By Erin Ollila
You found the perfect-for-you nanny, and now you want to make sure they feel welcomed into your life. You know this relationship will be based on mutual trust and respect, and you want to start from the very beginning making your nanny understand how thankful you are that they are in your life, while also showing them they made the right decision working for you.
But what’s the best way to make your nanny feel engaged and excited after they accept your employment offer? Here are a few ideas to welcome a nanny into your home.
Send a Welcome Video
It doesn’t matter if you hired the most confident nanny, starting a new job and learning about a new family can be scary. Take a moment to put your new nanny at ease by sending a quick welcome video of you and your family.
Keep it simple and just share your enthusiasm about them joining your “team.” This isn’t the opportunity to talk details about care. Just sit the family down, turn on the camera, and take turns introducing yourself.
Hype Up Your (Older) Children
If you have toddlers, start discussing the nanny with your little ones as soon as possible. Share any fun facts that you might know of them. Talk about how much fun your children will have with the nanny. Your child’s attitude toward the nanny will also influence how welcome they feel in your home. If you can lead the conversation with excitement and gratitude for this new key figure in their lives, your little ones will feel less apprehensive and more open to building a relationship with their new nanny.
A Special Treat
Did you bond over your love of roses or your sweet tooth during the interview process? If so, celebrate the newness of your relationship by including a special treat in your house for your nanny. If flowers were their favorite, have an arrangement sent to your house to welcome them during their first week. If you know of a particular snack, drink, or treat your nanny enjoys, stock your kitchen on their first day. These little touches are a simple way to make your new nanny feel more “at home” with your family.
Plan How You’ll Approach Orientation
Just like the first day at a traditional job, your nanny also needs to go through an orientation “program” in your home. Here is where you can physically explain or show your nanny key things that are important to you. So, make sure to rearrange your schedule so that you can be present during their first few days, or at least the very first day. To make your nanny feel the most comfortable, try to approach the orientation as a guide, not a drill sergeant. Your role is to help them feel comfortable in your home and with your little one.
Ask your nanny how you can best help during your time at home. They may prefer you being very hands-on with them for the first day so your children can see the two of you working together. Or they may ask you to hang back, as they prefer to jump right in! By giving your nanny a say on how you’ll orient them to your home, you’re reinforcing your confidence in them and making them feel valued right from the start.
Create a Welcome Guide
A printed orientation guide is a practical resource that helps your nanny to know some of the key pieces of information they’ll need when you’re gone. In it, list things such as food or medicine allergies, the numbers to local emergency personnel, and also your contact information, as well as an emergency backup contact if you are unable to be reached.
You’ll also want to share your little one’s current schedule, even if you think they barely have one. It will help the nanny in the first couple weeks as they adjust to their new role, and figure out what, if any, tweaks could be helpful for sleeping, eating, and playtime. It’s much easier to adjust a baby or toddler’s current schedule than simply starting from scratch!
Also, consider including the photos of any key players in your children’s lives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins your little one may talk about. Not only will this help your nanny visualize the important people in your family’s life, but it can be a conversation opener between your nanny and child, too.
The relationship your family forms with your nanny is like no other. Creating a welcoming, caring environment from day one will help everyone feel comfortable and confident with the newest addition to your day-to-day routine.
Erin Ollila studies the human perspective, and likes to consider herself an emotional archeologist. After receiving her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, she launched a digital marketing career focusing on the business owner, employee, and customer experiences. When she's not writing or strategizing for big brands and small businesses, you can find her enjoying family time in southeastern MA with her husband and three children — all of whom are in different age groups (13, 4, and almost one. Oh my!)