The Top Ten Reasons Why Nannies Leave a Position: Reason #2
Reason #2: The family frequently gives their full time nanny the “day off” without pay, OR pays her for the day but takes it out of her vacation days, OR gives the nanny erratic hours when the nanny expected consistent hours upon hire.
No matter how much your nanny loves your family, she needs consistent pay so that she can pay her bills, just like you and I. Most families realize this and respect the nanny’s need for security. But when a nanny forms an emotional attachment to the children and goes “above and beyond the call of duty” to help the family, the lines can get blurry. Parents can forget that this is still a job for her, one that she counts on for her own financial security. Inconsistent pay drastically decreases the nanny’s trust in the family, even if she doesn’t show it. A nanny who loses trust in the family’s intention to provide her with a secure living will not give the family the dedication and loyalty they are hoping for. Most career nannies believe the following: “I take good care of their children; the family takes good care of me.” When a nanny agrees to work at a position from Monday through Friday, she will be irritated if she has to give up personal weekend time so that she can “make up” the hours she didn’t work when the in-laws came into town. She will be very upset (even if she doesn’t show it), if she’s told, “we don’t need you tomorrow”, and not paid for the day off. She is giving the children her love and dedication. When a family hires an excellent nanny, they have taken on the responsibility of guaranteeing her consistent pay and hours. This is how families keep quality nannies for many years so that their children have an uninterrupted attachment to a loving caregiver. A long-term emotional attachment is by far the most optimal situation for children when parents work full time. Most full-time nannies want a long-term position with a family and they are torn emotionally when a family doesn’t give them consistent hours and pay. Over the years we have spoken with many nannies who come to us regretfully seeking a new job because they have lost trust in their employer. We always encourage the nanny to talk with the family and make her concerns known. Some nannies have tried this with little success; others are afraid to talk to their employer honestly. In the end, it’s the children who are affected most when a very good nanny leaves.
To get more tips on hiring and retaining a nanny go to: www.safeandsoundnannies.com
Dr. Ann Wycoff is founder of Safe and Sound Nannies, a full service agency, and The Nanny Answer, an online, do-it-yourself nanny screening service.