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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Can’t Keep Up? 10 Ways to Simplify Nanny Management

4nannytaxes Can’t Keep Up? 10 Ways to Simplify Nanny ManagementIf looking for a nanny felt like a part-time job, managing one may feel like a full-time one. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to simplify managing your nanny while maintaining what matters the most: a trusting relationship with your children’s caregiver.
1. Use a nanny payroll service. Having to calculate the proper withholdings, writing out your nanny’s paychecks, and managing your employer tax responsibilities all takes time and energy. Consider outsourcing your payroll to a household payroll and service provider like Breedlove & Associates. Since they are experts in household employment, they’ll ensure your nanny is getting paid legally and that you’ve complied with the necessary tax rules and regulations.
2. Create a family binder. Put all the important information in one place. Keep contact lists, schedules, children’s sizes, school schedules, and all other household related information in the same place. You’ll also want to keep an executed authorization to treat a minor form and a copy of your nanny and family agreement in there as well to ensure easy access.
3. Give your nanny a credit card in her name. Instead of reimbursing your nanny for grocery shopping for the kids or taking the kids on an outing, give her a credit card in her name. By making her an authorized user on your account, you can order her a credit card with her name on it. If you’re not comfortable with this idea, consider a prepaid credit card.
4. Schedule weekly meetings. Knowing you have time set aside each week to address any issues or concerns can save you time and energy. It’s hard to have conversations when someone is rushing in and out of the door, and having to find time to “talk about it later” can be challenging. Knowing you have that time set aside can keep you from feeling like you have to choose between an in-depth conversation with your nanny at that moment or your work.
5. Streamline your communications. Instead of playing phone tag, consider having a set time you check-in with your nanny each day. Whether you check-in by phone, text, or email, knowing that you can expect your nanny to check in at the same time every day will save you from having to remember to call her or from being interrupted for routine communications.
6. Select a primary employer. Having a “go to” person from the start can help ensure your nanny receives important information from one source. If one parent is delegated the task of nanny management, the question “I thought you were going to tell the nanny” won’t even come up.
7. Have an in and out folder. Set aside a dual pocket folder to serve as your in and out box so that you can say goodbye to tracking down papers and coffee stained report cards. Ask your nanny to put anything you need to review on the left side and once you’ve reviewed it and acted accordingly, move it to the right side.
8. Secure back-up care in advance. There will be a day when your nanny gets sick or breaks down while driving to work and can’t get in. Having a back-up care plan in place can turn a potentially huge problem into a minor blip on your way out the door. Find out now if your company offers a corporate back-up care program. You may also want to make a list of trusted caregivers that could pinch hit for your nanny.
9. Have a place for your nanny to stay. If your nanny has to pull an all-nighter, inviting her to stay rather than drive home just to come back a few hours later makes sense. You won’t be worried that your nanny isn’t well rested and she won’t be dreading the late night drive home. If you have a spare room, be sure she feels welcome to use it.
10. Treat your nanny with respect. Before accusing your nanny of ruining your child’s prized blanket, ask if she knows what happened to it. Instead of assuming your nanny didn’t do what you’ve asked, consider if she understood your instructions. Fixing feelings takes more time and energy than avoiding hurt ones. Be considerate when interacting with your nanny. A nanny who feels valued and respected is much easier to manage.
If you can cut back on the time and energy you spend focusing on logistical nanny management, you can invest more time and energy into relationship management. At the end of the day, when it comes to nannies and employers’ relationship is what it’s all about.

 P.S. This post was  proposed to me for publication by Sara Dawkins  I'm therefore publishing it by her invitation and under her permission. See also the link below fore more information:

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