Onboarding the Summer Nanny: 6 Tips and Tricks

By Aaron Swartz on June 30, 2022

During the school year, it can be much easier to manage your kids than when summer hits. Where you used to have at least eight hours of dedicated care for your children, now you’re left with a void to fill — and oftentimes without a lightening of your own schedule to match theirs. A lot of busy parents go the route of hiring a summer nanny, which is a great option! Finding a nanny is a whole process of its own, but once you’ve found the best candidate it opens a whole new question: how do I get them started? Well, for tips for onboarding your new summer nanny, look no further. Read on to figure out how to get the best possible experience out of your time with your new nanny.

via Pixabay

Get Hiring and Payment Documents

Shockingly, one of the first things you should do when you’re bringing your new hire into the fold is to make sure you can pay them. Ask your new nanny for documents like a completed W-4 and an I-9. These forms are important because they allow you to complete payment information, and they also verify they have the authorization to work, at least in the U.S. Both of those pieces of information are crucial to have before your new hire officially begins, so getting them should be one of your first priorities when you’re ready to have them start working for you.

Figure Out Job Responsibilities

Every parent has different needs, and it’s important you figure out exactly what you’re looking for from your nanny. Do you want someone who will help your children get a jump on next year’s schoolwork? Someone who’ll have your kids outside all day every day? Someone who brings a boatload of fun indoor activities to do? There are nannies who fit every possible mold you could want to fill, so make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for so you can communicate effectively to your new nanny what their responsibilities will be.

Have a Schedule Outlined

While a nanny’s job is to take care of your children when you’re prevented from doing so, you’re still going to want to have as much input as possible on what they do while you’re gone. During the summer especially there’s a lot of free time that needs to be filled for your kids, so it can be a great idea to plan out a schedule for your children and nanny to follow. A schedule can ensure your kids always have something fun to do but aren’t being run ragged. You can include fun activities like camps, going to parks or pools, play dates, as well as the basic necessities of meal times, naps, and indoor time. When you’re ready to onboard your new nanny, showing them the schedule you prepared can help them figure out how best to take care of your children, so it’s well worth trying it out.

Be There Day One

Now, you have a lot of options and leeway here, but regardless it’s a great idea to spend at least part of the first day on the job with your new nanny. Whether this is the whole day, a few hours, or just a part of the morning you’ve set aside, it’s a great idea to be around as a resource. You can show them where things are, check in with how your children like this strange new person, and make sure the stranger in question is settling into the position comfortably. Think of it as an orientation, both for you and for your nanny. Being there the first day can also help you as a parent be more comfortable leaving your children under someone else’s care, especially if you’re unaccustomed to it.

Discuss Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Accidents happen, and when they do, you need to be ready. Make sure your new nanny is fully prepared for any dangerous situation that may arise. To start, make sure they have relevant phone numbers for yourself and other members of your family, medical care nearby, schools and camps, and other sources they might need to reach out to in an emergency. Also make sure they know who exactly to call in case of an emergency, whether that’s you, a spouse, a neighbor, or a friend. Go through the house with them and point out any danger spots, such as where you store household chemicals, staircases, other places there’s potential to trip and fall, or areas where you don’t want your children going.

Discuss Your Children’s Needs

Every child is different and a good nanny knows that. Some children may have medical issues that need care, some may have trouble with sitting still, some may be quieter, and what your children need from a caretaker is something you should communicate to your new summer nanny. This includes things like food allergies, nap needs, and simple things like sunscreen if you want to have your children spending time outside. Making sure your nanny knows what your children are like and what they need to thrive will make sure they’re able to do their job effectively and will have the added benefit of making sure your kids are happy with their summer caretaker.

Summer is a great time for kids to go outside, fool around, and have fun before school starts back up again in the fall, and the right nanny can make all the difference when it comes to summer fun. Hopefully, you’re well equipped to bring your new hire into the fold and make sure both you and your kids get the perfect experience with their new temporary caretaker.

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