Q. Help! My Nanny is habitually late.

Ask MaryPat

Mary Pat doesn’t fly around with a black umbrella, but she does have over 20 years of experience as a Child Development Expert. These post will answer questions about child development concerns & managing your employer/employee relationship.
Q. Help! My Nanny is habitually late. She is a terrific Nanny for my son, however, she is typically ten or more minutes late everyday. How do I resolve this issue?

A. Managing a Nanny can be a delicate business. It can be challenging to maintain the balance between having her as a part of your family and being her employer.

If you haven’t already done so, I would recommend setting up a regular time for a meeting to discuss the children, household, and employment issues. Many Nannies find it hard to speak up and will appreciate the opportunity to communicate openly with you.  Having weekly meetings can help you manage situations pro-actively and develop a solid working relationship.

Meetings should always start with the positive aspects of your employment relationship.  This is a time for you to acknowledge your Nanny and thank her for specific contributions and work towards positive solutions to the challenges of family life. Rather than saying, “You do a nice job with Ethan,” she will appreciate more specific feedback like, “I like the way you take the time to let Ethan help you make breakfast in the morning. He seems to be learning a lot about taking turns, measuring, and following directions. And he’s having fun! Thank you.”

Next, identify the problem. In this case I would say something like, “I notice that you have been about ten minutes late to work lately. This causes challenges for my scheduling. I would like to talk with you about how we can get back on track. Are you having a scheduling problem in the mornings that I can help you figure out?”

It is possible that 1) the Nanny hadn’t noticed that she was late. 2) She does actually have a scheduling or transportation problem that can easily be resolved. Many times, a simple, honest talk with an employee will dissolve any employer/employee issue. Also remember to ask her if she has any issues to bring up and make a plan to follow-up and remember to schedule a meeting to check-in again soon.