Why Nannies Leave: How to Avoid Common Mistakes that Send a Nanny Running

We never like to hear that a nanny has decided to leave her nanny-family. We know how invested families and nannies become in one another – for many, the relationships is practically familial.

Nannies leave their positions for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps their personal life has changed and they are expecting their own child. Or they are ready to return to school and cannot juggle a full-time job. Sometimes a nanny moves away, other times she leaves because you no longer need her with your children in school full-time. These are all completely normal, healthy reasons for nannies and families to part ways.

There are instances, however, in which a nanny chooses to leave because her relationship with her employers has taken a hit. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common reasons a nanny decides to quit a position under less-than-ideal circumstances.

1) Tardiness: When you hired your nanny, you knew you could rely on her to be on time everyday. Your nanny will expect that same in return. Sure, working parents need some slack; there will be times you get stuck in traffic or get caught in a meeting. The key here is communication: When these issues arise, always let your nanny know you will be late, and give her an estimate of how late you will be. Also, if you find that you are frequently running later than expected, it’s a good time to reevaluate the current schedule you have with your nanny, and either shift that schedule to accommodate your needs, or hire backup care to let your nanny leave on time.

2) Unclear Expectations: Think of a time when your boss gave you unclear expectations about a project at work, and when you attempted to meet those expectations, you were met with disappointment or anger. Never fun, right? No way! Like employees at traditional companies, nannies want clarity and guidance when it comes to what you, their nanny boss, expects of them. Don’t like the way they’ve been organizing your refrigerator? Can’t stand it when your nanny runs your dishwasher when it’s only half full? Make sure you let her know what your expectations are up front so that she doesn’t feel like she is met with conflict or passive-aggressive exchanges if something isn’t completed the way you wanted it the first time around.

3) Inconsistent Discipline: At Westside Nannies, we look for candidates who have flexible attitudes and outlooks on different types of discipline philosophies. An excellent nanny is one who will implement your style of discipline, even if it isn’t what she would choose for her own family. One complaint we hear from nannies is when discipline isn’t carried out consistently with their nanny family. For example, let’s say you’ve asked your nanny to execute time-out for your 3-year old for certain types of bad behavior, and she willingly does so. She wants to make sure her hard work and follow-through with your child is also supported by you, as parents, so that when you’re around, you will also follow-through with timeout and/or back your nanny in doing so. When a family asks their nanny to execute a certain style of discipline, but won’t enforce is consistently as parents themselves, nannies start to feel undervalued, and ultimately, burnt out on ridding negative behavior amongst their charge.

4) Micro-managing: At Westside Nannies, we have yet to meet a single nanny (or employee of any sort, for that matter), who seeks a micro-managing boss! No one – including us – likes to feel like a supervisor is hovering over their shoulder or nit-picking at their work while they’re trying to do their job. In fact, micro-managing your nanny can also be very distracting for your child. If you are not comfortable with the way your nanny is doing something or handling your child, find a calm, private time to speak with her about this. A micro-managing nanny boss often leads to an unhappy nanny.

5) Untimely Pay: Just like we assume that you yourself would not want a micro-managing boss, we can also assume that you wouldn’t want a boss who didn’t pay you on time. Makes sense, right? One of the primary reasons an unhappy nanny quits is when she is not paid in full (or at all) on time. It is extremely important to remember that your nanny is not just a friend or family member helping you out – she is an employee who is entitled to being paid on-time and in a legal fashion. We know how busy families can get, so a great way to ensure that your nanny is always getting paid on time and for the proper amount is to sign up with a great nanny payroll company, such as Breedlove & Associates!