In-home childcare can solve many logistical problems for parents, but having someone in your home full or part-time can be complicated and stressful.
The best way to avoid problems and misunderstandings is to establish your expectations for the childcare provider from the start.
Create a job description
Too often, parents make the mistake of treating childcare differently than other types of jobs. While childcare may not include typical office duties, the responsibilities and stakes are greater. Take the time to treat it like any other form of work by creating a job description that clearly outlines qualifications, duties and expectations.
Know what you don’t want
While in-home childcare gives you more control than you would have at a daycare facility, you likely won’t be micromanaging every minute of a nanny’s time.
Try taking the opposite approach and think about the things you specifically do not want. Make those clear to any potential nanny before hiring them. This will establish boundaries and reveal if your personalities and approaches are aligned.
Sign a contract
Just as you would with any other position, you should have a contract with your nanny.
Draft a document from online templates and then hire a lawyer to review it to ensure you are within the bounds of federal, state and local laws.
You might find the best possible nanny, but when it comes to managing your children there can be some amount of disagreement, unexpected trouble or disappointment. It is important to have realistic expectations.
Have a plan for resolving conflicts
Conflicts with someone working inside your home, with your children, can become very emotional. Establishing a system ahead of time can prevent knee-jerk reactions that may damage your relationship with an otherwise excellent nanny.
Think about the wording you will use, methods of communication and what compromises you are willing to make when dealing with your in-home childcare provider. Communicate this plan clearly and tell the nanny how you would like them to address any concerns of their own.
Keep in mind that the presence of an in-home childcare provider may change your insurance needs. Speak with your insurance broker to find out if you should take out additional coverage.