- We will happily do the children’s laundry once or twice a week. We will not do the entire family’s laundry at no additional cost. We also notice when you sneak your laundry into the children’s hamper… Really!?!?!?! If you need something urgently communicate!
- We will happily load and unload the dishwasher daily. However we should not have to load your dinner dishes from the night before; a dinner we did not partake in. It takes the same amount of energy to place the dishes in the sink as it does the dishwasher no? ALSO on a Monday morning we really should not be greeted with an overloaded dishwasher filled with dishes from the weekend … You expect the dishwasher to be run daily in the week but can’t get it together enough to run it over the weekend? Frustrating!
- We will happily receive Fresh Direct deliveries and pack them away. We will also happily pick up items at the grocery store which may run out during the week. However weekly grocery shopping is your responsibility, we can always provide you with a list!
- Rarely is there only one bathroom in the apartment, but IF there is, we should not find your worn clothes and underwear (sometimes “lined”) on the floor in the same spot that you stepped out of them. Disgusting!
- Some nannies agree to make the parent’s bed. If this is the case it should be cleared. No wet towels, clothing, tissues or “personal items” used the night before with your partner! I have never had to do this but heard some horror stories!
- It’s not our place to throw out the expired take-out in the fridge. You ordered it; you throw it!
- We are not dog walkers. The average NYC dog walker earns $12-$25 for each dog (s)he walks … why should we do it for free?
- We will happily prepare meals for the children. Often times nannies will cook enough for multiple meals. For eg, pasta for Lunch on Monday will also be Tuesday’s dinner. It is SO frustrating when you eat the leftovers LoL! If there is something we prepare that you really like, maybe you can ask for more to be prepared. Communication is SO key! I am certain most nannies would not mind OCCASIONALLY throwing a couple extra pieces of chicken or an extra 1/2 cup of pasta to accommodate you 🙂
- I personally think throwing out the trash is the job of the man of the house. Most nannies however will take the trash out towards the end of the day. However we should not meet an overflowing stinky trash can on a Monday morning!
Of course every family dynamic is different and agreements vary but it’s important that your nanny doesn’t feel like (s)he’s being taken advantage of or being taken for granted. Most nannies fear doing something extra to help out once and then it becomes a habit. One of the top 10 reasons in every survey carried out for Why Nannies Quit is that the job description has changed. The average NYC Nanny agrees to all childcare related tasks and LIGHT housekeeping.
I know for a fact that most nannies do not mind doing extra tasks to help out but the change should be addressed. You can:
- Offer your nanny a raise
- Trade one task for another. For example if you want your nanny to start preparing a family meal once a week then maybe on Fridays funds are available to have lunch and/or dinner out.
- COMMUNICATE!!! There are many parents in this city with extremely demanding careers and genuinely need the extra help. If you are unable to provide your nanny with a raise at least sit down and have a conversation about changes. Simply acknowledging that (s)he’s stepping up and you appreciate it can go a long way!
It is common to have blurred boundaries and responsibilities in a domestic work environment so remember Communication is Key!!!
Nanny Interview Tips :
- Attire – Be sure to dress modestly, no cleavage or skin especially since the majority of initial interviews are with mom only. Don’t be too flashy either with lots of jewelry for example. You want to show that you are respectable, responsible and can get down on the floor with the kids to play.
- Bring a resume – Show that you are professional by bringing along a copy of your resume and any character/professional references.
- Do not speak ill of past families – Be sure not to complain about previous families. You can highlight, in general, pros, cons, positives, negatives, of past situations but do not focus too much on the negative. You want to come across as positive and loyal.
- Show Interest – Take notes, ask the names of the children, their personalities, likes and dislikes etc. Always remember to ask about any special needs, allergies and training which may be required.
- Responsibilities – Be clear about the role you intend to play. Agree upon tasks to be carried out. Always find out whether you are responsible for more than child related tasks and to what extent such as housekeeping, family cooking, errands, grocery shopping etc. When expectations are clearly sorted out in the beginning it allows for a seamless relationship in the future.
- Benefits – Will the family cover meals, metrocard, insurance, late night cab fare etc. Definitely agree upon this from the on set.
- Wages – Agree upon an hourly, weekly or monthly rate and frequency and form of payment. Also discuss a time period for performance review and rate increase. If you’re being paid “on the books” be sure to establish whether the rate offered is gross or net (meaning your take home).
- Family Dynamic – Feel out what the dynamic will be like between you and mom. Is she looking for a sister wife, a girlfriend in essence or an employee? You must determine what dynamic fits your personality. Do you mind texting each other all day? Do you like being micro-managed or having parents who allow you to control the day’s activities, meals etc?
- Activities – Always speak of activities and projects you have done in the past and are interested in doing in the future like museum visits or face painting at home. Research what’s available in the area and mention things which are age appropriate such as library story time for a toddler. Familiarize yourself with the age appropriate milestones of the children and activities to achieve or promote them.
- Childcare History – Inquire about past nannies and why it may not have worked out. I always find it helpful to know the background of the previous nannies since certain cultures generally act in a certain way which may indicate what the family is used to.
- Follow Up – Always leave with an idea of when a decision will be made and when you can expect to hear from the family.
It is so important to find the right family and the right fit for a job this intimate. I hope these tips help!
Thanks so much for visiting my blog about The NYC Nanny! The intent of this blog is to share the experiences (personal and otherwise) of being a nanny in NYC. I want to showcase the good, the bad and the ugly of being a childcare professional in this huge exciting city. There are so many topics to be discussed; the dynamic with the parents, finances, playdates, attending classes, projects and ideas, great spots, recipes, methods for discipline … literally the list could go on forever. I am hoping to get a following of both childcare professionals and parents/guardians. It would be great to compare perspectives from both sides and hopefully get a better understanding of each position. I know this will be fun, educational and eye opening ride! Please join me!!!