As Canada (and the world) continues to battle the CoVID-19 pandemic, professional nannies and caregivers are being affected in major ways. Many nannies and caregivers were let go when families began quarantining at home and provinces issued “stay-at-home” orders. As the economy opens and the restrictions are lifted, more and more families, especially those with health care professionals and other essential workers, require childcare.
If you are a professional nanny in the greater Vancouver area seeking a new job or looking to return to childcare work, our agency compiled a list of helpful tips that will make caring for children during the pandemic easier.
Tip #1: Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
While it is important to have high expectations for yourself, it is also important to remember that we are working through uncertain and unprecedented times. You are adjusting to new routines and protocols. You may be also having to manage space with additional children and parents at home. Cut yourself some slack. It is a time of transition and learning for everyone involved.
Realistic routines are important for you and the children in your care. They help establish norms, set expectations, and build positive relationships with the children in your care. They also assist with transitions and making the day flow better. In your first week or two of employment, sit down with the family to create a daily routine that is predictable for everyone. Keep in mind that any established routine needs to be flexible and leave room for free, unscheduled time.
Tip #3: Maintain Ongoing Communication with Families
It is also important to remember that families are learning to navigate these unique times as much as you are. Many families who hire nannies in the greater Vancouver area are still working from home and are learning to share the space with you. Extra dishes, or laundry? Pitch in where you can, but also know your boundaries. Communication is always key for a healthy client-caregiver relationship.
Tip #4: Be creative and have fun
It may seem easy to entertain a child by turning on their favourite TV show or game on a tablet. A professional nanny, though, will look to engage the child in other fun and creative activities. You may need to speak to the parent to learn more about the rules about playtime. You may also wish to speak to the child to see what activities interest them.
Tip #5: Stay informed
Keeping yourself and the children in your care safe is significant, especially during these unique times. That means being prepared for any and every issue or emergency that could happen. Always keep a list of important phone numbers on hand. As well, ask for a list of the child’s allergies (food, seasonal, pet, and other types) and what you need to do in the event of an allergic reaction. If you plan to take the children to the playground or other public places, you may also want to review the current restrictions and regulations in place.