We all know that since March, things have changed in many aspects including what it could mean for a nanny. Even within this pandemic, nannies have still been needed and requested especially as school schedules are changing.
We had the privilege to interview an exceptional nanny; Mia with over 8 years of childcare experience, about all that, has happened in the nanny world. Mia helped share an insight that many may not have heard from during this pandemic and one we find is needed.
What has been the hardest part of nannying during COVID?
Mia: There are quite a few challenges. The most challenging part of being a nanny throughout these unprecedented times is security. There is a huge percentage of nannies without a contract and/or being compensated “under the table” Many are now unemployed with no notice or severance. Under these terms, it’s clear one cannot even file unemployment with no trace,right? It is vital that as a professional, that one is an advocate for themselves or have representation that will advocate for them and their needs. In many cases too, nannies with a contract and compensated legally, still may encounter issues such as pay reductions.
Although there have been many furloughed, there is still a high demand for nannies. Families of all dynamics are in dire need of childcare given most schools are closed. Some families have never been in the market for a nanny or transitioning from an arrangement with an au pair and are not knowledgeable of certain guidelines, such as pay and benefits, many have found it to be outrageous. Some are knowledgeable and just don’t care!
I’d like to add to that a nanny like myself that specializes with younger children, it’s difficult seeing them not able to fully grasp all of what’s happening. I’ve gotten on their level to explain the best way I’d think they’d comprehend.
No socialization is huge!!! I think we all need this, especially children. For some families that are taking extra precautions, play dates, or any type of outings aside from strolls aren’t permitted.
Micromanagement from parents is huge for those now working from home.
What steps have you taken for safety and continuous care in the homes of the kids you nanny?
Mia: I’ve taken great precautions. I have always been a germ cautious person and I have done my normal routine things such as sanitizing counters, designated play areas, kids’ personal items, shoe compartments, etc. Also, if we were to leave home, the kids and I are masked and we wear masks if we go to a store or for walks.
How have you entertained the children during quarantine?
Mia: Luckily I am creative! I’ve created several stimulating activities, such as sensory bins, a homemade instrument set, arts & crafts. I’d make animals out of finger paint, allow children to make their own books, plus so much more! It helps to switch things up.
What are you doing now even during such times of caution?
Mia: I’d say I am continuously positive and optimistic! I am that motivating force within the household that provides that reassurance that all will be okay. Children are my reasons to keep going!! It has been hard on the children and parents as well so I think this is important. If there’s any downtime I’ll constantly ask of their needs with other tasks. I am on top of management as always but more, you know, with some parents working from home, the kids, nanny, and everyone solely home, it’s critical to do so. I am proactive. Creativity and thinking outside the box are key.
How are things different with back to school the way it is in your area?
Mia: Wow, back to school is a drastic change. Most children are now enrolled virtually. Very challenging for younger children to receive this concept, A 5-year-old told me “this isn’t my class, I want my class” it was disheartening. This is where patience, communication, and again creativity comes in handy. I helped decorate the environment similar to that of a 5-year old’s classroom and her eyes immediately lit up. I have suggested families begin a “POD”, an at-home group for the class. 3-6 families may come together and host a class at one home. This way, they’d be happier, there’s socialization, a better learning environment, and is somewhat closer to “normal”.
I’d like to add that this period has been an eye-opening experience for most of us! We’re able to reflect on ways to make positions better, if our position is even the right fit, if we’re with a family that we’ve established a mutual understanding, respect, and connection with, it’s only made that stronger!!! If someone has not, I am certain this period is an opportunity to grow closer. There is beauty even in darkness.
Thank you, Mia, for all of your wonderful insight!
We hope this will be an encouragement and help to you during this time of uncertain times and school changes. We are here for you if you are a nanny looking for a family as we have some available openings. You can check out here. If you are a family in need of a nanny or private educator this fall, we are here for you too! You can check out all of our information for families here.
We wish you a happy and healthy fall!