Being organized makes a nanny’s life inherently easier. There are so many details she has to keep track of every day to keep her family’s life and household running smoothly. The most user friendly way to organize all these details is to use a nanny household book. But what exactly is a nanny household book? Simply put, it’s a notebook kept in a central location, usually the kitchen, which can be updated often and easily accessed by everyone in the home. So what should go into your nanny household book? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Your notebook should be customized to the needs of your family. However, there are standard sections that are helpful to everyone.
Nanny Contract: Your signed nanny contract should be in your nanny household book. You’d be surprised at how often throughout the year you’ll need to reference it as questions come up about what you and your family originally agreed to. Your employers will likely need to reference it also.
Nanny Time Sheets: Although you don’t punch a time clock, it’s still important for you to keep track of the number of hours you work during the week. There are a couple ways you can do this. You can track your hours the old fashioned way by simply writing down when you start and end work each day, or you can use one of the many online and smart phone applications that can track hours for you. If you use one of the applications, make sure you print out the weekly results and keep the report in your nanny household book. It’s always a smart idea to have a hard copy for reporting purposes.
Household Rules: If you have older kids, there are probably plenty of household rules in place. The parents may limit how much screen time they’re allowed, what chores must be completed before they can play, or what friends are allowed over. Creating a list of these rules and keeping it handy will deter a lot of the “but Mom said I could” arguments you have with older kids. It’s a lot easier to simply say “Go look at the house rules” than it is to try to win a debate over what is and isn’t allowed.
Emergency Contact Sheet: This is one sheet you hope you’ll never need to use, but if you do, you’re so happy that you have it. The Emergency Contact Sheet should include all the information you’d need to effectively handle a medical emergency with your charge. It should include information about the child’s medical history, any known allergies, all medications, doctor’s contact information and the parents’ hospital preferences.
Pet Information Sheet: This information sheet makes sure you have all the necessary information you need to get proper care for an ill or lost pet. It should include the pet’s medical history, allergies, vaccinations and veterinarian’s contact information. It should also include the pet’s license number and locator chip ID number. It’s a good idea to include a recent picture of the pet so you don’t have to search for one if the pet becomes lost.
Vendor Contact Sheet: If you’re the person who calls to get things fixed around the house, this list will save you time and frustration when you’re in need of a repairman. Before something breaks, find out from the parents who they use to repair or service their household appliances, like the refrigerator, dishwasher and hot water heater. Also include the companies that handle the utilities, including water, trash, gas, electricity and cable. Lastly, don’t forget general contractors, such as the plumber, electrician and handyman.
Child Contact Sheet: This is the place to collect all the names, phone numbers and email addresses of the people you need to stay in contact with around your charge. This includes teachers, tutors, coaches, team parents and activity leaders. It’s also a good idea to list your charge’s friends, their contact information and the names of the friend’s parents. Much of this information will be kept in your phone too, but it’s always a good idea to periodically print it out and keep a hard copy in case of an emergency. Also, if you keep the information in a central location, both you and the parents can have access to it.
Master Grocery List: If you do the family’s grocery shopping, having a master grocery list can be a real time saver. Most families buy the same foods week after week. Instead of creating a list from scratch each week, you can use the Master Grocery List to simply mark off what you need and then add any special purchases. Keeping it in the nanny household book makes it easy for the parents to let you know when they’ve used the last of a staple or when they have a special request.
Having a well thought out nanny household book can save you time and frustration as you move through your day. By getting the information you need organized and keeping it handy, you’ll be prepared for whatever may come up.