Resigning from a job is never easy in any industry. As a Nanny working in someone’s home it can feel even more difficult as the professional relationship is much more personal than it is in many other lines of work. Often families and nannies have agreed upon a certain amount of time that their working relationship will last. In the event this changes it needs to be handled properly and professionally. Let’s first take a look at how a professional nanny should proceed if she is the one making the decision to resign.
As with many industries two to four weeks’ notice is standard for an employee to give their employer upon making the decision to resign. This same rule of thumb applies to a nanny putting in her notice. The reasons a nanny chooses to leave before a job has come to an end can vary. Normal life changes such as a move, starting a family, school, changing careers, are all reasons a nanny may choose to leave. It is kind, considerate, and professional to let your employers know why you are leaving. Simply letting them know that you have truly enjoyed working for them and are now moving into another role is acceptable. If you are excited about a career change or new opportunity in your life feel free to express this. By giving the employers two to four weeks they have the chance to look for someone to fill your position, as well as have a discussion with the children about the upcoming change. The proper way to turn in notice to your employers is by putting it in writing. This can be a letter of resignation or an email. Avoid using text messages to give notice. Even if you communicate regularly via text this is one time that it is not appropriate and can come across as unprofessional.
When a nanny chooses to leave a position that no longer suites her for other reasons, putting in notice can get a little more stressful. Perhaps it is not a healthy and happy work environment. You may be choosing to leave because of behavioral issues, problems with the parents, or any number of things that have made you less than happy at work. You will still want to be respectful and give proper notice. It is ok to explain briefly why you are giving notice, but do not feel that you have to go into major detail. If there are reasons you are leaving that your nanny family could benefit to know so that they can learn and grow moving forward, take the time to share this with them. Be sure to remain professional, don’t allow things to get awkward, and don’t be rude.
The question of whether a nanny should give notice months in advance is one to consider. There are pros and cons that arise if you choose (and are able) to give a lot of notice. On the positive side you are giving your employers the opportunity to adjust to the idea of you leaving while they have much more time to hire a new nanny or make other arrangements. This is a good option if you are able to and have a healthy relationship with your nanny family. If you are leaving because you are unhappy at your current job there is the risk that this could make it worse. A negative also to consider is that some employers will react emotionally and simply let you go. You may find yourself without work unexpectedly. When it comes down to it you have to make the best possible decision for your well-being while maintaining professionalism.
Now what if you are the employers of a nanny and your circumstances have changed? If this is an unexpected and sudden change such as the loss of a job or an upcoming move, try to give your nanny as much notice as possible. Sit down and discuss with them why things are changing and let them know you have appreciated their time with your family. Write them a letter of reference and be sure to be available as a referral as they begin to search for a new position. If you are able to put the word out about your wonderful nanny being available it is a nice thing to do. Consider Severance pay for your nanny. If you are dismissing your nanny without cause on her part severance pay is the proper thing to do. Giving your nanny a month or two of living expenses can ease the financial burden of this difficult transition for her. If you are letting your nanny go for poor performance or negligent behavior severance pay is not to be given. When letting your nanny go for any reason be sure to remain professional and avoid being rude or unkind. What if you know months ahead of time that you won’t be needing your nannies’ services anymore? Perhaps your child will be enrolled in school full time, or you have decided to stay home. Giving your nanny several months’ notice is very much appreciated! This will allow her to work her time with you while actively interviewing so that she can have a position lined up and she won’t be left without work.
Navigating giving notice on either end can be uncomfortable. Remember that there will be many emotions such as sadness on both ends. Be considerate of each other and do your best to work together to make this transition as smooth as possible. Not only will you both benefit from that, but it will make this time considerably easier on the children.
By: Anne-Marie Ferraro