by guest blogger Barbara Salvador
At first we were dreading the next steps in our lives. We had to choose a new nanny. Our nanny we had for 10 years was moving on to have children of her own and she could not care for our children anymore. Although we were happy for her we also dreaded the inevitable next step – Finding a new nanny!
With the support of good friends, we sourced nannies on our own, interviewed them, and did all the due diligence we needed to do to find the right person. We found the right person!, not only because she matched all of the requirements, but because her energy was perfect, we connected with her personally and she understood our culture and needs for our children and our home. We were proud because we made this happen, and it happened fast. All the references were checked, background screening complete. We were so excited.
Fast forward a month later. Our new nanny came to our house in tears. She thought she may having a major health problems because one side of her face was drooping. She had to go to the doctor and fast. Next thing we know, we are getting a call from her roommate telling us there is something wrong with her. She was pacing in her room at home, yelling, and throwing things. …. Where did her great energy go? Where is that great woman we know? From that point on, we started questioning her stability, and her role.
— A Mother in NJ
This is one reason why it is so important to check in with your children and your nanny as much as possible about the day, about their experiences, and be aware of all the activities and how they go. Having a one on one check in with your nanny 1 day a week is recommended, although you should be having daily conversations, and open to anything that you need to be told. Checking in every night with your children when your nanny is not there is also recommended.
What is a family to do when something like this happens? First, transparency, you must let the nanny know that she needs to take care of herself and go to the doctor or hospital to find out if her health or welfare is in danger. Get your facts straight. Until you become aware of her health issues, you should have someone else at the house with the children, or make other arrangements for your children to be taken care of. If you feel that it is a minor health issue then certainly allow the nanny to come back with another adult there until it is resolved. Next, once the nanny is diagnosed, keep an open environment to discuss if it will affect the job she is doing. If it will, at that point, it is time to start searching for a new nanny.
Please don’t get discouraged. You did all the right things but nannies are human beings like you and me. No one could have predicted the health problems that your nanny may run into. What’s important is that you do the right thing for your family, your children, and for the nanny. It’s how you react to these situations that makes the transition smooth for everyone into the next step in supporting your child care. Maybe she was the perfect fit until you found your next nanny. And hopefully this nanny will stay for a long long time, until you don’t need her anymore.
So back to the story… did that nanny stay?
Well, we were concerned and called the hospital to check if she could have visitors, and inquired which ward she was on. It turned out that this was a much bigger health problem than we even realized, so we cut our losses, and moved into sourcing that new nanny. We found a fantastic nanny and, fingers crossed, she has been with us for 6 happy months. We did have a heartfelt talk with our other nanny about our concerns and told her we could not have her employed by us until her health concerns were cleared up. She had no control over what happened to her and we were sensitive to that.
Barbara Salvador is the proud Mama of Nanny Consultants NJ, a nanny referral service, and NannyMama.com, a website helping parents and nannies in New Jersey and beyond. Barbara has over 20 years of staffing experience both on the corporate side and in child care, and she is the mother of 2 beautiful girls. To contact her, click here.