Ask the Nannies: Tips For Starting a New Nanny Job

How do I Start Things off Right with a New Nanny Job?

Mom’s Best Friend’s staffing specialists Melanie and Elena have extensive experience as professional nannies. Their advice addresses frequently asked questions from both aspiring and experienced nannies.

Starting a new nanny job is an exciting opportunity to build a strong relationship with both the children and the parents! Here are some tips that we have found get things off on the right foot:

  • Setting Expectations: You will need to understand and align with the new family’s expectations in order to meet their unique needs. This means asking questions about their preferences, routines, house rules, values, communication styles, and parenting philosophy (some of which you have probably already addressed in the interview and trial time). Of course, you don’t want to come in firing off question after question, as parents are busy and need to work, but a few key questions each day for the first couple of weeks will get you started. Also, remember to be flexible and adaptable as they probably do things differently than your last employer.
  • Building Trust: No matter how much experience you have, it takes time to build trust at each job. You may start out over-communicating a bit at first, but eventually you will build confidence and autonomy. Do not take it personally if the family corrects you or gives you specific instructions – every employer is different, and this should taper off once you are up to speed. Be sure to debrief at the end of the day and even ask for feedback (be open-minded).
  • Bonding with the Child(ren): Building trust and rapport takes time, so let children lead you in their comfort level. Have some ideas coming into the position about how to structure your day, what type of activities and play you might initiate, and be prepared to pivot if the children or parents have different ideas. It is natural for kiddos to be nervous at first, so be patient and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen immediately. Give them time to warm up, but also ask about the children’s interests in order to find ways to engage them.

In a nutshell, success as a nanny is rooted in open communication, trust-building, and the ability to adapt to the unique dynamics of each family. With time, dedication, and an open mind, you’ll not only do a great job but also contribute positively to the growth and well-being of the children in your care.