This question has changed over the years. When nannies first started with families in the 1800’s, they were considered very much as part of “the help” in all types of nanny roles. Over the years, the nanny role has evolved in to different types of nanny roles, and I think it very much depends on what type of nanny role you are working in, to what sort of relationship you have with an employer.
Formal Nanny Roles
With more formal Nanny roles, the nanny might even be managed by a household manager or Head Nanny, if working in a large team. The Nanny may not have much interaction with their employer at all, and so this type of role allows the Nanny to treat it much more as a professional job, and have quite strict boundaries. With a less formal household, there is much more opportunity to have a more relaxed type relationship with the employer, and get to know them a lot better.
Post COVID-19 Nanny Roles
With more parents working from home after the Pandemic, or shared cared roles, the Nanny has much more interaction with their employer, again giving that opportunity to spend more time getting to know one another. Whilst it is very easy to build a “friendly’ relationship, it is important to keep a professional working relationship with your employer, with certain boundaries in place. If this does not happen, this is when feelings can get hurt, or misunderstandings can happen. It is important to not overshare too much on both sides.
We recently did a survey asking nannies if they felt part of the family in their role, and it was a very mixed response. The live out daily Nannies actually felt that they were more part of the family than the live in Nannies, which was an interesting find, as I would have thought it would have been the other way round!
Advice From The Nanny Connection
Our advice is like anything in life-try to keep the balance. It is great to want to have a good relationship with your employer and nanny, but work hard to build trust on both sides, being honest and setting out boundaries from the start, so expectations are always clear. That way, when difficult conversations need to be had, it will be easier to have and hear them, and come up with answers and solutions with not too many emotions involved.