DEAR BABY MAKERS
Eleonora Tells it Like it Is
Dear Baby Makers,
So you need some help. Momma’s & Poppa’s & Guardians gotta bring home the bacon. And fry it. With the eggs. And the pancakes. And the blended sweet potatoes (like we talked about last time right?). Basically, everything. Sometimes the only way to run the world AND take care of your whole world is to get an extra pair of hands. So here's my two cents on hiring a nanny for your precious offspring (it may be more like, twenty dollars). Head these pearls of wisdom from the Baby Steps pros, step by step!
The first thing to do is sit down and make a list of requirements and conditions. Separate the list into “needs” & “wants”. Needs being hours, salary, experience, certification, background checks. Subsequent wants being education, fluent in different languages, location, car etc.
After you’ve selected a handful of potential prospects, make a comprehensive list of questions for the interview process. Discuss those wants and needs. Decide what you’re willing to sacrifice and all the dealbreakers. You’re responsible for a child now. Don’t be afraid to let your parental instincts and gut feelings do the heavy thinking.
Have a (paid) playdate. Get a feel for their caretaking style. Get to know them better with your child present. This person will be a prominent figure in your child’s daily life. If pertinent, your child’s opinion matters, possibly even more so. Watch and listen.
Once you’ve picked the lucky winner, decide what kind of relationship you want to have with them. This interaction is special. You’re welcoming them into your home every day to watch your most prized possession. There can be a thin line between employee and friend. Are they just working for you, or are they like one of the family? Decide this immediately. Find the balance that is comfortable for both of you, and always, always, keep the conversation open.
Whether this is on or off of the books, have a contract. Things happen. And the details need to be written down in black and white. Once they’re in ink, that’s it. Stick to your promises. If you say you’ll be home at 5:30, be home at 5:30. Anything after will be overtime.
Discuss a rate together. Nanny pay protocol is typically the more hours, the lesser the rate. Full time may be $15/h, part time may be all the way up to $20/h, overtime may be $17/h. This of course differs person to person and experience in the field. Get cheap t-shirts people, not cheap nannies.
Ele’s Tots Tips for February!
- References references references. Don’t take the short-cut. Take that long walk through the woods. You want the honest opinions of previous employers. Take your time with them. Get the good, the bad, and the hopefully not ugly at all.
- It is beyond well worth it to take a joint CPR certification class, for parents and nanny. Even if you only have time for the online version, it could save lives.
- Keep a diary; for you and for them. You want to know what your child is doing all day. You can follow their patterns even while you’re away. If you have a list of daily tasks for the nanny, write them here. It makes for less formal and bossy interactions.
- The Deal With The Dolla Bills-- If your nanny is your professional, full-time employee, she’s gonna need some professional, full-time treatment. Girl’s gotta eat.
Agree upon vacation time & sick days. Mostly the protocol is half days pay.
Christmas bonus is 1 week of pay.
If you want your nanny to travel with you, pay the expenses, pay the daily rate, +$100.
If you need a sleepover, it does not matter if the child is sleeping. The rate is regular
pay +$100. It is an all night job, and if that nanny is at all worth her salt, she’s probably
Buona Fortuna Baby Makers!