Under the new government guidelines, it seems that it is now ok to have a live out nanny and/or domestic helper back in your home, provided neither they nor you are showing symptoms of the Coronavirus.
You can also use a childminder if they are only providing care for children from one household.
We chatted to Sarajane Ambrose, founder and Managing Director of Imperial Nannies for some tips and advice.
- First and foremost, under the new government advice we are entrusted to use our common sense. Social distancing when it comes to children is near impossible, as we have seen continuously debated during this COVID-19 crisis. Whether we are coming at this from a parent’s or nanny's perspective, the central issue is what you are comfortable with.
- It will be key for both parents and nannies to decide and agree upon a workable plan they can keep to.
- Discuss with your nanny whether you would like them to wear face masks and gloves, offering to provide them if it is a prerequisite of working in your home. If your nanny wishes to wear a face mask or use gloves, it will be important to let her. You can work out a strategy together on how to ensure this isn’t intimidating for the children.
- Ensure there is plenty of hand sanitizer available throughout your home and that there is always easy access to soap and water. Small bottles of sanitizers in baby bags for any journeys out of the house are extremely handy. Whilst it is the nanny’s role to keep children’s rooms tidy, it is your responsibility to make sure that the surfaces throughout the house are regularly cleaned and disinfected to ensure your nanny has a clean environment to work in.
- Be ready to support your nanny if there is any push back from children regarding the change in routine. Your kids may have got used to having mummy and/or daddy to themselves and be unwilling to surrender your full attention. Parents and nanny should agree a daily routine between them so that the children know the nanny is in charge and that parents should not be interrupted when working.
If you are working from home, try to use a designated room away from your nanny and your children to ensure she has enough space to work. Going out to get some exercise and fresh air is obviously extremely important, especially now. Try using the kitchen to make your lunch while your nanny takes the children out for a walk. Maybe you could even carve out some time with your partner - book a session on a local tennis court! Just IMAGINE!!!
- Discuss travel arrangements with your nanny. Every family is different with their individual travel requirements. Are you/your nanny happy to use public transport (with appropriate distancing and face covering)? Is there alternative transport they might use? Driving to collect them yourself is not ideal as close proximity in a car is not advisable. For some, a temporary live in solution could work for those that have the space, and this could involve two siblings sharing to make room.
- It should go without saying that if any member of your household or your nanny or any member of their household has any symptoms, no matter how mild, your nanny must NOT come to work.
- If nannies or clients are experiencing difficulty communicating, Sarajane recommends that both parties use the nanny agency who made the introduction to mediate to avoid any breakdown in discussions. They have experience in offering assistance to our clients and candidates for any hiccups and can provide a dispassionate third party view.
- This is a scary time for many and if a return to work is not feasible, Nannytax is able to assist nannies seeking information regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furloughing process).
Imperial Nannies, tel (0)207 795 6220 www.imperialnannies.com
Emily Turner, 14 May 2020