How to Check Up on Your Nanny When You Don’t Have Nanny Cams
June 23, 2013 | in Background Check
Entrusting the care and well-being of your children into the hands of a relative stranger, no matter how experienced she is or how highly recommended she comes, is anything but easy. When you’re away from the house for hours on end and aren’t sure of what’s going on, the stress can be exhausting. There are electronic monitoring devices that can be hidden in almost any household item you can imagine, but the ethics of spying on your unwitting nanny are questionable and the devices aren’t legal in every state. If you want to monitor your nanny but don’t want to resort to a nanny cam, there are things you can do to check up on your kids throughout the day.
While it’s neither feasible nor wise to call your nanny every few minutes throughout the day, calling occasionally can give you a basic idea of what’s going on in your home while you’re away. Keep in mind that excessive amounts of phone calls will leave your nanny distracted from her primary goal of watching your children, though. Keep the number of calls reasonable enough that they’re not expected and you’ll be able to get a basic update on your kids and the day’s events.
Request That She Maintain a Nanny Log
There are a variety of reasons why you might want to consider instituting a policy of maintaining and updating a nanny log, including the reduced likelihood of double medication doses due to lack of communication between you and your childcare provider and staying abreast of any small details throughout the day. A well-kept log also helps you determine how nanny is spending her day and ensures that she’s making your kids’ welfare her highest priority.
Ask Your Kids About Their Day
If your children are verbal, they can be one of your most reliable sources of information when it comes to their nanny and her conduct. Keep in mind, though, that toddlers and preschoolers have vivid imaginations paired with a reduced capability of distinguishing fact from fantasy. If your child tells you that the nanny is riding a broomstick around the house or tried to put her in the oven, you may want to think twice before confronting her about such tales. Asking your kids what they did during the day and what their favorite things were, however, can give you a fairly accurate picture of the activities and events that took place that day.
Track Supply Usage
Suspicions that your child is being neglected are devastating, but unfounded allegations of such an incendiary nature are just asking for trouble. One good way to gauge how well your child’s needs are being attended to is to survey the amount of diapers and food in the house with a reasonably accurate estimate of how much of those items your child would require in the amount of time you were away. A large surplus of diapers paired with a painful, irritated rash are strong indicators that diapers aren’t being changed in a timely manner, for instance.
Come Home Early
When you’re faced with the demands of a busy career, slipping away early isn’t always easy and if you do it too often, your nanny may start to catch on. Still, coming home unexpectedly very occasionally lets you get an accurate picture of your home and kids before your nanny has a chance to go into her closing down routine. You should expect, however, that the house may be less tidy than you’re accustomed to and some tasks may not be completed. Remember, the purpose of coming home early is not to scold a great nanny for not anticipating your early arrival, but to ensure that your kids are being treated well throughout the day and that no house rules are being broken.
Keep an Eye Out for Injuries
Kids fall down, trip over things and generally struggle with staying upright for quite a few years, so you can’t blame every scrape or bruise on your nanny. An abundance of injuries, or any that aren’t age appropriate, however, can be cause for concern. If your older child seems to have more scrapes and cuts than you think is normal, it could be a sign that your nanny is less than attentive. Injuries on young babies, however, may point to something a bit more sinister. There’s no reason why you can’t question your nanny about injuries your kids sustain; after all, part of her job is to make sure that they’re safe and protected.
It’s natural and normal to worry about your kids when you aren’t there to look after them. Still, leveling false allegations or implying that a great nanny is less than competent is almost certain to backfire. Understanding the difference between natural concern and unfounded suspicion is essential for your sanity and your family’s ability to keep a quality childcare provider on the books.← 10 Unwritten Playground Rules All Parents Should Follow | How to Monitor The Quality of Care Your Children Receive →
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