How to engage and retain your nanny
We understand that finding a good nanny can be hard. However, it can also be just as challenging to keep your nanny once you find someone who fits the role. Here are some suggestions and information about hiring a nanny that every employer can use in order to retain your nanny.
So, you’ve got as far as hiring a nanny that's the perfect fit
We hope these tips are supportive of getting going and keeping going a healthy nanny and employer partnership.
Hold onto your nanny
When parents decide to hire a nanny, either on a permanent or long-term temporary basis, they want the relationship to work and to retain their nanny for the whole length of the booking and provide dependability for their children.
After finding a nanny who you trust and can depend on, the next step as an employer is to hold onto your nanny and help them to jump fully onboard with the role and feel valued, happy & on-side and stay with you for as long as you like.
See yourselves as a partnership
Parent and nanny working together with a similar objective to promote your little one's welfare and protection. Be open to each other for communication instead of stewing about something that is bothering you, likewise find ways to express your thanks from time to time.
Parent & nanny working relationship
It's more important than anything else that parents and nannies communicate with each other honestly and clearly right from the start!
Check-ins and discussions
Right from the outset communication between nanny and family is essential to avoid any misunderstanding at a later date. Make a day once a week when you both sit down together for 5 to 10 minutes and discuss how things are going. This could be about the children or the performance of the job, or just to make sure your nanny is feeling OK.
Speak openly but always balance the negative with the positive, so you might say I love the way you've managed to engage little Freddie in making a craft spider, but I'm concerned he never sits still to do anything that requires concentration for me - and then perhaps discuss that you'd like the towels folded differently or the food stored in a different container or whatever it is that requires improvement.
Calm, Polite, Professional
For the nanny too, this is an opportunity to say how happy you are in your job and you know that everyone is late sometimes, but that the family have been late quite a few times recently and you need to catch your train or whatever it is. Always say things calmly, and politely, and always accept any comments made by the other party professionally. Be prepared to be fair and to compromise with each other where possible to make things work. If you are honest and communicate well most obstacles can be overcome.
Communicate With Your Nanny
With Live-in nannies it's important to discuss and write down any house rules your nanny will be asked to comply with - especially in terms of visitors, and the use of any telephone, car, computer and so forth. Arrangements for food should be explained, such as whether the family will provide a weekly budget to the nanny to buy their own food or if they can help themselves from the fridge or a particular section of the fridge.
For Live-in nanny positions some nannies will have use of their own kitchenette, but if this is not available it's a good idea to talk with your nanny about using the kitchen and whether there are any particular times you would prefer the nanny to use it.
Parents will need to be aware that when their nanny clocks-off for the day they're no longer on duty, so the children should be discouraged from knocking on the nanny's bedroom door once they've finished for the day.
Pleasant but professional relationship with your nanny
Some nannies and families keep in touch for many years after the nanny has left (I still do) and many become good friends.
Nonetheless, when you employ a nanny your nanny is an employee and it is a good idea to have a friendly but professional relationship. These boundaries are easy to lose when someone becomes close to your family, but if you are too close it can be hard for the employer to feel able to ask the nanny to do something a little differently, or for the nanny to say no to a request to babysit for the third time that week, as an example. This could lead to resentment in extreme situations, so it's always prudent to maintain a pleasant but professional relationship with your nanny.
The working relationship between nanny and parents depends on the ability of the parents and the nanny to clearly communicate with each other
There will be times when both parties might find themselves in a situation where they're not 100% pleased with, e.g. for the parent there may be small things their nanny does in the home that you'd prefer done in a different way but you may feel you don't want to express as everything else is great and don't want to upset the nanny. Similarly, the nanny may want to comment on the fact that the parent has been late home on three occasions that week, but feels unable to bring this up and risk any misunderstanding of their willingness to be flexible.
Be Prepared To Be Generous
If you're the nanny and it's not specified in your job to empty the trash bins but one day the bin is very full and the baby is having a nap - maybe you could take out the bin for your employer? The employer should realise this is not your required duty and comment appreciatively that you've been so kind. If you're the employer and you've written into the nanny contract that you do not have to pay the nanny sick pay, but your nanny is rarely off sick and now you have the flu - maybe pay them anyway? You'll gain their thanks and loyalty.
By working together and giving notice to each other it's often possible to match up very well, as most people choose to take some holiday at Easter, then during the summer, and then again around Christmas time. If the family take further holidays and don't require the nanny to travel with them then they will still need to pay their nanny the usual salary (as the nanny has been hired and is available and willing to work their contracted days/hours, but in this case the employers have chosen to not require any help during their holiday).
