It is often hard for busy parents and nannies to find time to chat in-person. Some parents can only make time to text or email their nannies on the train on the way to work or discreetly during meetings during the work day. The life of modern nannies and parents require them to keep in touch electronically via electronic tablets or smartphones.
While most nannies carry a mobile phone in case of emergency, it's very easy for employees to take advantage of easy access to texts, Facebook, and Twitter instead of being attentive to the kids.
There are parents who feel strongly that their nannies shouldn't be making personal calls, texts, or surfing the Internet at all when working. Many nanny placement agencies agree. In fact, we asked 27 nanny placement agency owners and staff if nannies should be allowed to text and use their cell phones on the job. Most ask their nannies not to make personal calls or texts at all during the work day. Click here to see their responses.
Therefore, professional nannies need to make a concerted effort to keep their cell phones out of their hands (while keeping apps closed, unopened, and turned off) whenever possible while working.
Most professional nannies can still be great caregivers balancing the needs of the kids and being allowed to make a few personal texts. But nannies shouldn't assume they can make personal texts and surf the Internet on their electronic devices without first discussing the issue with the parents.
Ultimately nannies are working at a job. If their employers don't want them making personal texts or phone calls than they shouldn't.
Stop by next Monday for more advice on Respecting Professional Boundaries for Nannies and Parents.