OP - This is from the International Nanny Association's "Recommended Practices for Nannies". Read this and think about if your nanny is doing these things. The problem is - anyone can call themselves a "nanny". But you need to find one who considers herself (or himself) a professional.http://www.nanny.org/professional_standardsNannies.php
INA Members :: Commitment to Professional Excellence Standards
Recommended Practices for Nannies
To promote quality child care and an environment for all children that nurtures their well-being, the International Nanny Association recommends several practices for nannies.
Participate in personal and professional growth activities.
INA recommends that nannies become involved in social, cultural and educational activities not only to maintain and improve their child care skills, but also to enhance their own personal growth. Suggested activities include attending child development courses, seminars and training programs on the care of children, participating in nanny-related organizations, and involvement in community affairs and child advocacy groups. INA has developed a Nanny Credential Exam to assess an individual's knowledge of children, their developmental needs and how to meet those needs of an in-home environment.
Act as an advocate for young children.
INA recommends that nannies promote knowledge as well as understanding of young children, and their needs and rights. Nannies should be familiar with the signs of child abuse and neglect, and be knowledgeable of procedures for dealing with them.
Relationships with Children
Respect each child as a unique individual.
INA recommends that nannies recognize the individuality of the children in their care. Nannies can create an environment that fosters children's trust, self-esteem and independence through the practice of daily routines and developmentally appropriate behavior management techniques.
Provide developmentally appropriate play and learning experiences.
INA recommends that nannies provide for the physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs of children by using developmentally appropriate play/learning activities, materials and equipment.
Create and maintain a safe and healthy environment for children.
INA recommends that nannies promote the physical and emotional well-being of children. Duties may include: serving nutritious meals and snacks; supervising rest periods, naps and sleep; recognizing symptoms of common childhood illnesses; handling emergency situations; administering first aid; teaching children the hygienic way to bathe and wash hands, hair and brush teeth; taking every safety precaution when traveling with children; performing domestic tasks related to the care and maintenance of the child's areas of the home such as bedroom, playroom, bathroom and outside play space; laundering and making simple repairs to children's clothing; and observing safety rules in the home.
Communicate effectively at the child's level of understanding.
INA recommends that nannies model appropriate language for children, recognize stages of language development in children, and engage in activities that encourage language development.
INA Commitment to Professional Excellence
Respect the contributions of individuals and organizations involved in professional in-home child care. Maintain high standards of professional conduct. Respect and support families in their task of nurturing children. Promote the physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of children. Support the lifelong process of personal growth and professional development.
In recognition of their responsibilities of children and families, members of the International Nanny Association make these commitments in support of professional in-home child care.
Relationships with Parents/Employers
Request a personal interview with prospective employers.
INA recommends that nannies interview prospective employers in person, preferably in the family's home.
Request a descriptive, written work agreement detailing conditions of employment.
INA recommends that, at a minimum, a work agreement include the following: job duties, hours and days of duty, salary amount, when and how paid and compensation for overtime worked, employer's legally required tax obligations, fringe benefits such as health insurance, holiday and vacation policies, sick leave if offered, probationary period, frequency of work agreement review, terms of notice and termination and grounds for dismissal. INA has developed an excellent Family and Nanny Agreement to assist in addressing all the details.
Respect the family's right to privacy.
INA recommends that nannies show good judgment in maintaining confidentiality about the private lives of the families for whom they work.
Support the child rearing philosophy of the employer. INA recommends that nannies recognize the ultimate authority of parents in making decisions about the welfare and care of their child/children by respecting the parent/employer's philosophy of child rearing.
Develop positive relationships with the family.
INA recommends that nannies work cooperatively with the family, perform duties as agreed, communicate openly and effectively, show sensitivity to family situations, seek constructive solutions to problems and maintain a consistent, positive attitude.