A nanny’s guide to making a good first impression

Making a good first impression is really important.

No matter what industry you are in, the way you carry yourself on the first day of work matters.

This is especially true of the nanny industry where your employer is trusting you with their most precious and irreplaceable possession, their children.

Being a nanny on his or her first day of work, you might be wondering if you are ready for your new job, and to work with a new boss.

You might have thoughts like  “Do they still think I’m right for the job?” or “I hope they won’t change their mind” or suffer from imposter syndrome, where you feel out of your depth and hope that no one will find out! All of these things are common, understandable, and completely normal but it’s up to you to overcome them.

In spite of how you may be feeling on the inside, you still need to make the right first impression on the outside. Here are some of our tips for how to do just that:

Dress appropriately

This does not mean that you have to wear your Sunday best. Sure, you are dressing for a job; however, your job is likely to include physical activities especially if you will be taking care of a toddler.

You need to wear something that you can move comfortably in, think about how the clothes will feel and look as you run after a child, kneel down, and sit on the floor.

a good first impression

Some families like their nannies to be smart, while others prefer a much more casual approach, this is something that you could ask about ahead of time.

Even if your employers say that casual clothing is fine, remember to check that the imagery and language on any clothing are appropriate.

Take along some activities

Whilst you don’t necessarily want to go in with a school-style lesson plan, you may want to take a couple of activities along to help bring some structure to your day.

You could also prepare a list (it would be better if paired with colorful photos) of arts, crafts, or activities that you can show to the parents or the child. From this, they can help you to create a schedule of activities, and build anticipation for the coming days and weeks. This shows that you’re interested in the child and family as individuals and that you’re planning ahead!

a good first impression

Another good tip is to bring along your favourite children’s book on the first day and read it together with the child. This gives you the opportunity to spend some quiet time together, and get to know each other and is also a good way of gauging their ability to read if they’re at an appropriate age to do so. 

Greeting the Child

Respect is vitally important in nannying and if you want to get respect from a child, often you have to give it first! Greet the child in the same way that you greeted his or her parents, showing that you value them too.

Introduce yourself to the child in a friendly way such as, “Hi (their name), my name is (your name). Nice meeting you!”

You will need to use your interpersonal skills to make a judgment as to the child’s personality.

If they seem confident or easygoing then get started with a game or a chat, asking them lots of questions to allow them to talk about themselves and their interests.

If the child is more introverted or shy, do not force interaction. If you do this, the child might further withdraw himself or herself from you.

a good first impression

Instead, just keep calm and place yourself in their shoes; strangers can be scary, intimidating, or confusing to young children. Don’t rush into trying to play with them instead stay nearby and maybe start an activity where they can see.

Most children will build up their confidence and come over and join in at their own pace. This shows that you are confident in your own ability as a nanny and that you’re able to be very caring and respectful of a child’s needs. 

Ask Questions

Often on the first day or trial day parents or maybe even the previous nanny will be around. You can use this time to gather the information that you need to be able to do your job well and feel confident in your new role.

Ask open-ended questions like “tell me about your usual routine” or “can you talk me through your family’s values” and listen carefully to the answers.

a good first impression

You may want to ask specific questions about the children too so that you can get to know them better. Some nannies hesitate to ask questions because they feel like it is too forward or that it makes.

Most parents enjoy talking about their children, and they will appreciate that you are taking the role seriously and that you are interested in their family.

Take the initiative

This is not to say be bossy but you do want to show parents that you’re able to take the lead a little and get on with the day.

Perhaps after you have played at home in the morning, and been shown where everything is you can suggest taking the children to the park in the afternoon.

a good first impression

Perhaps if you’re taking care of a newborn you can mention that you have done some research and found local classes for when the baby is 3 months old.

All of this will boost the parents’ confidence that you are interested in and committed to the role and reassure them that you don’t need to have every detail spelled out to you because you are confident and capable.

A good first impression

When nannies think about making a good first impression they often focus on the parents and what the parents think of them which does make some sense since it is the parents who pay the nanny’s wage, but really most parents are happy when their children are happy so it’s vitally important to create a good, lasting impression on the child you will be taking care of.

Taking their wants, needs, and personality into consideration and thinking of them first, above anyone else, is how you make a good first impression and make the best start on your nanny career journey! 

If you want to get off to a good start in your professional career as a nanny, you need to have experience, but also accreditation of your nanny skills.⁣

⁣If you want to know more about our programme, send us a direct message and we will help you make the best decision you can make.⁣

International Nanny Institute

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