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How to Find a Nanny Part II

March 16, 2014

Following on from How to Find a Nanny Part I – http://wp.me/p1MPyQ-5X

So apart from actually finding a person to mind your children, what are the other things you need to take into consideration?  Far from an exhaustive list, here are a few things to think about;

  1.  Salary.  The best thing to do here is talk to people and find out what they are paying.  Salaries have increased a lot over the last year and there is no longer a benchmark amount, so do your homework.  Be aware that live-out usually costs a bit more than live-in, on the basis that your nanny will need money to travel and pay her rent, which she won’t need to do if she lives in.  You should also be clear on bonuses (some people pay an extra month’s salary at Christmas for example) and pay rises (usually yearly).  It should go without saying that you ALWAYS pay her on time, usually at the end of each month.
  2. Work hours.  Be very clear on this.  When do you expect her to start and finish on each day and what will you do about ‘overtime’?  Will she be working weekdays and/or weekends and how much will you pay for babysitting in the evenings?  (Don’t forget to add her taxi fare home).  Will you expect her to work public holidays and will she be remunerated for this?
  3. Holidays.  It’s pretty much accepted that your nanny will take her holidays when you are away and most people don’t have any kind of separate arrangement for this; you simply pay her monthly wage as always. However, you may wish to make it clear that she can take extra days if needed on the basis that she lets you know in advance.  Some people may ask that she makes the hours up another time, others simply let it go as it’s such a rare occurrence!
  4. Discipline.  This is the hardest one to ‘get right’.  One of the joys of living in Myanmar is the affection that people shower all children with and your main ‘problem’ is going to be your kids being spoiled.  By this I mean that your nanny will most likely tidy up without asking your child to help and will probably happily spoonfeed them at mealtimes, long after we, as parents, feel they should be feeding themselves!  Again, you need to have a good relationship with your nanny and outline what you feel is acceptable behaviour in your children.
  5. Safety.  We are blessed to live in a country where your children’s safety is paramount and consequently they will be wrapped up in cotton wool and have an adult hovering near at all times.  This blessing can turn into a curse however, when your child is not allowed to go up and down stairs, climb on frames or run freely because nanny will always be holding on to a hand or an arm, just in case.  Be firm on this and make it clear that you value your child’s independence.  Similarly, it’s important that children are able to play by themselves sometimes and it can be hard to explain this kind of thinking to your well-meaning nanny, who feels she should constantly engage with your child in some way.  On the other hand, my toddler LOVES to help for example, and I have had many discussions and demonstrations with my staff, showing them how letting him ‘wash up’, vacuum, dust, hang washing and sweep really does bring him a lot of happiness and self worth.   I’m sure they think I’m most peculiar!
  6. Additional gifts and bonuses.  It’s no surprise that most people treat their nanny more as part of the family than staff, because her role in taking care of your children and ensuring their wellbeing and happiness is of such importance.  Therefore remembering her birthday, her kids’ birthdays, paying for medical treatments, processing and paying for passports where applicable and passing on your unwanted clothes to her first, or buying small gifts for her/her children children whilst on holiday, are all part of the unwritten ‘terms and conditions’ when you employ a nanny and go a long way to indicate and confirm her status.  There’s lots of other help you can give her of course and much depends on her situation.  But having a photo of your kid(s) for her to take back to show family and friends is a sure-fire favourite!
  7. Parting ways.  There will come a time when one of you is moving on and it’s usually a sad time for everyone involved. If you are the one leaving make sure you find your nanny a new family or job to go to, if that’s what she wants.  You can also give her a written reference with your contact details on it should anyone want to get in touch.  The hardest part will of course be for your children and your nanny and this should be managed sensitively with plenty of time for discussion on both sides, if possible.

http://myanmarhelpers.com/

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/yangon-expat-connection

How to Find a Nanny Part I http://wp.me/p1MPyQ-5X

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