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Adapting to the New Norm: Navigating the Shift in Nanny Roles in a Work-from-Home Era


Mum and children playing and hugging

The landscape of childcare, post pandemic.

The landscape of childcare has undergone a significant transformation since the onset of the pandemic. As parents increasingly work from home either full-time or part of the week, the traditional role as a sole charge Nanny has had to adapt. Nannies now find themselves in an environment where their employer is very much around and who is in charge can become blurred. Adapting to this new reality requires a shift in approach and communication for both nannies and parents alike.

Establishing Clear Boundaries for Effective Childcare

Setting clear boundaries is so important. While the parents are home, it's essential to establish specific hours during which the nanny is solely responsible for childcare. Clear communication about these designated hours is key to ensuring a smooth working relationship. Nannies should feel empowered to take charge during their scheduled hours without parents getting involved, unless absolutely necessary. (Parents: As hard as it might be, this means trusting your Nanny to deal with a crying baby without coming downstairs!)


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Designated Workspaces: A Key to Balancing Work and Childcare

It's essential for parents who work from home to establish designated workspaces that do not interfere with the areas regularly used by the nanny and children. Working from the kitchen table or a shared space might blur the lines between work and home life, causing potential disruptions to the nanny's routine and the child's environment. By creating distinct work zones, parents signal to both the nanny and the child that they are engaged in work-related activities. This separation helps maintain clear boundaries for everyone. Parents might relish the idea of being around for their children whilst they work, but in reality, it may cause difficulties as the boundaries become blurred as to who is in charge.

Open Communication for Collaborative Solutions

Open communication is the cornerstone of a successful arrangement. If the nanny's presence downstairs interferes with the parents' work, or the parents work interferes with the Nanny’s work - it's crucial to discuss and devise a plan together. Don’t allow it to fester. This might involve designating specific areas or times when the Nanny can have noisy activities without worrying about noise levels. or the employer agreeing to work at a local café for a period of time or wear noise cancelling headphones, so the Nanny doesn’t have to worry about noisy playdates.

Consistency and Unified Approach: Stability for Childcare

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Consistency is key in childcare. Both nannies and parents should enforce similar rules and guidelines to maintain a stable environment for the child. When rules are consistently upheld by all parties, it fosters a sense of security and structure for the child. An example of this would be everyone sticking to the same boundaries, such as the children are not allowed to disturb Mummy or Daddy when the office door is closed, Children love routine and clear boundaries and when the boundaries and routine changes, it causes confusion, which is when children may try to push the boundaries.

Embrace Open Dialogue

Encourage open dialogue between the nanny and parents. Regular check-ins can help address any concerns or adjustments needed in the arrangement. It's important for both parties to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and needs, especially as children grow and their needs and routines change. It may have worked fine to pop down for lunch together when the baby was little, but it may cause some confusion now that the baby is an independent 3 year old, who doesn’t want Mummy or Daddy to leave!

Respecting the Nanny’s Role and Child's Well-being

children on sofa taking a selfie with carer

Nannies are invaluable partners in the child's growth and development. Acknowledging and respecting the nanny's role as a professional caregiver is crucial for a harmonious relationship. interruptions or micro managing from your employer can be difficult for any employee and it’s the same for a Nanny – they need to know they have the freedom to do their role without interruption, parents need to be mindful that popping downstairs for a 5 minute cuddle with their child, could cause 30 minutes of upset once you leave. This is why communication and a change to the routine is key, when needed.

In conclusion, adapting to the new normal in childcare requires a collaborative effort. Nannies and parents must work together, maintaining clear communication, respecting boundaries, and fostering a supportive environment for the child's well-being. By embracing these changes and adjusting our approaches, we can create a positive and productive environment for everyone involved.

Remember, each family dynamic is unique, and flexibility and understanding are key components in navigating this evolving landscape.


If you need to discuss any childcare needs, please get ion touch: https://www.absolutechildcare.co.uk/


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