Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Advice to a New Live-in Nanny

INA Scholarship Essay Submission

Advice to a New Live-in Nanny by Rachel Massengil

When looking for a position it can be very helpful to find a good agency that is going to work with you to find a family whom you best fit.  If you are going to look on your own make sure to know what you want to do in a position.  You will run into families that will load you down with “light housekeeping”, make sure to have everything defined.  Having your hours defined is very important when you live-in.  The norm is to be salaried for X amount of hours per week and then a certain hourly pay for anything over that.  I accepted a position once where the hours were not defined and I ended up working 60+ hours per week, which ended up being below minimum wage per hour.  I trusted the family when they said the hours would fluctuate and even out in the end, especially because I had just finished a position with a wonderful family.
Have a trial period with a family where you both have the chance to see how you fit together.  With a live-out job you can leave at the end of the day and not have to spend much time with the parents, vs. when you live-in you may feel confined to your space if you are not comfortable with the family.  Personalities will play a big role.
Speak with a family in advance to see if they would include paid time off for professional development through wonderful associations like INA (International Nanny Association) and NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children).  They are great resources and very helpful for networking.
Finding other nannies in your area to connect with is very helpful.  You can contact INA to see if there are any Nanny Groups in your area, or nannies.  This helped me so much when I started my first position.  I found an online nanny support group where I could bring up different work related questions.  The family also worked to get me connected with another great live-in nanny, who worked with a family they knew.  I was in a new area and this nanny did a great job helping me learn the area and provide support when issues came up.
Lastly, enjoy being a nanny!  It is wonderful.  You get to work personally with these children and watch them grow.  Give your best each day.  Have a great adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rachel, Your essay is excellent! I enjoyed reading it and I think you have great advice as well. I own a high nanny agency here in NY and I would love to be acquainted with you! Please feel free to email us.