With summer holidays fast approaching, many nannies are getting ready for a holiday with the children they are looking after (and their employers).
If your normal job is as a travelling nanny, then you have probably prepared for this already, but if you normally work as a live in/live out nanny, then the tips below might help you survive and even have an (almost!) perfect summer.
Here are our top holiday nanny tips while away with the children (and their mums and dads).
- Communicate, communicate, communicate! – As you probably know by now, communication is the key in this job, so make sure you discuss the following BEFORE you agree to be their holiday nanny.
- Hours – As a holiday nanny, will you be working for more than your normal working hours? If yes, don’t forget to discuss overtime pay at this point.
- Pay – Agree your rates before you travel. Some employers will pay your normal wages plus all travel expenses and they will agree on an overtime rate, while others will agree on a standard 24h rate plus all travel expenses, which means you will have to work 24/5, 24/6 or 24/7, depending on their needs.
- Days off – While working as a holiday nanny, you are still entitled to time off, so make sure you discuss in advance how many days off you will get and ideally which ones are they, although flexibility will probably be very appreciated.
- Sleeping arrangements – Some employers prefer that the nanny sleeps with the child/children, especially if they have babies, so make sure you know this and you are happy with it before you travel.
- Sole charge/shared care – Maybe until now you were working as a sole charge nanny, however, during the trip the parents will be mostly with you and the children, or maybe the other way round: you have been working as a shared care nanny and now the parents want you to look after the kids while away, so they can enjoy activities and time on their own. Whatever the scenario is, make sure you discuss this and have things clear, so you know what your duties will be and who will be taking responsibility for the children.
- Routines – While away, it’s only natural that a lot of the routines will change, so don’t forget to discuss with the parents what is very important for them and what they want to stick with, and where they are happy to be a bit more flexible.
- Flexibility on your side – Once you have a better idea of your holiday nanny working hours etc, try and reassure the family that you are happy to be flexible and if they need to swap your Sunday off with a Tuesday, for example, it is not a problem. Remember that this is not a holiday for you and being a bit flexible and going the extra mile will help them relax more while on (their) holiday, and create precious memories as a family (instead of constantly stressing about babysitting)
- Be prepared for everything, including the unexpected – Try to be prepared for various situations, such as trips at a short notice, activities for children when bored, extra change of clothes for the little ones, etc.
- Research the area – Once you know where you are travelling to and where you are staying, try and research the area as much as you can. Find out about child-friendly restaurants, activities, cinemas, summer schools, museums, zoos, water parks etc. This will make you look like the super holiday nanny the parents want you to be.
And last but not least, chill out, have fun and enjoy the summer holidays away. You are very lucky to be one of the holiday nannies who is going away and not having to stay in England ‘contemplating’ another grey skied/wet summer holiday.
At Polo and Tweed, we do our best to match our lovely nannies with our great families, so if you are looking for a job this summer or you have a friend who is looking, please do not hesitate to register with us today. If you are a family looking for a holiday nanny, you can get in touch with us here.