Your Nanny & Their Cellphone – What You Need To Know

Do you have a phone policy for your nanny or caregiver? A decade ago, people had home phones and pagers, and that was usually it. Today almost everyone carries a phone in their pocket or purse, and some people even admit to sleeping with it under their pillow. Chances are your nanny has a phone with them at all times, which can be both a blessing and a distraction.

Benefits of their phone:

  • If there is an emergency, they can call for help in the blink of an eye.
  • They can take photos for you and show you all that your loved ones did in their exciting day.
  • You can always reach them and check in. This is handy if your kiddo or elder is sick and you want to see how they are doing.
  • They may be able to use apps on their smartphone that allows you both to view, edit, and manage medications and care. For instance if the two of you both have MedCoach on your phone you can see who was the last to give a medication and share notes on dosage. See our post 4 Handy Apps for the Sandwich Generation for more information.

The negative side of smartphones:

  • Phones can be a distraction. If your caregiver is on the phone, they may not be able to properly watch your little ones or elder.
  • They may be sharing photos of your family online, without realizing that it could be a risk.
  • Your child may be playing multi-player games on your caregivers phone that allow chatting, which can be a problem if games like these aren’t allowed in your home.

As you can see, phones can be both good and bad, depending on the situation. If you have concerns, create a phone policy for your caregiver. You may request that they don’t use their phone on the clock unless plans change and they need to update you, they are running late, someone gets sick, or they need to call YOU. If you love seeing pics of the kiddos throughout the day, let them know that this is still okay and that you enjoy and appreciate the pics.

When discussing phones with your nanny, let him or her know the times when they should NEVER be on their phone. Times like this would include when your kids are playing in the water, swimming, or when they are giving the kiddos a bath. Drowning is the “silent killer” because kids may not make a single splash when they go under the water. Once they are under, you won’t be able to hear their cries. When it comes to phones and water, they just don’t mix. This is a great policy not just for your nanny, but parents and grandparents too.

If you decide that phones shouldn’t be allowed at all, don’t get upset if they don’t answer when you call. They may have put it away to avoid temptation, or they may be busy playing with your little one.

If your caregiver is on social media, have them read 4 Need To Know Tips For Social Media Safety. It’s scary how many people “check-in” on Facebook when they go to places like the park or the movies. They may not know that this can allow strangers to see the exact address of where they are and who they are with. They may also have pics of them with your children, not knowing that they need to set photos, posts, and everything else on their personal profile to private. If you don’t want photos of your kids online, let them know, as they may assume that it’s okay.

Have you set rules for your caregiver regarding phones while working? Are there any other times that a nanny should never be on the phone? If you have any thoughts or tips, please leave them below. We LOVE comments, and yours could help others!

Deborah Shure answers the question about whether your nanny or elder caregiver is your employee or self employed
Deborah Shure answers the hard questions and discusses nanny & elder caregiver contracts, gross versus net pay & more
Deborah Shure discusses why paying your nanny or elder caregiver cash under the table is never a good idea
Deborah Shure discusses why an online calculator might not be the answer to your calculation frustration
Deborah Shure helps you get started with payroll for your nanny or elder caregiver