“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Famous advice from one of the most well-known nannies: Walt Disneys Mary Poppins. At that time, only well-to-do families had a nanny to care for their little heirs and heiresses. Todays dual-income and single-parent reality means nannies are working with all kinds of families.

Employment opportunities and employer expectations can leave many parents in a bind when trying to provide quality care for their children. Having to bundle up at an infant at 6:00 am. and arrive at daycare with bags in tow can be a challenging experience for even the most organized parent. Relief can be spelt “NANNY” — having someone at home to take care of the children even when they are sick can ease the stress for the whole family.

Employing a nanny has pro and cons. It is important to realize that hiring a nanny gives you a new role as employer and an additional responsibility to work together in this partnership. This will require open communication, problem solving, and dealing with personal and emotional ups and downs on both sides of the relationship. Cultural and language differences can add challenges to a working relationship with your nanny. Employment responsibilities may include paying such expenses as benefits, taxes, personal health insurance, car insurance if an extra vehicle is used, and possibly training. If your caregiver is living in your home, you will need personal living space for her (or him).

Nannies are available with many different backgrounds in education, experience and qualifications. Agencies who match nannies to families can help you find exactly what your family desires, and ensure that your caregiver is well qualified. An agency can also assist with defining your needs. If you have an active child who needs lots of outdoor experiences, you need a childcare provider whos up to the challenge. If you want your child to be read to, choosing someone with a language barrier may leave you feeling frustrated with your childs development. On the other hand, a nanny from another country can provide an opportunity to enhance your childs learning of other languages, cultures and customs.

Whether you find your nanny through an agency or on your own, remember that communication is the key to success. Communicate your family needs clearly so you are matched with the best caregiver for your children. Above all, keep the communication lines open so your life with nanny can be a rewarding experience for all the members of your family.