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3 Nanny Types to Help Parents Crack the Childcare Code

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For the 75 percent of American moms who are in the workforce, finding the right caregiver is the key to being able to manage a job while also giving their children the best care possible. The process can be daunting, especially for new moms who are still getting used to caring for their own child, let alone figuring out how someone else should. When I coach parents, the first thing I tell them is that there is no one-nanny-fits-all model. Rather, avoiding tension, drama, and other common problems between parent and nanny is largely about understanding the type of nanny that will best suit each family's situation. The three most common nanny types I've identified are:

1. Parental Unit Nanny: A proactive and independent caregiver who can fully function physically and emotionally as a parent would. Best for: parents who work full time or part-time, and in cases of divorce, single-parent or parents with a chronic illness families where an extra caregiver is needed.

2. Partner Nanny: A collaborative and adaptable caregiver who splits the house and childcare with the parents. Best for: Part-time working parents, at-home parents, or working parents with older children.

3. Executor Nanny: A reactive and dependent caregiver who follows the directions the parents assign to her. Best for: at-home parents, part-time working parents with older children.

Once moms decide which type of caregiver they want for their family, they have a much better chance of finding a great match. My first client was a mom who had 6 weeks maternity leave and 3 weeks post-partum depression. Before fully settling into motherhood, she was forced to make the big decision regarding, "Who is going to care for my child when I go back to work?" Determined to keep her calm and in control, we discussed her childcare wants and needs. She wanted someone to care for her baby with the same level of care she would if she were home while she worked 60 hours a week. Options such as babysitters and au-pairs would not give her long enough hours or consistent enough care. We investigated daycare centers, but we couldn't find any near her home or office that would meet her needs. We settled upon a parental unit nanny for the hours she could afford, while her mom helped with the remaining hours.

While this client wanted someone caring for her infant all day at her home, plenty of moms prefer their children to have physical and educational stimulations that only a daycare center or preschool can achieve. The key to cracking the childcare code is not only outlining what you want for your children, but equally important what you need and want for yourself for a successful relationship.

About the Author: A licensed therapist and certified parenting coach, Tammy Gold (LCSW, MSW, CEC) is the author of Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and founder of Gold Parent Coaching. A frequent guest expert on Good Morning America, Fox News, & CBS News among others, Gold is one of the first therapists to bring traditional psychotherapy tools to the process of finding and enhancing the quality of childcare.

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