Child care


Things to pay attention to when looking for a nanny job

Job search is a tedious activity, during which you have to pay attention to many factors in order to establish whether you are interested or not from the very first contact. It's the same when looking for a job as a babysitter. In this article I will tell you what you should pay attention to before you start working for a family.

Difference of opinion 

Let's start with the first contact, which is usually a job interview between you and the parents. This is not just about asking the babysitter about her experiences and competences, but it’s a conversation during which you should learn how the parents want to raise their child (or children). This is absolutely essential because your ideas and views may be completely different from those of the parents. It is worth asking about the child's eating habits, access to a smartphone/tablet/television, favourite activities outdoors and at home etc. If your way of caring children is completely different from the parents' expectations, it is unlikely that your collaboration will be successful. Otherwise, if your views are very similar, the work - at least in this respect - will not be problematic. Remember to get such information from the parents as early as possible to avoid disappointment later on

Parents' personalities

Almost every nanny believes that caring for a child is more than just a job. In many cases, it turns into a friendship between the family and the babysitter. Babysitters tend to develop feelings for the children they care for - with reciprocity! It is a completely natural situation, as you stay with the child for several hours a day. Therefore, the parents need to be open to their child showing you affection and if, for some reason, from the very start of the cooperation the parents don't want you to have a bond with the child, perhaps you shouldn’t agree to work for them. Any jealousy later can affect your well-being in their home.  
You may also come across immature parents who, for example, are not happy with each other and their decision to have a child was rushed. Although it may be difficult to say at the first glance, over time you may find yourself taking care of not only the child, but you may serve as a temporary marital mediator and psychologist. Surely, it’s not a problem for anyone to listen about someone else's difficulties, but in the long run such a job may be too demanding for one person. In such a situation you can gently suggest to the parents that they may want to consider marital therapy for their child's sake. A sign that you should resign from a babysitting job would be all forms of psychological and physical abuse between the parents. If the adults allow such situations in your presence, the workplace will quickly turn into a toxic environment, which you should leave at any cost.

Remuneration and babysitting duties 

Remember that you should be paid for the work you have done, as well as for any additional activities, such as laundry or cleaning outside the child's room. You need to discuss all these details with the family before you start working for them. The same applies to your salary and the date on which the parents should pay you. Keep in mind that sudden changes in the conditions on which you are to provide childcare give you the right to a pay increase. A babysitting agreement is also important, which should outline the basic rules of service, including e.g. the notice period and the remuneration, possible reimbursement of travel expenses and so on. The pay rate for babysitting work should be adjusted to one’s expectations

Availability and time to adapt 

One of the most important aspects of a nanny's work are fixed working hours, for which they get paid. It is important that you know exactly how many hours you will need to work from the start. It is worth mentioning here the extremely important period of adaptation. The parents may expect you to enter their household from the start, but this is not the best solution, as it may undermine the relations between the child and you and the parents. At first it is best to slowly introduce the nanny into the child's environment, without any sudden changes and e.g. without the parents being absent for many hours. A lack of parental consent for such a flexible adaptation period should alert you, because it may indicate later problems in cooperation.  

Naturally, these are not all the aspects of a nanny's work that you should pay attention to before starting cooperation, but they are certainly the most important ones. Without clear rules, it will be difficult to gain mutual trust, so be sure not to overlook these issues under any circumstances. 

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