Taking care of other people’s children is never a black and white issue, nor is there a strict code on how to deal with all situations that may or may not arise in this particular relationship.
However, here at Schooldays.ie we have collected information and produced advice and guidelines to help both nanny and childminders understand the relationship better,
Terms, rates and conditions of childminding should be pre-agreed before any commencement will take place. It is important to define clearly what your exact role is, what services you will be providing, as well as other duties to your prospective parents. Clarity of these terms is best done in writing. By outlining and agreeing on exact duties between you and the parents, and by supplying a written agreement signed by both parties, this will help enforce these conditions.
Nannies can be employed directly by the parents or through an agency. The agreements of duties and expectations between parents and nanny must be clearly outlined by a written contract. If you are a nanny working through an agency make sure you clearly understand what is expected of you before agreeing to work with that agency. This will save any problems that may arise later on.
If you are hired directly by the parents then, it is best to have a written agreement/contract of employment on what is your expected duties as an employee of the parents. Rates, and hours must be clearly defined as well as extra services such as cleaning, pick-ups, meals, homework must also be outlined. Arrangements with regard to payment for childminders holidays, parents holidays and bank holidays should also be agreed. Click here for advice on payment rates provided by other parents. If you are a self-employed childminder, minding kids in your own home, you will not need an employment contract but it is still best to set out in writing the services you will provide and how additional costs might occur.
As with all relationships between children and adults there are plenty of times when some issues will arise that may cause stress between the childminder and parent. When dealing with these issues it is best to do so in a calm considerate way, with the child’s best interests at the center of discussion.
One way of insuring that all problems go smoothly is to agree on a procedure and outline a plan of action prior to any commencement. For example, both childminder and parent can agree that any issues will be dealt with in a routine phone call. This is particularly helpful for disciplinary matters between children and the childminder as it creates space for a calm discussion that is out of children’s earshot. Please see our guide on how to raise with parents for more information.