Although kids are on vacation for the summer, you, unfortunately, are not. Who takes care of your children when school is out, but you still have to work?
Finding a summer camp may work, but if you want your kids to be a little bit closer to home and get some more personal attention at an affordable price, a summer nanny may be the answer.
It may seem overwhelming, but hiring a nanny to care for and entertain your children during the summer months is easier than you think with Island Sitters. Here are some easy steps to get you started.
- Clarify Your Needs
The first, most important thing is to think about your family dynamics, and then what your family will need from a nanny, then make a plan and discuss it with Island Sitters. Will the kids need rides to summer day camps and play dates? Will there be light housekeeping involved? Will the nanny be expected to entertain your little ones for most of the day and plan trips to the beach? Do you need someone to help them complete summer homework?All of these expectations need to be communicated upfront with Island Sitters when you write your job description and begin to interview possible candidates. We can help you create a nanny contract that will help you spell everything out and help avoid any confusion down the road.Your potential nanny needs to know that she is expected to be more than a summer babysitter. Summertime means the kids will need full-time care while you’re at work. A babysitter is great for watching children for a few short hours while you head out on a summer date night, but for the entire summer, you need a nanny who will be more involved with your kids’ overall development and entertainment.
- Talk about Vacations and Salaries
Lots of people also travel during the summer. Are you planning any family vacations or long weekends? Do you want the nanny to come on vacation with you? Will you offer paid time off while you’re out of town? Have the nanny mirror this process by writing out her planned absences or vacations, as well; you want to ensure they don’t coincide with times you’ll absolutely need a caregiver. This exercise assures you and the nanny are both on the same page when it comes to average work hours and days off, and also avoids last-minute searches for back up care.Add any agreed upon specifics to the nanny contract as well. We are happy to help you with this process as we have written many nanny contracts for our clients throughout the years.
- Consider Qualifications
Summer days are usually spent outside enjoying the nice weather. With this comes extra responsibility on the nanny’s part. There are lots of safety issues for a child outside in summer — the nanny would have to protect the child from harmful rays of sun, handle bug bites, playground injuries, protect the child from drowning and the like…So a summertime nanny better be extra vigilant, and know First Aid.Other qualities you may want to look for in a summer nanny include prior experience, flexibility and CPR certifications.
- Plan a Meet-and-Greet
Since your children will be spending a large amount of time with their new nanny, we can arrange a family introduction before the start date. We suggest bringing everyone over to a beach where they’ll be spending a lot of time this summer. This allows you to observe the interaction between your child and the nanny, and gives your kids some time to adjust before the nanny starts watching them.Do the kids enjoy the nanny’s company? Do their personalities click? These questions are important things to consider before summer begins. After all, you want your children to be comfortable with the person they will spend a majority of their days with.
- Write a Schedule
Summer schedules can be pretty chaotic. You need to think about what the summer will look like for your family and create a basic calendar to review with your summer nanny. This should be both specific – what will a typical day look like for your nanny – and long term — any summer camps your kids will attend or regular play dates. Make sure your nanny has any information she’ll need such as locations of beaches, names/addresses of play dates, etc.
- Brainstorm Fun Activities
Summer is supposed to be a fun time for children, but it’s easy for kids to wind up sitting in front of the TV or singing a refrain of “I’m bored!.”
Discuss ideas with your nanny for acceptable summer entertainment. What are your kids’ favourite activities? Do they like going to the beach, ice cream shop or the Barbados Wildlife Reserve? Other ideas include picnics, Artsplash Centre, play time with friends or even running in the sprinklers. Don’t forget to leave room in your child care budget to give the nanny money to enjoy these summer activities. Talk to her about setting a weekly allowance and balancing both free and low-cost activities.
By following these tips, you’ll have no trouble finding a summer nanny to provide for and have fun with your children while you are away at the office. If you can’t be there with your children every day, a caring, fun nanny is the next best thing. Get in touch with Island Sitters about arranging a summer nanny today by filling out our contact form.