We're planning to put our kids in full-time preschool in September and have to break the news to our nanny of 3 years. Does anyone have any advice about what to say/how to say it/how to handle the transition with her over the next few months? I plan to help her find a new position as best I can and to give her a great reference, but beyond that what I can do for her and for our kids to make this as seamless as possible? And how can I deliver the news in any way but a straightforward way?
Any tips or tales from the road would be hugely appreciated.
Mark the ending with a celebratory event and keep the Nanny connected with the family for certain occasions:
“Chiming in here late, but we had an event on the Nanny's last day. Presented her with a photo of she and the kids, had a cake (to celebrate her moving on) and made sure that the kids knew she would continue to be in their lives. After that we went to visit her when she was in the hospital and try to make sure to include her in important events (e.g., 5th grade graduation, dance recitals).
It's important to reinforce the role the Nanny plays in the child's life by continuing a relationship (if the relationship ends well) in the same way that your children will emulate how you treat your Nanny when she works with you.”
The professor who taught my attachment theory class recommended finding a way for the child to stay in touch with the nanny because of how deep the relationship gets. I would say, if possible, see if the Nanny is open to coming to a few dinners over the next few years. Or maybe you could meet out in the park occasionally. Or even head to meet your nanny in her own neighborhood. You might be able to have your little one call her once in a while if the missing gets really intense. Let the little one know what the agreement/plan is. And give lots and lots of comfort. Your little one is really loosing someone special. Best of luck!"
Post an Ad (and post on PSP Classifieds!)
"When we went through this a couple years ago, we let our nanny know and put out an ad for her as soon as we knew (May or early June for the following September). We thought the most important thing was for her to be employed, and we were willing to fill in with someone else over the summer if she found a job right away (which she did), and we knew our kids would be fine (which they were).
And to make you you feel better, I was anxiety ridden about telling her, but it turns out that nannies aren't exactly shocked when their charges are ready to go off to preschool. Good luck!"
Offer a Severence Package, Skype, Throw a Party:
"Give her time. It always helps if you let her know as early as you can. Worst thing you can do is spring this on her a week before her last day. Talk to your husband about some type of severance package. It's usually a minimum of 2 weeks, but we gave our old nanny whom we loved 5 weeks plus the vacation she didn't take. Take her to dinner with the kids, and make her feel appreciated. Have the kids make her a card.
Post an ad on PSP for her, and write a great letter of recommendation. Trust me, if she is amazing, she would have to problem finding a new family.
Tell your children that she is going to share her love with others who need it, and keep the door open so she can visit! Keep in contact. My kids love to Skype with the old nanny!"
Give plenty of notice:
"I gave my nanny of two years plenty of notice. I told her in April that my daughter would be starting preschool and that I needed fewer hours. We discussed it and based on some conversations it seemed best if she found another full-time position. She's terrific and had no problem finding another position after I posted glowing recommendations on PSP and another local parenting board. We had decided to state in the post that she would only be available at end of August but she's the type of person that wouldn't have left until I had found someone else.
Her new situation was taking care of two infants of two moms going back to work in Sept. So you could get lucky and find something similar. I think the good nannies get placed early in the summer so there's no harm in starting that process now."
More on PSP:
Relating reading from around the web:
An interesting article in the New York Times by a psychiatrist about what happens to emotions - yours, your child's, and your nanny's - when nanny leaves.