You work hard as a nanny! Long days of activity planning, meal prepping, and potty training can leave you in need of a well-deserved vacation, once in a while. But how will your nanny-family manage without you? Don't worry, we promise they will.
Working long hours without building time for a personal nanny vacation can leave you feeling burned-out and frustrated, and no employer wants that. If you're thinking about using some of your vacation days to go on a trip, just make sure to make an extra effort to prepare your nanny-family for your time off. Here's some tips on how you can make for the smoothest experience possible, for both you and your employers.
Here are Some Tips to Help Prepare for your Nanny Vacation
1. Leave Yummy Provisions and Take Stock
Freeze a few dinners by making a double batch of the children's favorite meals. Lasagnas, soups, breaded chicken, and other items that freeze easily are great things to store away for while you're gone. Make sure anything else your replacement nanny might need is also stocked, such as laundry detergent, diapers, shampoo and conditioner for the children.
2. Give Your Bosses Ample Warning
Give plenty of advanced notice to your employers. Leaving them scrambling for back-up care isn't the best idea when you'll be out for several days, so do what you can to give them ample warning and time to plan for your absence. Don't drop your vacation plans on them a week or two before!
3. Offer to Help Find Back-up Care
Line up some replacements for each of the days you'll be gone, or give suggestions of nannies they could call and interview if they would prefer to take the lead. Ask around if any of your nanny friends can cover any of the days you'll be gone. If your employers would prefer to interview your replacement themselves, ask your friends if you can pass along their contact information. Use your nanny network!
4. Prepare the Children
Encourage the children to show the fill-in nanny just how lovely they truly are. Give them tips on how to make the fill-in nanny feel right at home, and remind them to be on their best behavior while you're gone. Children want to make us proud, and when we have high expectations, they will meet them!
5. Prepare the Fill-In Nanny
Jot down notes of your routines and general day-to-day duties. You don't have to write an entire handbook, but it can be helpful to put into writing what your typical schedule looks like, to make the transition as easy as possible both for the family and for your replacement. Write down some of the children's favorite foods, favorite local parks, or favorite bedtime stories. These tips will go a long way in making your absence as easy as possible for your nanny family. But it will also show them just how much you care about their family and are paying attention to their children.
Are you a nanny wondering how else you can prepare your nanny-family for your time off? Have any words of wisdom of your own? Let us know in the comments section below!
For a parent of a child with even a mild food allergy, it can be extremely daunting to leave your child with a new person, one who may slip and forget what snacks have hidden ingredients, or to double check with the kitchen staff at a new restaurant. For your peace of mind, here are some great tips to help ensure that you and your nanny are on the same page when it comes to how to feed your children.
Create a Work Agreement
Here at Kith & Kin, we're huge believers in work agreements! Putting details in writing allows both parents and nannies much greater peace of mind, so that uncertainties and misunderstandings don't arise down the road and all expectations are clear.
If you are the parent of a child with a food allergy, or if you just want to make sure your nanny is preparing a similar diet to what you already have in place for your child, putting the details in a contract can be extremely helpful. If there are certain food items or ingredients that your child must not eat, then lay those out in writing. If you only let your child have a sweet snack on certain special occasions, explain this in the contract.
While this might seem overbearing, remember that your nanny is not a mind-reader, and it always helps to have something to refer back to! Every family is a little different, and the way you approach your child's diet will not necessarily be the same as the family they have worked with before. Laying out all the specifics for your child's diet, will help avoid uncertainty for your nanny. Be sure to give your nanny a copy of the contract, and/or put it up somewhere in the kitchen where they can use it for reference if ever they have a question.
Give your Nanny a Sample Menu
If you are the parent of a child with a food allergy, you might have learned to prepare specific dishes in order to avoid certain ingredients. You also will be aware of which prepared foods have hidden ingredients that could be dangerous for your child's food allergy.
In order to ease your nanny into the food norms of your family, write out a sample menu for a week or two, and give it to them to refer or add to. Include the dishes that your child is used to, and you would normally prepare for them, along with ingredients and instructions for your nanny.
Providing a menu for the first few weeks will ease your nanny into your lifestyle and food preferences, and get them acquainted with the types of dishes and ingredients your child is used to. Eventually, these dishes and ingredients will become second nature to your nanny. Include suggestions for snacks and prepared foods that are OK with you. Also include a detailed list of foods and snacks that are not okay to feed your child with a food allergy.
Avoid Eating Out
The experience of eating a meal out a restaurant can be so stressful and tedious. Even the most well-meaning kitchen staff might not be aware of every ingredient in their dishes. While it can be easy for a nanny to grab a quick lunch in the middle of their day out with your child, if you are the parent of a child with a food allergy you know that sometimes it's best to avoid eating out all-together.
Explain this to your nanny, and make sure you always have meals or ingredients to prepare a quick and easy meal for your child on hand. If you know for certain of specific restaurants or dishes that are safe for your child to eat, write out a list of those and include it in your nanny's work agreement. After all, when it comes to having a child with a food allergy, you can't be too specific with your requests or requirements.
Post Emergency Information
Before the first day of work, make sure your child's nanny knows the specific protocol should they have an allergic reaction. Write down for your nanny the specific instructions that they should follow if your child shows signs of a reaction (and even talk about what those signs are).
