As you begin your journey as a bilingual nanny, one of the most important aspects of your job will be to engage in professional and positive interactions with parents. Having a good method of communication, and clear model for defining tasks can make the experience more productive for both you and the family. As a nanny, it’s important to know your personal work limits as well as the family’s expectations. Establishing a routine for handling these things early on can result in a better relationship and work environment in the long run.
Always make a plan for how you will communicate with the family. While it may be intimidating to speak up for yourself, especially if you’re introverted or there is a language barrier, actively communicating about your wants, needs, and responsibilities, is one of the most important aspects of your role.
Furthermore, it can be helpful to decide what platforms you will be using to communicate. For example, is texting okay, or would you prefer phone calls or emails?
When you begin with your family establish a clear definition of what is expected of you. For example, will you be watching only the family’s children or will their children be having playdates while in your care? Will you just be cooking, or is it also your responsibility to shop?
How is travel time accounted for in your rates? Make sure to set measurable, agreed upon, standards of your role as a caregiver so that there are never any surprises when it comes to what is expected of you. While novel situations may occasionally arise, make a plan for how you will approach these scenarios so that you are prepared to handle any miscommunications.
What is Scope Creep?
Scope creep is when a responsibility expands over time, without the required additional time or payment accounted for. A good example of how scope creep may start is if a family asks you to stay a little late one day, and you comply even though it is outside of your set rates. However, this becomes a problem if a family begins to ask you to stay late every day, without adjusting your salary. Scope creep can lead to overworked nannies or arguments, which is why it is so important to define tasks in the first place. This way, if your workload or time commitment expands, you have a clear definition of your role, and can have constructive conversations to solve problems if these situations do arise.
Communication is a fundamental aspect of your experience as a bilingual nanny and can lead to better relationships with your employers. Making sure to speak up for yourself, and clearly define tasks, will help both you and the family settle into a productive routine. Furthermore, it will help with setting and maintaining expectations on both sides and will overall result in more positive experiences