Re: Now that I've hired a nanny, what kind of instructions and training should I give her to make sure everything goes smoothly while I'm away?
Properly training a nanny is one of the most important things you can do to protect your children and ensure their best care. When working with a new nanny, I always put together a Home Care Booklet which contains all important childcare and household information. In the binder there should be a few important documents for the nanny to read and be able to reference when you are not there. For example:
[ ] In-depth job description, including all aspects of the job
[ ] Daily schedules for what the nanny should do morning until night
[ ] Schedules for each child
[ ] Schedules for pet or household events (i.e. when the trash is to be taken out)
[ ] Directions to important places (local hospital, doctors, school, classes)
[ ] Emergency information on your child, including blood type, medical history, current medicines
[ ] Emergency contact information for parents, family, neighbors, etc.
[ ] Household information (how to work the alarm, the heating, AC, etc.)
By arming your nanny with as much information as possible, you are ensuring a smooth transition and less stress during an emergency. When emergencies occur, people often become stressed and do not think clearly. However, if you set up a home care booklet, the nanny will know exactly where to go to get the crucial information.
In the beginning of the working relationship, sit with your nanny and first establish how you would like the relationship to be maintained. For example, should you each check in once a week and perhaps then once a month after things are transitioned. Be direct and tell her how you would like her to communicate with you. Remember to work with your nanny as a partner. A successful and honest partnership between nanny and parents fosters greater care and comfort for the children.