Keeping Your Job When the Kids Go Off to School

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If you think about it, nannies are one of the very few types of workers that enter into a position where the ultimate promotion is that they are no longer needed because the children no longer require nanny care.

While many nannies make a one year commitment, it’s not unusual for a nanny who started with a child when he was a baby to work as his nanny until he goes off to school. When a nanny is happy with her job and the family is happy with the nanny’s performance, the working relationship could go on for several years.

For nannies who have been with a family for several years, when her charge is ready to begin school it is a time of mixed emotions. A nanny may be filled with pride and joy seeing her charge through to this major milestone, but she may also be filled with sadness and grief knowing that her place within the family will soon be coming to an end.

But the end doesn’t have to be so near.

For many families, keeping their nanny on well after their child has started school is becoming a reality. When parents begin to consider the pros and cons of letting their nanny go, they’re often surprised to discover that keeping their nanny on may not only be more convenient, it can also be cost effective.

Nannies who keep their job after their charges enter school typically transition into the position of nanny/household manager. Nanny/household managers serve as a nanny when the children are home, but when the children are in school they take on other household-related tasks and otherwise manage the employer’s home. While these tasks may vary from family to family, they typically include running errands, coordinating, managing and supervising contractors and repair personnel, doing administrative tasks, maintaining the family calendar, and may even include organizing the home, paying bills, or other various housekeeping tasks.

When the children are not in school, the nanny resumes her traditional nanny role and provides customized and personalized child care. For working parents, knowing that they have prearranged childcare for when the child is mildly ill, when the school is closed, and during vacations often makes keeping their nanny worth doing. Finding backup care, short-term care and temporary care can be time consuming and costly.

Another added value that a nanny brings to the school aged child is that she is available to provide gap coverage. Gap coverage is the childcare a family needs during the time between when the parents need to be at work and when the child needs to be at school, and the time between when the child gets out from school and the parents return home. Having a consistent care plan in place for the children eliminates the need for piecemeal childcare and transportation arrangements, which could end up costing more than it would to continue employing their nanny.

When parents consider the value of keeping their nanny on after their child starts school, they are often surprised to learn that many of the things that they currently outsource around the home are things their nanny would be willing to do, especially if it meant keeping her job. For example, a nanny who enjoys cleaning may be willing to take on the housekeeping duties. A nanny who is skilled in the kitchen may be willing to prepare family meals. A nanny who loves animals may be willing to walk the dog.

If you’re in a position where your charges will be going off to school soon and you are interested in staying in your position, now is the time to talk to your employers about the possibility of transitioning to a nanny/household manager.

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