Nannies spend many years with a family and according to Glenda Propst, a Missouri- based nanny of 30 years and founder of nannytransitions.com, “the most challenging experience any of us handle as nannies is leaving a family. When you spend years of your life loving, caring for and nurturing a child, you fall in love with that child.” This is a list of reasons why nannies quit and how both families and nannies can help prevent these situations:
1. Demanding Workload and Hours
Many people take advantage of nannies and don’t even realize they’re mistreating them. If you are making your nanny do a lot of work she should get paid a fair amount. She is not there for manual labor. Don’t forget that the real reason she is there is to help you take care of your children.
It is not fair to nannies for parents to come home much later than expected, or ask a live-in nanny to work during her “off time.” You do not want your nanny to feel like she is constantly being hounded by work or that her free time isn’t respected.
Always make sure your caregiver gets a proper amount of time off from work. If you need her to come in early or stay late, make sure to give her advanced notice.
It would also be a good idea to make a nanny contract, if you don’t already have one, that lists her responsibilities, hours, and pay rates so that everyone is on the same page.
2. Changing Responsibilities
All of the responsibilities/duties for your nanny need to be outlined beforehand. The person you have hired as a nanny will always put your child/children as the main priority over any housework you may want her to do. If you are wanting her to help with housework, let her know before you hire her so she is not surprised when you tell her to clean the house.
If something ever changes, make sure to consult the nanny before setting it in place to make sure she is comfortable with the new workload, and of course pay extra for the extra work.
3. Wage Issues
Many people do not always understand that nannying is the only way many childcare providers make their money.
Disagreement of payment is one of the main reasons people usually go their separate ways. It is only fair for nannies to be paid for the amount of work they’re doing, many parents try to stretch the amount they are paying them or they may not realize what a fair rate is, that they have to pay for the full time they are working, or that they should give their nanny a raise.
Many times the employers are not good about keeping their schedule with their nanny. If you are going out of town, you need to let your nanny know at least 4 weeks in advance, especially if she is not going to be paid for the duration of your trip.
4. Cabin Fever and Homesickness
Being cooped up in someone else’s house for long hours every day, without any adult interaction, is a recipe for cabin fever. Nannies tend to feel very isolated, especially if they are a live-in nanny. According to Propst, “When your workplace is also your living space, it’s hard to feel like you have time off unless you make a point of leaving when you are off duty.”
It is important for parents to allow nannies opportunities to establish social circles and gain new experiences while working. These include but are not limited to activities such as taking the children for a walk at the park, going to the zoo, museum, or playground, and joining playgroups. These outings also help children learn and practice socializing.
As a nanny, in order to gain a family’s trust, you should be very confident from day one. Parents will then feel more comfortable with allowing the nanny flexibility with their schedule.
5. A Change in Personal Life
There are many reasons that can alter a nanny’s availability eventually leading her to quit because she no longer has the time. These include getting engaged, married, returning to school, loss of transportation, or arise of an illness.
6. Different Child Care Philosophies
Everyone has their own set of values they believe in and yours could differ from your nanny’s. It is difficult to find a nanny that has the same beliefs and values as you do. If you hire a nanny, that means that you trust her skills, which gives her the freedom to take charge of minor details. If you are having issues with this, talk to her do not just hold it inside.
7. Unappreciated Efforts
Being underpaid and overworked is a sign of a lack of appreciation and respect. Caring for children is a big responsibility and a lot of work. It takes a lot of heart, commitment, and often, compromises. You need to make sure you are recognizing your nanny for all of the hard work she has done, even if it is a little extra time off or something like that. No matter how busy you are, you can still say thank you. Sometimes little things like that can make a person’s whole day better.
Communication is a HUGE factor when someone else is taking care of your children. No, they cannot read your mind. You can never be too careful when dealing with children. You and your nanny have the same goal, successfully raising the children. If there is not a lot of communication going on between you and your nanny that leads to disappointment and resentment. At the end of every day, you and your nanny should have a small two-minute chat about everything that happened that day. You should also plan on having longer talks at the end of every week or every other week to discuss how things are going so far and any issues that may have arisen.