In many jobs, who you have as friends isn’t something that’s really important to your boss. But like with government and high profile jobs, many nanny employers do care about what you do and who you associate with.
While it may seem unfair that an employer judges you by your associations, for many parents, knowing as much about a caregiver as possible helps to them to make informed and educated hiring and managing decisions.
When it comes to evaluating a nanny’s character and judgment, which are unquestionably important in evaluating nannies, the type of people a nanny spends her time with can provide insight into those both of those qualities.
Nanny employers typically care about four main things when it comes to who their nanny keeps company with: they care if there is a safety risk to their children, a security risk to their children, a security risk to their property, and a risk of their children being influenced negatively.
A safety risk to their children. It’s only natural and necessary for parents to be concerned about their children’s safety. A nanny who hangs around with individuals who have poor judgment, are unstable, or who have a history of criminal problems can be concerning to a parent. This is especially true if a nanny is in an abusive domestic relationship. Parents may be concerned that the nanny’s abusive partner may show up at the home, either uninvited or not, or that the nanny may be persuaded to assist a friend in trouble during her on duty hours, taking her focus off of the children.
A security risk to their children. Nanny employers may also be concerned about the security of their children, especially if the family is wealthy or is a high profile family. Parents may feel that the more people who know the nanny cares for their children, the greater their children’s security risk is. A parent may be paranoid that if the nanny has shady friends, they may have less than genuine motives for getting to know the family, the children’s schedule and classified family information.
A security risk to their property. For live-in nannies especially, the prospect of having visitors is appealing. However, if the parents aren’t confident that the nanny’s pals are people of integrity, she may be concerned with them coming to the home. Fears of thievery, snooping or property destruction may cause some concern.
A risk of their children being influenced negatively. Most parents, whether nanny employers or not, want to shelter their young children from drugs, violence and swearing. If a nanny has friends who engage in drugs or violent behavior, or who curse like a trucker, the parents likely won’t want those friends coming around. Since individuals with common interests and hobbies tend to stick together, a nanny employer may discern that the nanny has similar character traits as those she spends her time with.
While the majority of nannies are straightedge individuals who are responsible, competent and caring, these same qualities that make them great child caregivers can make them susceptible to caring for other individuals who need help.
Some nannies feel that who they spend their time with off the clock has no bearing on how they do their job, but nanny employers may feel differently. Nannies are hired to serve as role models to the children in their care and to provide their charges with high quality, attentive childcare. During their workday, nannies are forced to make judgment calls on everything from what playground slide is appropriate to go down to what size a toddler’s grapes should be cut into. For many parents, knowing that a nanny consistently makes good judgment calls is vital to developing a trusting relationship.
While a nanny may be put-off that an employer cares about or questions her associations, nannies must respect that the well-being of the children is a priority and anything that could jeopardize that priority is best discovered by the parents.
Thanks to Sarah Tucker