Saturday, September 7, 2013

practically perfect in every way....

I am currently working with a European family with four young children. Their nanny, Charlotte, will be living with them so during our tours, we keep a keen eye out for rooms and areas within each property that will suit Charlotte and their needs.

While certainly not common, searching for homes that meet the needs of a live-in nanny is something I come across every once in a while. When I do, we end up guessing about what it is exactly that their nanny may need. I found that families want to do their best to make their live-in as comfortable as possible but are not sure exactly what that entails.

General guidelines can be found on the Internet, but no real specifics are offered up, so I reached out to a national nanny agency with top marks and here's what they recommend:

no. 1  Private bedroom and bathroom. Be sure to provide a space that is separate from the rest of the family.

no. 2 Furnishings. Provide a comfortable bed, reading chair, desk, lamps, dresser and television. It is a good idea to decide up from if the nanny can personalize the space (paint, art, accessories) to his/her style.

no. 3 Location.  Some nanny quarters are located away from the main residence (in a room above the garage or in a guest house on the property) but most will be a bedroom on the second floor, in a converted attic or in the lower level of the home. Providing a separate entrance, if possible, is ideal. Privacy is key!

no. 4 Temperature Control. Make sure your nanny can control the temperature in their own space. Adding a ceiling fan to a top floor room is ideal for the warmer months. Check into certified wall heaters for zone heating in the cooler months.

no. 5 Storage. Make sure to provide plenty of room for your nanny to store their personal items. A closet and dresser are a great start. Trunks and under-the-bed storage containers go a long way for storing off-season clothing and other less used personal items.

no. 6 Linens. Be sure to provide two sets of bed linens and enough towels to make life comfortable.

no. 7 Laundry. You will most likely share the laundry facilities. If so, be sure to let them know when he/she can use the washer/dryer. If you have a spare closet or extra unused space, you might want to investigate adding a stacked washer and dryer near or in the nanny quarters.

no. 8 Secure. Make sure that you create a private area that will be used only by the live-in nanny. Make sure the doors and windows lock so they may lock up their personal items and feel comfortable creating a secure place for themselves.

no. 9 Parking. If the nanny has her own car be sure and let him/her know where they will be able to park it - in the garage or on the street, either way it will be important to let them know.

no. 10 Kitchen. Some nannies share the family kitchen facilities while others are provided some cooking and refrigeration options inside their own living quarters.  If you aren't able to provide a full kitchen or kitchenette, think about adding a small dorm-like fridge to the nanny's room so he/she may be able to stock it with foods he/she likes. This will cut down on visits to the family kitchen (day and late night).
Some families may want additional privacy and have the room to create a nanny suite. These usually include a bedroom, bathroom, living area and kitchen. With this set up, you don't have to share the common areas with the nanny on their days off.

Well, I am off to pick-up my children from nanny for moi! But as Mary always says, "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and - SNAP - the job is done".

Until next time,

la chasse au bonheur

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