Being a nanny is a rewarding profession that involves nurturing and caring for children. Nannies play a crucial role in a child’s life, and parents entrust them with their most precious treasures. They are also inviting you into their homes and lives. Part of being a professional nanny means that you must have a high level of respect and understand boundaries. So how can a nanny conduct themselves in order to maintain professionalism and ensure a positive working relationship with both parents and children?
The top responsibility of a nanny is to ALWAYS keep the children in your care safe! If a nanny has a lapse of thought regarding their responsibilities, such as leaving children unsupervised, not following safety guidelines, or disregarding dietary restrictions, is not only a breach of trust but can have severe consequences. Nannies should always be attentive, responsible, and proactive in their caregiving duties.
Respecting the privacy of the family is crucial. A professional relationship must be maintained at all times. Nannies should never snoop through personal belongings, read private messages or documents, or share sensitive information about the family with others. Privacy extends to both the physical space and digital communication, and nannies should always exercise discretion.
Regardless of how loving the nanny is and how attached the child becomes to the nanny, it is imperative to always maintain professional boundaries for many reasons. Some parents may want a nanny to act as a “second mom” but some may not! Having conversations with parents to find out what their expectations are and the type of relationship they would like their nanny to create with their children. Nannies should avoid making major decisions without consulting the parents, disciplining the children in ways the parents do not approve of, or undermining parental authority. Open communication and collaboration with the parents are key to establishing a healthy working relationship.
Maintaining professionalism at all time is essential for nannies. This includes arriving on time, dressing appropriately, and conducting oneself in a manner that reflects positively on both the nanny and the employing family. Nannies should avoid engaging in personal phone calls, using social media while on the clock, (and no nanny should ever post their charges on their social media feeds), or inviting guests over without permission. Professionalism fosters trust and helps create a positive atmosphere for everyone involved.
Under no circumstances should nannies resort to physical or verbal abuse when interacting with children. Nannies should never yell, insult, or intimidate children as a means of discipline. Instead, positive reinforcement, effective communication, and setting clear boundaries should be employed to encourage good behavior and development. Nannies should act as role models and provide a safe and nurturing environment.
Nannies should never engage in inappropriate behavior while on the job. Clearly, alcohol, drugs, smoking, or engaging in any activities that may compromise the safety and well-being of the children is an absolute NO-GO. Also being mindful of your activities outside of working hours! Posting photos or videos on social media that may be deemed inappropriate by parents can cause tension on the job. We highly recommend making your social media private to avoid this becoming an issue.
Being a nanny is an incredibly privileged position that comes with a ton of responsibility. Understanding and adhering to the “nanny etiquette” discussed above, a nanny can foster a healthy working relationship, gain the trust of parents, and provide the best care for the children they look after. Respect, professionalism, and maintaining clear boundaries are the foundations of a successful nanny-parent partnership, ultimately contributing to the positive development and happiness of the children under their care.