Avoiding Isolation

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One of the most important things a nanny should discuss with her employer (or a potential employer) is the importance of connecting her charge with other children.  When children have regular play opportunities with other children, they are better able to develop their social skills, to interact with children of various temperaments and personalities and to learn how to interact in a group. 

Since nannies usually work unsupervised in the homes of their employers, it’s important that they be proactive in planning educational and social experiences for their charges. 

The first step in developing a plan is to discuss the available activities, outings and opportunities in your work community with your employers. These may include story times at the local library, age-appropriate community attractions like a petting zoo or play space, a schedule of local play groups held at the area community center or a list of other nannies that you know who care for children of similar ages.

Next, it’s important to develop clear guidelines that outline the process for obtaining approval for taking your charges to an activity or on an outing.  

Nannies should have a clear understanding of:

The parents comfort level. Are there any limits to where you can or cannot go? Are there places or areas they prefer you’d avoid?

How the parents wish to be notified when you are leaving the home. Do they wish to be called at work? Emailed? Do you need to hear back from them before heading out?

The rules regarding transporting your charges. Do you have permission to drive the children? How far? Are the proper safety seats installed in the vehicle you’ll be using?

How outings get paid for. Do you have a petty cash fund? A business credit card? Do your employers prefer to reimburse you? Do you need to keep all your receipts?

Once you feel that you have a clear understanding of the guidelines, it’s a good idea to put them in writing and review them with your employers so that there is no room for misunderstandings.

The nanny/employer relationship is one that is built on trust, so it’s vitally important that you understand and follow your employer’s guidelines and immediately discuss any issues or concerns that arise.

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