-- Have an on-boarding period. Have the nanny start a week before you actually need her.
-- Have a one week trial period. This is very important because a week trial is a good time period to see how the nanny is in front of you, FilipinosofNY gives you two months to both a chance to settle into a routine and for some of the honeymoon phase to rub off.
-- Have a "family day" journal the nanny fills out. This is a log of what happened during the day, such as feeding (and times), sleep log, diaper changes, where you've been, etc.
-- Have frequent reviews. A review after the one month trial period and quarterly reviews after that will help you continually modify the working relationship.
-- Ask around for feedback from others. Check with the instructors of classes that your child attends. Inquire with your neighbors if they hear the baby crying a lot more when you're gone. Have a housekeeper you trust spend some time "observing." Set up playdates with friends you trust that are stay at home moms and get feedback. However, never ask other nannies to spy on your nanny (it’s a quick way for you or your nanny to get ousted by the community).
-- Be able to reach your nanny at all times. Upgrade her calling/text plan if need be; being able to reach your nanny will give you a peace of mind. Ask your nanny to send photos if that helps. You may want to help her set up an alarm on her phone to remind her to check in.
-- Do your own spot checks. Come home early and unexpectedly several times in the first few weeks/months (and continue throughout the nanny’s tenure). This will give you a good sense of what's going on when no one is supposed to be watching.
-- Set up an Emergency Plan. If something happens to you or your nanny, what contingencies are there to help you get in touch? Do you have emergency contact information for the nanny’s family? Your nanny should at all times carry a copy of your child’s health insurance card and contact numbers for you and place the list of emergency contact numbers here in New York City.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS:
Emergency: 911 (Police/Fire/Ambulance)
Information Assistance: 411
American Red Cross: 1-877-RED-CROSS
Police Headquarter: 212-374-5000
NYPD Tip Line: 1-888-692-7233
Terrorism Hotline: 1-888-NYC-SAFE
Crime Victims Line: 800-771-7755
Crime Stopper: 1-800-577-TIPS
Suicide Prevention: 212-673-3000
Abortion Prevention: 212-2451845
Legal Aid Society Hotline: 212-577-3300
Poison Control Center: 212-764-7667
Doctors On-call: 212-737-2333
Hospital Patient Location Info: 718-416-7000
Rape Hotline: 212-267-RAPE
Narcotics Anonymous: 212-929-7117
Alcoholics Anonymous: 212-647-1680
Violence Hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE
Crisis Intervention Hotline: 212-219-5599
Child Abuse & Maltreatment Hotline: 1-800-342-3720
Emergency Children's Services: 212-966-8000
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: 1-800-843-5678
Runaway Hotline: 212-966-8000
LIFENET Mental: 1-800-LIFENET
Senior Action Line: 212-788-7504
Con-Edison: 1-800-75-CON ED
National Grid: 718-643-4050
Time Warner Cable: 212-674-9100
Gas/Electric Service Shutoff Hotline: 1-800-342-3355
Port Authority Bus: 212-564-8484
Port Authority Airports:
La Guardia: 718-533-3400
Amtrak (Penn Station): 1-800-872-7245
LIRR (Penn Station): 718-217-5477
Metro-North (Grand Central): 212-532-4900
NY Waterway: 1-800-53-FERRY
Staten Island Ferry: 212--NEW-YORK
Taxi/Limo Commission: 311 or 212-NYC-TAXI
US Postal Service: 1-800-275-8777
Manhattan Animal Shelter & Control: 212-722-3620
NY Consulate General of the Philippines: 212-764-1330
Filipinos Of NY Hotline: 1-877-844-4180
“You don't really know what is happening when you are not there, so it is a good idea to try and find out. Work from home sometimes. Ask friends to keep an eye out in the park or on play dates. Listen to what your children say. Mine told me they didn't like a couple of nannies we have had and really predicted the problems that arose. Kids have a hard time articulating what they don't like but they know when they like someone. It's very tricky to know what is going on when you are not there.” .
SAFETY IN YOUR HOME
It’s also important to be smart and safe in your home. While you may trust your nanny, you may not always know who comes to drop off or pick up your kids from a play date. Here are some reminders:
-- Hide valuables. Keep valuables out of sight and keep things in places that don’t invite temptation.
-- Mark your valuables (use a police engraver when possible). The NYPD has an Operation ID program where they will lend you their engraver.
-- Conceal prescriptions. If you have medications that are re-sellable, consider buying a small box with a lock to store prescription medications. At the very least keep them out of sight.
-- Limit key access. Keep access to your apartment limited and inventory your keys. (Some nannies actually don’t want to keep a key to their employer’s apartment so they won’t be suspect if something happens.)
-- Have a policy about guests/playdates in your home with your nanny. Know who is coming and going in your house.
-- Have emergency contact numbers. Ask for an emergency number for your nanny. It could save their life or could help you track down a problem person.
-- Do random spot checks. Come home (or to a class, or the park) at times the nanny is not expecting it.
-- Talk to your local NYPD Precinct Community Affairs Officer. They can help guide you through your options if you run into issues related to criminal activity.
-- Check out the stories. If you suspect that the nanny is pocketing money you’ve given for a class, stop by the business and check it out.
-- FINALLY--- Don’t shrug off that uneasy feeling. Trust your instincts if you feel something isn’t quite right. Investigate until you are satisfied. Even people we trust can turn out to be deceiving us.