Also, it's normally not advisable for families to propose for their nanny to owe back hours in these circumstances. For instance, if a family takes extra holidays and does not require their nanny to travel with them they should continue to pay their nanny's salary for the period the nanny has effectively been laid off, as opposed to, say, asking their nanny to make up for the hours when they're back from holiday. A similar example where the nanny may effectively be laid off with full salary is when a relative comes to visit the family and decides to take the children out for the afternoon and the nanny is sent home. This would be the family's choice, but the nanny should not be asked to make up those hours at a later stage.
Your nanny is a professional
Nannies do a very personal and responsible job.
As a former nanny myself It's more likely that a a professional career nanny, with plenty of experience in childcare, a stable work record, and glorious references, uses a nanny agency service rather than, say, posting to an online DIY job site. There're lots of excellent nanny agencies in London and a smart approach would be to choose an agency service that voluntarily obeys an acknowledged industry standard of good practice, just as you might if you were to call on the services of a plumber or builder. Our recommendation, when hiring a nanny, would be that families go with a nanny agency service that is a member of The Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA) who meticulously check that their member agencies keep to their strict code of practice and that agencies provide access to ANA of such documentation and records that demonstrate their adherence.
How To Hire A Nanny And Become An Employer
Here we answer more of your questions about how to get going with hiring a nanny.
- Name of the employer and employee
- Job title
- Start date of the employment
- Remuneration and intervals when paid
- Hours of work (if flexible: maximum hours to be worked in any one week)
- Overtime requirement and method of payment (additional pay or time off in lieu)
- Holiday entitlement
- Sickness entitlement
- Pension arrangements
- Place of work
- Duration of any temporary contract or the end date of a fixed-term contract
- Length of notice on both sides to terminate the contract
- Details of discipline and grievance procedures
- Register as an employer with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
- Deduct Income Tax & National Insurance contributions
- Deduct employee pension contributions and pay employer contributions
- Pay HMRC any other deductions such as student loan repayments or child maintenance
- Contribute to your nanny's Pension (Employer Contribution)
- Set up and operate a Real time information (RTI) compliant Pay As You Earn (PAYE) payroll system
- Provide your nanny with regular payslips
- Keep payroll records on your nanny's behalf
- File an employer's annual tax return
Please read the information available in our step-by-step right to work in the UK guide on how to perform manual and digital right to work checks.
Customary Key Steps To Hiring A Nanny
If you've decided to employ a nanny - possibly for the first time, our step-by-step guide provides you with an idea of what to expect and help get you pointed in the right direction.
How best to go about employing your first nanny
If it's your first time employing a nanny we hope the information will help to smooth out the process of becoming an employer.By Moira Walsh Jan 10, 2018
|#||First Name||Last Name|
|1||Work out how much you can afford to pay for a nanny.||Taking account of the salary or hourly rate of pay, taxes, payroll service, pension, insurance, and agency fee.|
|2||Decide whether you will offer an annual salary or a hourly wage.||In either case, calculate the minimum and maximum amounts.|
|3||Assess your needs.||Are looking for a full-time nanny or part-time nanny? Is the position short-term or long-term?|
|4||Define your job.||Set out all duties & responsibilities required to perform the job and your expectations in the Job Description.|
|5||Start carefully researching nanny agency services in your area.||Select at least two of them.|
|6||Register your vacancy.||Agencies will advertise your job, screen applicants, send you details of suitable candidates, and schedule interviews.|
|7||Prepare your interview questions.||Agency services are well placed to help you with this and offer you advice.|
|8||Review each application and short-list candidates for interview.Review each application and short-list candidates for interview.||Consider arranging telephone interviews as part of the short-listing for interview process.|
|9||Interview the most qualified candidates face-to-face.||Call former employers to check references before the final stage of selection.|
|10||Take your time to consider all the information.||Decide whether you want to proceed with making an offer of employment or to continue looking.|
|11||Once you have decided who you want to appoint make a formal offer.||Write to the successful candidate and to the agency confirming your job offer, starting date, and remuneration.|
|12||If there are any outstanding references then make the offer conditional.||Once a candidate has accepted an offer of employment then a binding contract exists between employer and candidate.|
Fulham Nannies recruitment support
We're ready to help you find the right childcare professionals for your specific needs.
You want to be sure you're hiring the best possible nanny for the job. Fulham Nannies are always happy to advise and answer any questions you have concerning finding a nanny & choosing the right care option for your family.