The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on nanny agencies and the families and professionals they work with. Some agencies have even seen a slowdown in placements during this time. But as restrictions start to ease up, and as our nannies and families get back to work, it won’t necessarily be “business as usual.”
It’s more important than ever that your agency protects the nannies in your employ and the families who entrust you with their care. Below, I’m sharing a few guidelines that can help your nannies and families establish a “new normal.”
Feel free to use this as a reference guide with your nannies and families, with proper credit to Megan Metzger Consulting.
First, check your state’s local guidelines for running agency business, and stay up to date on federal guidelines. While most states are starting to reopen, that doesn’t mean restrictions are no longer in place. For example, in North Carolina where I live, businesses like salons and restaurants are opening back up with limits. The number of allowable reasons to go out in public is expanding, too.
Make it easier for your families to protect the health and safety of your nannies by doing the research and acting as a resource for them. You might send a special email newsletter to your families, reminding them of your state’s guidelines and practices you should all be following. Knowing the rules for your state will make the next tip easier for your nannies and clients.
Once you’ve reminded your families of state and federal guidelines, come up with a list of suggested activities that your nannies can do. Remember, many of us are working from home and are still adjusting to this new normal. Your families may need guidance on working side-by-side with your nanny.
Brainstorm a list of safe indoor activities that your nannies can do with the kids, like:
There are also plenty of activities your nannies can organize for the kids that take place outside, but still at home! Your nannies can:
Encourage your families to discuss appropriate activities with their nanny, especially if they plan to visit public recreation spaces with the children. You can even create a blog for socially distanced or stay-home activities, like I created for my Preferred ChildCare blog!
We’ve heard about proper hand washing and cleaning and sanitizing for weeks now, but it doesn’t hurt to send gentle reminders to your families! This is a great topic for email newsletters, blog posts, social media posts, or even a phone call while checking in with your clients. You can also remind them that their nannies will also be engaging in the same activities.
In client and nanny communications, discuss proper hand washing techniques, how to practice social distancing, and items or areas to clean and sanitize. Talk about your plan of action if their nanny or someone in the household becomes sick. You might also suggest a routine for when their nanny arrives at their home in order to keep everyone healthy and safe: remove shoes and outerwear first, wash hands thoroughly, change into different clothes (if you prefer), and so on.
The best piece of advice you can impart to your clients and nannies? Good communication on both sides! Honest and frequent communication between nanny and family can ease fears and alleviate stress.
Encourage your nannies and their families to have a sit-down meeting and put everything on the table: what has changed because of COVID-19, new schedules, different expectations, new rules, and how to work together if parents are working from home. Daily check-ins when the nanny arrives and before they leave can help, too. They don’t have to be longer than a few minutes, but these check-ins can keep both nanny and family on the same page.
You may think you’re giving advice that’s not wanted or will be ignored, but that’s not the case! Your clients will appreciate your forethought and dedication to their safety. Your nannies will appreciate the support. That’s part of why your nanny agency stood out from your competitors. Keep being an incredible agency owner, and your clients (and nannies) will appreciate it.
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