacks; doing indoor and outdoor activities with them; taking them to playgroup; etcetera. If the parent is working from home and wants to have some involvement during that time, it should be pre-determined and not interfere with the children’s routine. Does Mom may want to have lunch with the children each day while she takes her break? Great! This is easy to work into the children’s daily schedule. Having Mom pop in and say “hi” while you’re trying to put the two-year-old down for a nap? Not so great.

Manage behaviour

We have heard from countless parents that their children are on their best behaviour when they’re with other people, and they save their “challenging” side exclusively for their parents. This may not necessarily be true, but you can see what we’re getting at here — children are more likely to act out and demand attention when their parents are around, especially if they’re preoccupied with work. They may ignore your role as a Nanny and come back at you with “you’re not my mother” or throw temper tantrums if they’re not that articulate yet. This will certainly be a challenge, especially if it is a new working relationship or the parents have just recently transitioned to working from the home. You can prepare for this by familiarizing yourself with positive discipline methods and having proactive conversations with the parents about how they would like you to approach these situations.

Provide comfort and show compassion

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that this is a difficult, confusing time for everyone and especially for children. Be patient, show compassion, answer questions, provide comfort, and help them develop coping strategies. We don’t know when this pandemic is going to end and parents may be working from home indefinitely — we all need to be flexible and learn to adapt to the “new normal”.