At no time in human history before now has it been so easy for people to communicate with one another, even when they’re on opposite ends of the world. Technology has advanced to the point that we often take being able to reach our friends, family members, and coworkers for granted, because there are so many different methods to achieve communication. One relationship that has the potential to be significantly improved by the accessibility of so many instant-communication options is that of the nanny and her employers. Parents, especially those who are still adjusting to the idea of leaving their child in the care of someone else, can benefit from the peace of mind that accompanies regular updates throughout the day. Similarly, being able to send and receive information makes it easier for nannies to stay in the proverbial loop when it comes to childcare and what their employers expect. With these ten technological advances, nannies and their employers can communicate almost effortlessly.
- Text Messaging – When a quick question requires an answer, or a minor, unforeseen event takes place, a simple text message can come to the rescue. Busy, working parents may not be able to carve out enough time during a hectic day for a lengthy phone call, but a text can be sent and read in the blink of an eye.
- Multimedia Messaging – The ability to share photographs and short video clips via cell phone multimedia messaging can help parents feel connected to kids and the events of their day. By snapping and sharing photos with their employers, nannies can facilitate that connection and help to soothe any pangs of regret that parents feel about being forced to leave their children due to career demands.
- On-The-Go Phone Updates – One of the best things about being a nanny is the chance to take kids on outings; before the advent of cell phones, however, these outings rendered nannies unreachable until they returned to their employers’ home. Parents who might have balked at the idea of allowing a trip to the zoo due to communication concerns before can now rest assured that their nanny is always reachable.
- Web-Based Video Chat – Business-related travel is par for the professional course in many industries; web-based video chat software like Skype and others of its type allow parents traveling for business to stay in face-to-face contact with their nannies and children from anywhere in the world.
- Email – Sending photos and email messages is easy for the owners of smartphones; however, nannies and employers who aren’t adopters of advanced mobile technology may not be capable of doing so with older models of cell phones. With access to a computer, however, nannies can still communicate with their employers in a manner that isn’t dependent upon a mobile device.
- Online Calendars and Checklists – Online checklists and calendar programs that allow for multiple users can be very effective planning and communication tools for nannies and their employers. Google offers a calendar that can be shared with and edited by multiple users, while services like CheckVist offer collaborative checklists that can be updated via the internet. Nannies can inform parents of upcoming events like recitals, sports events, and parent-teacher conferences when kids come home with the information, while parents can send a daily list of tasks and reminders after they’ve left home for the day.
- Social Networking – Social networking sites like Facebook are rapidly changing the way that we communicate; in addition to the ability to send private messages, there’s also a chat function that allows for browser-based instant messaging. A quick chat while children are napping allows parents to stay updated and nannies to stay informed of any developing changes.
- Specially-Designed Smartphone Apps – Smartphone apps like Baby Connect allow parents and nannies with iPhones or Android mobile devices to access feeding information, track sleep patterns, monitor diapers and perform a host of other baby-related tasks from their hand-held device. Accounts are secured, allowing only parents and authorized childcare providers access, and vital information such as medicine dosage logs can also be tracked, preventing miscommunications regarding the time and amount of medication administered.
- Spreadsheets and Other Data Applications – Parents and nannies who opt not to use a baby tracking app can still share pertinent information about feedings, naps and medication with a simple spreadsheet or other data application. By entering information into the spreadsheet and sharing it, nannies allow parents to stay abreast of any changes like a steadily-rising fever.
- Image Hosting Sites – Nannies can upload photographs, scanned copies of kids’ artwork, and other achievements to image hosting websites that have password-protection options, allowing parents to access these images from anywhere with internet access and without being forced to download personal email attachments to a company-owned computer.
While text messaging and other cell phone-related technology can be a great boon to nannies, it can also lead to trouble; industry experts advise against excessive cell phone use, especially if it’s of a personal nature, while on the job. Working out an acceptable-use policy as part of your written nanny agreement will eliminate any confusion regarding the subject, preventing the possibility of disputes with your employer.
- Sourced from http://www.nannypro.com