If your child needs to be administered an epileptic-pen, make sure your nanny always carries one on their person and knows exactly how to use it - The Red Cross has special trainings for this, and it's prudent to pay for your nanny to attend.
Be sure to write down the contact information for which doctor to call, or which hospital to go to, in the case of an emergency, and have a copy of this in their diaper bag, backpack, and stored in a Note on your nanny's phone - anywhere that is easily accessible.
As with any case of a child with a special need or care, the most important piece of advice is to be, and constantly remain, as prepared as possible, while also preparing others in case Plan A falls through. By following these tips and strategies, your nanny will be ready and knowledgeable about what is safe and what is not. When in doubt, your nanny can pass on an item and substitute it for something else. If you have time to prepare your child's food, do. If not, provide your nanny with clear instructions on what to prepare for your child's meals. Leave many ready-to-go snacks for your nanny to give your child, if they're out for the day.
All of these tips will help set you up for success and ensure there are no misunderstandings or missteps in the event of an allergic reaction!
If you are the parent of a child with a food allergy, do you have any tips or advice of your own? Do you have any advice on how to get your new nanny on board with your family's dietary routine? Let us know in the comments section below!
- KITH & KIN
What would you say are the top 3-5 values you hope to instill in a child so that they may carry them into adulthood?
Here are three simple rules to live by to help instill values into children in your care.
1. Toss out the old adage, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do".
Be aware that your child sees everything you do (scary!), the good and the not-so-good. You may tell them to be patient, kind, and understanding, but if they don't see this, they won't practice it. For example...
2. Extend your values to them as well.
A lot of parents and nannies would say that they want to teach a child to respect others, forgetting that the child is also someone who needs to be shown patience, kindness, understanding, and forgiveness and respect, too! The best way to instill values into children is simply by letting them experience what it feels like to receive these things.
3. Admit your mistakes.
Don't be afraid to own up to a misstep. No one is perfect, and to not admit when you've done wrong may lead to your child feeling that they have to hide their mistakes from you for fear that you may reject their error.
Values look different to each family and caregiver.
Of course we all want our children to be high achievers, and have fun in life. We of course want them to be forgiving and kind, and we want them to also be assertive and stand their ground when it's time. We all want them to be respectful, and we want them to also recognize their right to being respected.
The trick for us to successfully instill values into children is finding where the balance lies within in each family.
You want to make sure your caregiver is aligned with these values, and give them wiggle room to do things a little differently than you would. This is where great communication comes in handy!
So what can done in these two scenarios? How can both parties stay happy with the arrangement, while simultaneously meeting their personal needs? We have some suggestions and pointers for both the employers (families) and employees (nannies).
For families who are able to keep offering full-time hours, but whose duties will change
For as many nannies in New York as there are, so are there numerous opinions and stances on being asked to do household tasks. Therefore, for both parties, it is extremely important to have a sit down chat about the duties, expectations, and any raises that come with the new responsibilities, if applicable. Voice any desires and concerns you may have in this meeting -- now is the time! In doing so, there is no bitterness when things have changed, and the employment won't end prematurely. Above all, stress an open door policy to discuss things as they come up.
For families who must reduce hours to part-time
This transition is wonderful because it may keep the care as consistent as possible for the child. As long as all of the duties and expectations are laid out, as well as benefits like vacation and holiday pay are defined, it can work very well for each party! But approach the conversation with some awareness.
Whatever you are able to offer and choose, remember that there are many factors in the decision to carry on or terminate a professional relationship. One thing is for sure: the impact on a child's life is an honor, is forever, and is irreplaceable!
As a nanny agency in NYC, we have seen thousands of nannies come to our agency seeking employment. Unfortunately, only about half of those people receive a follow up email, and only a very small portion of those candidates make it to an in person interview (usually around 15% of applicants!).
Why are only roughly 15% of applicants being interviewed? Why aren't you interviewing more qualified people?
Going through a housekeeping and nanny agency in NYC to find your ideal position is highly competitive and selective. For each position that is posted, an average of 125 applications and resumes will be submitted. While the applicant could be a fantastic caregiver with stellar references, we may never get to meet them because of the way a candidate presents himself or herself. In a stack of resumes and emails, it is important to make yourself stand out.
We get it. Applying for a new job is a ton of work. We've been there! You're likely applying at a lot of places, but if you really believe you are a good match for a listing, put yourself fully into it, and do it to the best of your ability.
Search our archives for previous topics!
Copyright, Kith and Kin NYC LLC, 2019. Licensed and bonded by the NY State Department of Consumer Affairs, License #2038511-DCA. Kith & Kin Household Staffing Agency seeks to pair exceptional caregivers with vibrant families. Candidates who are legally authorized to work in the United States, and meet our requirements are encouraged to send us your résumé if you are seeking a position as a Nanny, Manny, Housekeeper, Governess, Mother's Helper, or a Baby Nurse / Newborn Care Specialist in New York City, New York State. Kith and Kin Household Staffing Agency does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical disabilities, veteran status, and marital status. We are a nanny agency in NYC that services the metro area.
Hours are by appointment only. Address: 195 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. We make house calls! Call us at 929-445-2016. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of interest, no calls regarding available jobs are accepted. Please check our job board here. Thank you for your interest in working with Kith and Kin Household Staffing Agency!