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Parents’ and Nannies’ Expectations

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Parents’ expectations of care givers vary widely. Some expect the world; others are more realistic.

Below are some of parents’ responses concerning expectations:

  • “I want my nanny to be a substitute mother for my children.”
  • “I want her to be half housekeeper, half nanny.”
  • “She should be more than an employee. I want her to be part of the family.”
  • “I just want someone who’ll love and take care of my children.”
  • “We want someone who’s professional, intelligent, and warm.”

Here are some of nannies' responses:

  • “I want to be part of the family.”
  • “This is just a job.”
  • “I wish to have an employer who appreciates my work.”
  • “I want to find a family who respects and understand me.”

Parents should be realistic about their expectations for a childcare worker. What in fact are realistic expectations? Let’s start with the most obvious fact: To you, it’s your home and your child, but to your nanny, it’s a job. If the job brings attachment, love, and respect, generally everyone (especially your children) benefits. It’s no coincidence that virtually every nanny needs to be respected and appreciated, and that the vast majority of parents who were satisfied with their permanent childcare arrangements also spoke about their relationships of mutual respect with caregivers.

As a parent, you may expect yourself to be on call twenty-four hours a day, but you cannot reasonably expect this of your employee. You may give selflessly to your children, but your caregiver (who may in fact love your kids) may also have a family of her own.

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