Have you ever walked into a temp job feeling a little nervous? Or perhaps after the parents left you felt a little clueless? Occasional sitting jobs can be nerve racking for everyone! Here are a few ideas to ensure you are the best temp nanny the family has ever had!
Reach out to the parents. Whether you got the temp job through Kiddie Up Nannies or you found this job somewhere else, it’s important to reach out to the family prior to the temp job. You can send them a quick email or give them a call on the phone. You might not always be able to meet the parents and children in advance; if they have not met you before, the unknowing can be a little scary. By contacting the parents in advance, you (and the parents) will be put at ease and feel better!
The first 10 minutes. As you know, it is always a necessity to be on time! With that said, I have never heard complaints if the nanny was to arrive early. I’m not talking about an hour early but perhaps 5 to 10 minutes early. Give the parents plenty of time to go over things and you won’t be left feeling lost either. This leads right into questions to ask the parents.
Questions to ask. It should become habit to ask these questions every time; it’s ok to bring a notepad or cheat sheet if you want to write down the questions and answers.
When was the last time the children ate?
When was the last diaper change?
What is the usual schedule like from now until you get home?
Is there anything important I should know about the house, like automatic door locks or anything like that?
Do the children have any special dietary needs or allergies?
If someone calls your home phone or knocks on the door, do you want me to answer?
Are there any responsibilities or special requirements related to the pets?
What are some important rules of the house I should know?
Is there anything off limits to the children (I.E going into mom and dad’s room, watching TV, playing video games, snacks, etc)?
Is there anything else I left out?
How you can help the parents. I’m almost certain the parents are a nervous the first time too. Luckily for them, they have a great service like Kiddie Up Nannies to help! Even with that, they might still feel uneasy with leaving their little ones with someone they don’t know very well. Impress the socks off mom and dad and ask them these questions:
Will the kids cry or get sad when you leave? Do you want me to distract them?
Would you prefer me to contact you if I have any questions or concerns?
Do you want me to send you a quick text to check in, or would you prefer to talk when you get home?
By asking these questions, you are going to know EXACTLY what the parents want. After a while this will become second nature to you and you will do your job better.
Bag of goodies. So let’s be honest, I’m 100% sure you walked into a home and the child ran from you screaming. Or they had one look at mom who was carrying her keys, and they lost it. I’m not saying this tip isn’t going to eliminate situations like this but bringing a little goodie bag will significantly help! The purpose of a goodie bag will distract the children and hopefully help make the transition a little smoother. Being the great nanny you already are, you will know the ages of children you will be caring for so here are some ideas to include in your goodie bag based off age:
Infants to 18 months
Picture books with faces or animals
Poems to read to them
Toys with noises or lights (easily found at the $1 section of Target)
18 months to 3 years
STICKERS! (Why kids get so crazy about stickers I will never know)
Floor puzzles (with just a few big pieces)
A new book (personalize it and bring your favorite book)
Kids over 3 years
Stickers (again with the stickers!)
Crafts. Any craft. Hobby Lobby and Michaels have the best, inexpensive crafts. Ever.
*I would suggest to stay away from any dress-up, make up or finger nail polish. It might not be ok with every parent to do these activities.
You’re all set! I’m certain you will be an awesome temp nanny! Now, if you find an umbrella that floats you pleasantly over to the temp job, please tell us where we can find one!!