If you’ve never worked with a nanny or in-home care provider before, you may not know what to expect when you welcome a new caregiver into your home. How can you start your professional relationship off on the right foot? What might your nanny or caregiver need from you to do their job well?
It does take a little time to adjust to a caregiver in your home, but with some preparation, you and your family will get used to them in no time.
Once you’ve decided to hire a nanny or in-home care provider for your family, make sure every family member knows before they start working with you! Letting them know early will help each person in your family prepare themselves for the caregiver.
This is even more important if you’ve hired a nanny for your kiddos. Having a stranger show up to care for them can make them feel scared, anxious, or like they did something wrong. Give your family plenty of notice about the new face they’ll be seeing around the home.
Set some time aside during the first week to spend time with your new caregiver while they work. This will ease you and your family members into the new experience, and your caregiver can get acquainted with your family and the job.
A transition period is also a good time to communicate with your nanny or care provider on house rules, schedules, preferred discipline methods, nap time and bed time, activities, meals, and so on. Speaking of communication…
One of the best ways to adjust to a new caregiver is to communicate with them frequently. When you’re on the same page with your caregiver, you’ll tackle any issues that arise early, and ease any worries you might have.
During your caregiver’s first few weeks (after the transition week), plan a quick check in system. When they get to your home, set aside a few minutes to discuss any plans, changes to schedules, or expectations for the day. Before they leave at the end of their shift, check in again and ask them how things went, or if there’s anything they need to discuss.
Depending on your preferences, you can schedule a longer meeting to talk about how things are going. You might meet every week, every two weeks, or once a month if you like. Whichever schedule you choose, routine communication will help you feel more comfortable with your caregiver. And your caregiver will appreciate the steps you take to welcome them to the family.
Whether you’ve hired a nanny to care for your children or brought on a care provider for an aging parent, know that your “normal” home life might be disrupted for a while. Whatever you’ve gotten used to, like sleep schedules or meals or daily activities, may change.
Change can be frustrating, especially if you feel like you’ve gotten your routine just right. But remember that a new person is essentially joining your family! It’ll take some time for everyone to adjust. You’ll get back to normal eventually.
Give you and your family members a break. Remember to breathe! Welcoming a new caregiver to your home is a time of transition and change. With these tips, you’ll adapt and feel more comfortable with the arrangement over time.
For more tips on working with nannies as a parent, follow the Preferred ChildCare blog!