Making the Transition from Nanny to Family Assistant

INA Blog Making the Transition from Nanny to Family Assistant 3By the Washburn Agency

It’s a dilemma every nanny and family faces in the job – what to do when the kids get older, and the parents no longer need a full-time nanny. The nanny may decide to move on, the family may look at after-school care, or the nanny and parents can sit down and rethink the job description and what that looks like for everyone involved. For one, the nanny has job security and the family retains a trusted member of their household. But how do you make that transition and what issues could arise? Here are some tips for getting started.

Determine if this is a role you want to take. For some nannies, child care is all they want to do, and that’s okay. For others, taking on additional tasks is appealing. It takes a different skill set to be a family assistant, so you need to determine if this is the role you want to take on. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have a desire to do this job? Would you rather be on the floor reading and playing with children, planning playdates and activities or are you comfortable managing schedules, coordinating vendors, making appointments, running errands – all of these outside the realm of childcare. If you are open to added job responsibilities, then this may be the right move for you.

Determine the job description. The role you play should be clearly set out, defined and agreed by both you and the parents. Look around you and see what tasks you already do that may fall outside the role of childcare. Do you help prep dinner for the family? Are you making the calls to schedule a repair when you’re home with the kids? Listing those tasks that you would be responsible for is key in defining your role. Determining which aspects of the role you want to take on is also key to being successful. If you don’t like managing vendors or being responsible for vet care for the dog, let the parents know upfront so there are no surprises when these instances pop up. All of these details should also be clearly laid out in a contract / work agreement, and any compensation / benefit change agreed upon by both parties.

Another key aspect is what happens when there is conflict in the roles. If you typically do your non-childcare related tasks when the kids are in school and you schedule appointments, errands and there is a sudden day off from school or a sick child, clearly defining what happens is key to the success of this role. This mostly falls on the parents as we would assume the child comes first and parents and nanny need to be okay with tasks not getting done as scheduled or appointments having to be rescheduled. Communication, time management and task management are key skills needed to succeed in the role of family assistant.

Set yourself up for success. While you have the desire to do the job, you may not have all the skills, but the willingness and support to learn on the job. There are numerous opportunities out there to learn the skills needed. Nanny Care Hub Academy offers their Becoming a Top Notch Family Assistant course. Or check out Estate Management Solutions The Essentials of Household and Estate Management. These courses offer an opportunity to learn from those who’ve held these positions and create connections with others who are in these roles. Finally, search Facebook for private groups you can connect with your peers.

Take an online course in project management, communication skills, household repairs offered through Udemy. Are you a PC user and the family uses strictly macs? Take a course in the basics so you can help troubleshoot. Continuing education is vital in any industry, and these are skills you can take with you for future jobs.

On the job. You’ve defined the job and set yourself up for success. Now you’re there managing the day-to-day. Don’t be afraid to ask for things that make your life easier. Need a large family calendar for all to see? Want to create a household manual to manage and organize all the vendors, house needs, and family? Consider the Housebook by Our Nanny Diary. Continue to look for ways you can continue to grow within the role, if adding additional tasks appeals to you. Whatever role you assume, you’ll find the job rewarding and making a difference in the lives of the families and children you work with.

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The Washburn Agency was founded in 2007 and is one of the leading Nanny and Domestic Placement Agencies in the Greater Boston Area. Our Domestic and Nanny positions in Boston are in high demand and we always have families looking for the perfect candidate. There is no fee for applicants. If you are qualified and interested in any of the posted positions, give us a call; we’d love to represent you.

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