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How Nannies Can Work with Parents at Home During COVID-19

We’re seeing lots of businesses and public facilities around North Carolina reopen under strict guidelines and requirements. While that’s great news for entertaining the kiddos, your employers may still be working from home or have different expectations from you, their nanny.

You may have realized that caring for kids when their parents are present is very different from your “normal” nanny routine. Hours, expectations, and even your everyday activities may have also changed a lot. Change can be confusing and sometimes even uncomfortable but together, you can overcome it!

Check out Preferred ChildCare’s pointers below to learn how to care for kiddos while their parents are working from home.

Sit down and talk with your employers

The first thing to check off your to-do list: schedule a sit-down meeting with your employers to hash things out and get on the same page. Discuss their work schedule, appropriate activities for the kids, the family’s routines, everything that has been changed or impacted by COVID-19. 

Then, figure out a plan for:

  • Communicating. When they worked in an office outside of the home, maybe you communicated primarily through text and called in an emergency. Would you both like to keep this system the same, or are changes needed?
  • Schedules. When do they begin work, take breaks, and finish their workday? Will they eat lunch with the children? Is it okay for the kids to knock on their office door during the day?
  • Designated spaces. Where will the kids primarily play? Are there any areas that are off-limits when the parents are working or on an important call? 
  • Decision-making. Who has the final say when both nanny and parent are present? (More on this in a moment.)

You might find that your employers are just as unsure about these new challenges as you are! That’s why talking about it and working together to find solutions is so important.

Discuss authority and decision-making

When the parents leave, Nanny’s in charge. The children are likely used to that switch from one authority figure to another by now. But what happens when both authority figures are in the home? It can confuse the kids and complicate things between the adults.

During your sit-down meeting, discuss who is in charge when, and hash out how you will “support” each other’s authority in front of the children. For example, if you say “no” to their child’s request, and he or she runs to their parent for a different answer, you’ll want everyone to be on the same page.

These little snafus are common when two or more authority figures are present. That’s why it

S helpful to discuss it before it becomes an issue.

Keep the conversation going

After you have the big meeting with your employers, the hardest part is over. But your work isn’t done yet! 

Set up regular daily mini-conversations with your employers so that both of you can express concerns or talk about goals or expectations for the day. They don’t need to be formal sit-down meetings; a few minutes is enough to cover your bases. You might also talk about how things went before you leave their home for the day. (These check-ins were necessary even before the pandemic, so definitely start them if you haven’t already!)

Don’t forget that things will not be perfect right off the bat, or even after you make changes! If a system or rule isn’t working out for you, talk to your employers. Be receptive and open to discussion if they come to you with similar concerns. Everyone — you, the parents, and their children — deserves to give themselves a break while you all adjust to your new normal. Things will run more smoothly eventually.

Work with Preferred ChildCare

Need more support from other nannies and those in the childcare industry? Join Preferred ChildCare! We match each of our qualified, experienced nannies with a family in the Triad area based on skills, job responsibility, schedule, and more. Learn more about joining Preferred ChildCare today!  

For more tips on working with nannies as a parent, follow the Preferred ChildCare blog!

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