One common way for nannies to communicate on the job is by keeping a nanny journal. Nannies often wonder what type of journal to keep and what information to log. My experience has been that it really depends on the job and the family. Here are some examples of what you can do with a nanny journal:
- A simple spiral notebook or composition book can log foods eaten, mood of child, bathroom habits and notes to parents.
- Logs are especially useful when children are on medication that requires consistency and regularity. For example: Nanny logs dosages during the day, and parents review when home so know when dosages were given and next one due. Parents should log on the weekend, so nanny is prepared for Monday.
- A three-ring binder can handle loose leaf paper to log foods eaten, mood of child, bathroom habits, and notes to parents. It can also hold a calendar to note appointments. Add pocket pages to hold notes from school, reminders, coupons, tickets and more.
- Added organization can use to hold emergency numbers, household information, emergency release forms and more making it a command central for the home.
- Make sure all parties are writing in the log. Encourage parents to read it each night to find out about the day and keep up to date of notes and such from nanny.
My last job, the log was especially useful as I worked for a single mom who travelled. The daily writings enable her to know what happened during the course of the day or week, and she kept those logs long after the children grew out of the log book routine.
One feature I liked to add was the “best part of your day”. I would ask each child what the best part of their day was, and write that in the log. They would even write it themselves when learning to write.
- Don’t rely on the log to be the sole communication tool on the job. If you notice anything of extreme importance, bring it to the attention of the parents immediately.
- Ask the parents what they want to see in the log. Is knowing what their child ate more important that knowing how many times they peed on the potty?
Logs are great when going through transitions. Noticing that your charges sleep patterns are changing? Could be a sign that naps are transitioning.
Logs are great for all sorts of information. Don’t be afraid to write something down, even a small detail.
What’s in your log? What ways do you find a log works with your nanny family? How has a log helped you on the job?
By Kellie Geres
Regarding Nannies Development Team