During the pandemic, many families turned to nannies to care for their children from the safety of their own homes as daycares and schools were forced to close to stop the spread of the virus.
As the pandemic continues to linger much longer than anticipated, we are now faced with the new fear of variants of the virus. So, how can you talk to your nanny about these unprecedented and continual changes? And what should you even talk about? Keep reading to find out.
How to Talk to Your Nanny About COVID-19 Variants
First and foremost, conversations about COVID-19 with your nanny should be open, honest, and continual. Here are some key points to touch on:
As we dig the masks—that we thought we had bid farewell to—out of the bottom of our drawers, it’s likely for good (or a while) this time. As more places reinstate mask mandates, you’ll need to decide what your household policy will be. Do you want your nanny to wear a mask at all times when they are with your children, only when they are cooking, or when they pick the kids up from school? There are a lot of variables to consider, which is why we recommend sitting down together and going through the nanny’s daily routine and duties with your children and figuring out where the nanny (and probably your kids) will wear masks and where they will not.
An Open Conversation About Activities and Social Contact
This step is particularly important for both sides—parents and nanny. Start a discussion about comfort level with activities and social contact outside of working hours. Does your nanny have underlying health conditions? You might seriously want to limit your contact and socialization outside of the home, even on the weekends, to lower the likelihood of transmission. On the other hand, is your nanny a college student? You might need to ask them to refrain from large parties and clubs if you’re worried about them passing the virus to your newborn baby or other children and family members.
Of course, you should not directly say that you forbid your nanny from doing things outside of work. Instead, approach it as an open conversation so that you can come up with guidelines that will keep your nanny and your family as safe as possible. Let them know that they won’t be “in trouble” if they attend a party or crowded bar, but that you would like to know when they do so that you can create a plan—maybe having the nanny do a short quarantine or wear a mask for a couple of weeks. Offer to do the same for your nanny and share when your risk profile goes up due to activities your family engages in the evenings and weekends.
As more and more employers and organizations require vaccines for their employees, can you ask your nanny to get vaccinated? Or what if your nanny asks you and/or your children to get the jab? It’s essential that your vaccine views align with your nanny’s.
If you’re in the process of hiring a nanny, you’re in luck because you can make sure your vaccination views align before you hire them.
If you already have a nanny, it’s time for another open conversation. Make sure you come to the meeting prepared to make your case and stress the importance of getting vaccinated to protect your family if that is how you feel. If you decide to require that your nanny gets the COVID-19 vaccine, it is your responsibility to cover any out-of-pocket costs that may arise in addition to compensating them for the time spent getting jabbed.
Read more about talking to your nanny about the COVID-19 vaccine here. (Link to post I’m doing on this topic).
The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong answer or straight line to follow when it comes to communicating with your nanny during this ever-changing time. The most important part is that conversations are taking place and both parties feel comfortable sharing their feelings and needs.