how to get the very best out of your nanny for your children

Being the Best Employer to your Nanny

Should we look for affordable alternatives and view childcare as a luxury?

Take a nanny for example – First and foremost, the nanny will ensure that your child is safe, secure and happy. Your child is the most precious individual in your life. Should you underpay the one employee, who will help you bring up your child up for fifty to sixty hours a week? The answer should always be “No.” You expect your nanny to be experienced, qualified, proactive and enthusiastic, and the standards are rising all the time. If you look after your nanny well, they will be happy to go above and beyond for you and your child, and I don’t mean money. That is only an added bonus!

Below you will find some common nanny complaints and gripes.

Your offer: Low hourly rate

The nanny has worked hard for years to build their experience, gain new skills and completed the relevant training. What you should ask yourself: Are you a professional, with experience and qualifications? Do you expect to be paid adequately? Do not expect your nanny to lower her rate if your answer was “Yes.”

When I worked as a nanny myself, I was told by my employer that the nannies get paid too much money. First I was offended, then I realised that until I explain to her why I get paid the rate I charged at the time, my employer’s opinion will never change. Nanny has her role and responsibilities outlined in their contract, but employers sometimes forget that the nanny wears many hats – your nanny is not only a child carer, but she is also a time manager, mentor, teacher, negotiator, mediator, coach, advisor, amongst other things.

Your offer: Paying half the wages in cash

This is a common problem for nannies seeking a new position. What you should ask yourself: Would you accept your employer to not tax you fully? Do you think it’s legal? It isn’t. You wouldn’t allow it. You shouldn’t offer it. On top of that, you open yourselves to law suits, you face tax penalties and even possible prosecutions. Don’t be a tax evader. Not showing all the income can cause considerable issues for your nanny too, they may need to find a new rental property, or they may want get a new mortgage- landlord and the bank will want to see their bank statements first.

Coming home late:

What would you say if you had to wait for your employer to return back to the office before you could leave and they would be late consistently? Five, ten, fifteen minutes… We all know that it can happen, traffic, train disruptions, late meetings, etc. But it shouldn’t happen all the time. Your nanny has a life! They may need to attend a lesson or get to the theatre or spend time with their own children.

No time for break:

You wouldn’t expect to work for 10-12 hours a day without a break. Over the years, I have met a lot of people, who viewed a nanny’s job as easy. They do not realise how totally tiring- physically and mentally, it is for the nanny. When you are looking after your child, you will find that you have other things going on at the same time. Nanny’s attention is always on the child, worrying about injuries, planning the dinner and play dates, potty training, etc. Having a time to sit down and have a rest, will help recharge the batteries not only for the nanny, but also for your child.


You do need to work together with your nanny.  This is the best way to ensure that your child will get consistent care, it ensures safety and well-being of the child, you can also deal with any behaviour issues effectively if you use the same approach. If you expect your nanny to feed your child healthy food, do not undermine her authority by treating the child to biscuit or two on your arrival home. I understand fully, that you may feel guilty leaving your children at home all day with the nanny, but the only thing you are achieving is your child expecting to be treated for your absence. Taking a part in the bath time and the sleep routine, if you can, will serve as a much better reward for your child. It is the memories we create that the children remember, not the treats.

Common courtesy:

I was always told to treat others how I would like to be treated. I promise you, if you treat your nanny right you will create a positive atmosphere in your home, where your precious little ones will be happy, will thrive, develop and where they will learn that courtesy and respect will help them make lasting positive relationships with others in the future.

About Martina Vanickova

Martina Vanickova is the founder and CEO of The Training Umbrella, private assessment centre, delivering accredited childcare courses to nannies, nursery staff, child minders and teaching assistants in London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and looking to expand to China. "As small children, adult learners are each unique and special individual and it is my and the company’s ethos to treat each person as such. I believe that this is one of the contributing factors to our 100% success completion rate since we opened in 2012. There are many training providers, who see profit before the well-being of their learners. How can we raise standard in the industry, if we view learners as “money bags” and qualify individuals who should, frankly, never be employed to look after our children? If you are looking for a reason to see why I do what I do, this is it." Martina Martina is ardent defender of nanny rights and she is currently looking to explore this area professionally. Martina is a passionate promoter of gender equality, who believes in supporting other women to achieve their full potential in business and personal life, while harmoniously sharing their lives, with their partners, whatever the gender.

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  1. Marie.L.Bernardo

    Brilliant article Martina. All parents, agencies and nannies should read your article and learn from it.

  2. I couldnt say it better myself. Brilliant.

  3. I agree with the feedback. This is a must read article for all parents who employ nannies/mannies.

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