How to avoid problems with my nanny?
Initiate by writing a contract that specifies every conditions related to your nanny's job, such as wages, hours, benefits and instructions related to child care. Ideally a meeting and discussion on everything should be planned prior to the nanny's official joining on first day, as all the fine aspects of a parent - caregiver relationship can't be covered in a document.
Discuss with an open mind - and the interaction should not be a lecture but a dialogue. After all childcare arrangement should be collaborative. And mind it; no issue is minor to rise.
Few topics to be reviewed:
Your childcare views. Obviously some common opinions are shared by your and your nanny (that's a crucial reason to hire her), but do you differ from her in certain other aspects? Take a decision that with time how you can point out such a specific circumstance, as in temper tantrums or toilet training. And move to bigger problems like nutrition, sleep and discipline- elaborately.
The house decorum. Does your nanny attend visitors during daytime? Would you prefer her to dress in a particular manner? Is your child permitted to watch television? Let the nanny know decorum of your home so she can follow the same accordingly.
Kitchen rules should be discussed as well- is it fine with you if your nanny consumes the food prepared in your home or do you prefer her to carry her own food?
Surely, rules of your house covers activities performed out of home as well. So if you allow your nanny to use the car, for instance, be sure that she is aware that the tank should be gassed up if it is half empty, or you prefer her to drive to and from attending doctor's appointment with the child. You may join her once or twice to ensure that she drives well. Using your child's safety seat in proper manner should be showed to her. (Don't forget to add your nanny on the car insurance policy so she gets covered if there is any accident.)
Modes of interaction: Decide in advance on how you may keep in touch or bring up any concern or question.
A part time nanny from El Cerrito, California, Amy, fixes meetings with her employers on weekly or monthly basis. She feels if she maintains a collaborative relationship with parents, interaction is necessary. "It's a joy to work with parents who are team players," she specifies.
You may prefer to get a quick recap of the activities of your child from the nanny at the end of the day. It can be also checked during day by email or phone. By receiving a quick snap of your kid in the baby swing in playground or receiving a text message which mentions that she just have gone for her nap will keep you informed.
Annoying habits: Is there any intolerable habit, like tardiness, smoking, or foul language? Tell her directly on these now to avoid any heated discussion in future. You may also discuss with her about her personal life issues if she is young- are you okay for her having someone or meeting a friend at the park with your kid around, or do you prefer her to socialize on her personal time?
This discussion should involve both of you. Ask her on her exposure with previous employers- has she faced any such childcare arrangement that triggered her to get irritated. You can avoid the same by knowing those potential difficulties in advance.
A pre-decided plan. Discuss on what you may do when your nanny is sick or not available due to some emergency. Incase she has her own child, how you may look after things when her child is ill or can't attend school or daycare. Is she permitted to bring her child to your house, or your child to her house?
If you can, think of having a back up nanny in advance. She may be aware of other sitters who, as a substitute, can take care of your child. (Be sure to do their reference checking in similar manner as you did hers).