More Tips For Employers
11 Tips for Success With Your Caregiver
1. Putting the Job Description in writing: Included in the arrival package is an In-home Care Contract. It is important to complete this form before or just shortly after your caregiver’s arrival so that both parties will have a detailed written record of the job description, as well as what your expectations are and her obligations are. By writing down your caregiver’s work schedule, wage, benefits and other details you have both agreed upon, you will have fewer misunderstandings about the “basics” of the position.
2. House Rules: Just as you set household rules for your children, you owe yourself and your caregiver to be clear about what you will and will not tolerate in your home. Do not assume that your caregiver knows how you expect her to act around your home. Communication is the success to a good working relationship. Items families usually clarify are: telephone use during working and off hours, visitors, use of “communal” household items (stereo, television, dvd’s, cd’s etc), if there is a curfew and, if so, what time.
3. Plan On A Reasonable Transition Period: Be reasonable, and do not expect everything to perfect the first day. Both parties need time to adjust to one another. Your caregiver also needs time to learn the family routine—no matter how experienced the caregiver is every family is different, so he or she will need sufficient time to adjust to your family. Also, your caregiver has to adjust to a new country and culture and everything else that comes along with that. Remember to be fair, patient and prepared to repeat instructions as well as to be understanding.
4. Follow provincial labours standards: This is the most important step to ensure your relationship with your caregiver is off to a positive start. Inform youselve before your caregiver starts of your obligation to abide by your provincial rules in terms of wages, days off, holidays, overtime etc. Be fair to your caregiver!
5. Make Plans For Regular Communication: Schedule a regular time when you and your caregiver can go over how the employment is progressing (i.e.: the children’s growth—mental, emotional and physical—as how the children are doing and what different needs may have to be met. Use these communication sessions to offer your praise, support and suggestions. Be open to what your caregiver thinks and requires too! Do not leave communication to chance; if you do, it likely will not happen.
6. Be Fair To Your Caregiver: Be careful about frequently asking your caregiver to work hours outside of his or her regular schedule, even if you pay overtime and/or give extra time off. If she is overworked, she will burn out—which in not a safe situation for her or charges. If you find that you need more hours that what the current contract calls for, renegotiate the contract and perhaps provide a casual care provider in order to give her some “down time”. Always pay your caregiver what has been agreed upon, even if you let her off early for the day; for that is your choice and not hers that she not work the rest of her shift.
7. Respect: When appropriate, introduce your caregiver to your friends and houseguests. Ask her what she would like to be referred to as (babysitter, nanny etc.). Do not undermine her authority in front of the children as it will influence the amount of respect the children show her. Treat your caregiver how you would like to be treated in the same situation.
8. Expressing Gratitude: Show and express to your caregiver that she is doing a good job with positive feedback, bonuses and raises. Showing gratitude in these ways always produces more productivity and promotes a better working relationship between you and your caregiver.
9. Avoiding & Combating Common Problems Between Families & Caregivers: If you know what to expect and how to deal with the common problems that occur between employers and caregivers, you will be better equipped to head off problems before they start and before they become too great to be resolved without lasting negative effects. If a situation cannot be resolved through communication with you caregiver, contact the agency for help as they have a wealth of experience and knowledge in handling numerous situations.
10. Show your appreciation Finding a good nanny is very important. Celebrate her birthday and other special events and give a her a paid day off. Tell her that she does a good job. Everybody wants to fee appreciated.
11. Be concerned about the nanny as a person, not just the employee. This person will be caring for your children which is priceless. Treat her accordingly. Get to know her a bit (without being intrusive) and she will feel more like part of the family rather than an employee.
BE RESPECTFUL AT ALL TIMES
BE AN EXCEPTIONAL EMPLOYER
BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL FOR YOUR CHILDREN
HAPPY NANNY = HAPPY CHILDREN = HAPPY EMPLOYER