When Your Nanny Gives Notice: A Panic Free Guide!
You are a parent with a hectic schedule but a great support system in place. All seems to be ticking along beautifully until an unexpected sideswipe bowls you over – your dependable and adored Nanny is handing in their notice. Don’t panic! All good things must come to an end and you might not realise that the experience you’ve had with this Nanny has armed you with many great tools to help you identify the next fantastic Nanny for your household. So, without further ado let’s get things moving!
Your Nanny will likely have given several weeks notice, providing you with a window to make the most of your departing asset and get the next pieces of the puzzle in place. Here are your objectives:
- Create a written description of your Nanny’s role and schedule.
- Pass this information to a trusted agency so they can immediately begin the recruitment process.
- Establish the notice period of your Nanny and any outstanding contractual obligations.
- Schedule a casual exit interview with your Nanny. This is a must!
- Investigate fall back plans – finding the right replacement may take time.
- Include your family in laying the foundation for a great start with your next Nanny.
Talking It Over
Whether your Nanny is leaving because of personal circumstances, something to do with their role in your home or because a new opportunity or obligation has come along, getting as much information as possible from them is going to inform you as you prepare to employ your next Nanny. Depending on your relationship you might find it easy to chat about why they are moving on, or it may be a challenging subject to broach. Be kind and express gratitude. You’ve been happy with the service they have provided and they are free to move on! With respect, ask for a chance to talk it through and get some great pointers.
A Constructive Exit Interview
In a calm and relaxed environment away from the kids, take a little time for your Nanny’s exit interview. How do they feel about their time in your home? Did they feel comfortable and supported? What do they believe the most important aspects of their role have been? What tips would they give to the next Nanny? Also ask them to think of things that could have been done better and give them a chance to give you feedback without negative reproach. Keep in mind that your Nanny has made a huge emotional investment in your family so this may be an intense conversation. Be considerate and focus on the positive things they have done for you and your children. Make notes immediately after the interview while it’s all still fresh in your mind. You will come back to those later!
Make sure you are clear on the terms of your Nanny’s departure. Check over your contract you and discuss whether anything will be different in the remaining weeks as you organise for the changes ahead. Remember to talk about a date for when they will receive their last pay and swap contact information for future references.
Stay On Recruitment
Check in regularly with your agency of choice to make sure the drive to find the perfect candidate for your next Nanny is in full swing. Check if they can provide a temporary replacement if there is a need to fill a gap between the departure of your current Nanny and the arrival of the ideal new Nanny. It’s better to prepare a contingency plan than rush into the wrong long-term solution.
Your child or children might be very sad to see the Nanny go. Take the time to bring their focus to gratitude for what your Nanny has brought to the family. Talk over any negative feelings that children may have and add any useful ideas to your notes but try not to dwell on a downer. At this point, as far as possible, spotlighting positive feedback from your kids will not only give you more information to work with but also put them in the frame of mind to be receptive to the same fantastic inputs from the new Nanny that will be arriving soon. Talk through how exciting it is to get to know somebody different and the gratification that will bring. It’s OK to be sad; you can feel positive and negative emotions at the same time.
A New Approach
Using the notes you’ve made, consider if there are changes you need to make in your approach with your next Nanny. You might find that you’ve already established a great format for working with a Nanny or that there were problematic areas you had not identified before. Use this opportunity to react to feedback over how the household is run. Talk this over with everyone in the family so that you’re all on board and if you need to create new systems like shopping schedules, homework or bedtime rules, and new boundaries about what is permitted in the house, get it all down on paper so you are prepared to put your best feet forwards as you welcome a new professional and personal relationship with the next Nanny.
A Smooth Departure
Thank your Nanny for all the different skills they brought to your home and the time you’ve shared. Recognise the value of their feedback, and if it seems fitting, prepare a card or a gift from the whole family. Goodbyes can be difficult but sending off a great employee in a dignified and heartfelt way will make this a healthy closure for all.