Transitioning from One Nanny to the Next
Your nanny has given her notice, and you’ve selected her replacement. Now, you need to plan for a smooth transition from one nanny to the next. Here are a few tips to make that transition as seamless as possible.
- Ask your outgoing nanny to keep a record of the tasks she performs and the times that she performs them on a daily basis throughout her notice period. That record will help your new nanny get acclimated to your family’s routine.
- Ask your outgoing nanny to write some recommendations for the new nanny: ways to establish rapport with each of your children, tips for helping the children take their naps or acquiesce on tasks they do not initially warm to or turning their frowns into smiles, etc.
- Ask your outgoing nanny to write the important contact names, telephone numbers, etc. that the new nanny will need to know. These contacts include the parents involved in frequent play dates, tutors, and, of course, your contact information.
- Ask your outgoing nanny to write about any potential trouble spots that your new nanny should be aware of as well as the best responses to these troubles when they occur. These troubles may include signs of an oncoming seizure in your epileptic child, the 20-year-old “boy” who has been flirting inappropriately with your 12-year-old daughter, the sugar-cravings (especially on the sly) of your diabetic child, etc.
- Ask your outgoing nanny if she is willing to have her term of employment overlap with the new nanny’s by a few days so that the outgoing nanny can train the new nanny, introduce her to people she will need to know in the course of her employment, and help her get acclimated to your children.
- Ask your outgoing nanny if your children can maintain a connection to her and, if so, what medium of communication she prefers (i.e., e-mailing, texting, calling, Skyping, etc.).
- Ask your children to help you plan a good-bye party for your outgoing nanny. Your children can hand-make cards and gifts in honor of the occasion. Such gifts may be the children’s hand prints made using finger paint or cast in clay, pictures, etc.
- Ask your children how they feel about not seeing their outgoing nanny every day anymore and having a new nanny instead. (Make sure your children know that it is ok to talk with you about their feelings.)
- Ask your children to write, draw, or otherwise communicate on paper or digitally their hopes and expectations for their relationships with their new nanny. (This information will be useful for the new nanny.)
- Ask your new nanny if she would write something to your children in advance of her first day of work . . . a brief communication which expresses how much she is looking forward to getting to know them as individuals and spending time with them. If possible, have your new nanny Skype with your children in advance of her employment start date: written words are helpful, but actually seeing the new nanny can be even more constructive.
- Ask your new nanny to support your children’s attachment to your outgoing nanny. Your new nanny can and should reinforce that bond, support your children through their grief associated with their sense of loss, and, in the process, build her own nurturing connection with your children.
By following the tips above, you can smooth the transition from one nanny to the next.