A nanny can be one of your most significant assets, but choosing the right nanny for you can be challenging. It is becoming increasingly common for people to prepare for interviews and will have the “right” answer already planned. It is valid for almost any job, but when you are entrusting someone with caring for your children, you want to be 100% certain that you are choosing the right person.
Once you have been through the interview process and you have chosen the right nanny for you, one who seems suitable, you want to be confident that she is conducting all the roles that she is supposed to do. It can be hard to establish, especially if you are at work all day and not there to oversee what they are doing. Here are some ways that you can check up without appearing disrespectful and causing offence.
Explain Her Role
Most nannies are keen to know how you like things to be done and will ask rather than wait to be told. It allows you to set some criteria from the outset, and you can put some targets in place to ensure that things get completed. For example, if you like your child’s clothes to be put away in a certain way, you can stress this as well as suggesting, rather than telling your nanny when this could be done. This way, she will know what is expected, and you have a method of checking that the task is completed.
It should be emphasised that even experienced nannies will need to become accustomed to what you need. Regardless of her previous experience, your family will be different. As a result, patience must be shown at first while you both learn to adapt.
Although keeping formal records may not be the solution for many people, they are certainly a way of ensuring that tasks are completed. You could introduce this in a subtle way, such as asking for sleep times, when food was given along with detailing places that they have visited. If there appear to be significant gaps during the day, this could be a sign that she isn’t fulfilling all her roles or there may be a more innocent reason. Either way, it is best to bring the matter up sooner rather than later but address it in a positive rather than critical manner.
Although it may not be 100% conclusive, if you encourage your nanny to communicate with you, it will be possible to build up a picture of the roles that she is carrying out. Nannies from Asian cultures can be reluctant to speak their mind, so this may take time to come to full fruition. It is far less intimidating than keeping formal records, but you should be able to glean the information that you are looking for, especially if you plan your questioning.
One of the most obvious ways of being confident that your nanny is completing her roles is by seeing the results of her work. Is your property tidy, are your child’s clothes put away or is there evidence of places that they have visited? Keeping the home tidy is an integral part of caring for children and is something that can be done when they are sleeping. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for more subtle tasks, but it will give you a good indication.
Ask Your Children
Although you don’t want to appear like you are checking up on your nanny, you could ask your children what they have done throughout the day. Have they been shopping, played games or done something that was particularly interesting? Although your child may not be able to give you accurate timings, you should be able to piece together the information yourself to gain an idea of what happens during the day when you are out.
Does your child or nanny look physically tired?
Although it is not your intention to make either physically shattered, if one or both are tired, it could be an indication that something isn’t going to plan. Alternatively, it could be that your nanny is swamped performing too many duties or engaging in play. If it becomes a frequent occurrence without a reasonable explanation, especially if visibly things aren’t getting done; it is something that will need to be addressed.
Does your nanny have problems keeping to time? If she does, it may mean that she runs out of time during the day to fulfil her roles. If this occurs, it could be a big issue and something that needs addressing immediately. Also, does you nanny always work late? If so, it could be a sign of poor time management or that she has too many things to do. It could be used as a secondary indicator or to confirm some existing suspicions.
Mobile Phone Charging
Have you noticed that your nanny’s phone is always on charge? Has she spent most of her day chatting and talking with friends neglecting her duties? Again, this is probably more of secondary rather than a primary indicator that could be used to confirm your suspicions. Mobile devices can be extremely distracting, so you may wish to limit use during the day. Many social media apps will tell you when someone was last active, which will give you a more precise indication if they are spending too much time on their phone.
Culture could play a role in the level of understanding between you and your nanny. The nanny may have different expectations to you due to differences in norms and your culture. Often Thai people can be quite modest and reluctant to tell you what they have or haven’t done through the day. It can make it very difficult to establish what, if any, problems occur during the day. Ideally, it would help if you encouraged greater communication, as this will make it easier for all parties.
Finally, one of the best ways to establish if your nanny is neglecting her duties is by using common sense and following your instinct. Usually when you suspect that something is quite right it for a reason. If you do have concerns, it is sensible to follow up on them. At least that way you will know one way or the other. It is wise to adopt more than one strategy to determine if all roles are being completed or not.