You have a new domestic helper! Finding someone whose personality meshes with your family was a difficult task. Congratulations! The first day of your helper is soon and when most families think of on boarding new domestic helpers, they typically have a list of to do’s focused on home tour, introducing her to kids and other tasks (housekeeping, cooking, baby care…). We have put together the following list to help get you ready.
1. Take time to meet her on the first day
You hired a new domestic helper to take care of your family while you are away. It is crucial to spend some time with your employee during the first week to make a good transition. A lot of experts recommend that the parents spend at least 1 day with the new employee and the children before leaving her. It will allow to your new helper to know more about you and your family. It is also an important moment to explain routines and observe her interaction with kids.
The first day of her work will be exciting and stressful at the same time, don’t forget that making your domestic helper feel welcome will result in high employee loyalty and retention.
2. Introduce your family
The first day is probably the most important! Your priority will be to introduce your new employee to your family but also with other family members, friends, and teachers.
During the hiring process of your helper, you already gave some information about your family but now it’s time to indroduce her!
If you have kids, we recommand to immediately introduce them. You will explain your children’s nature and the kid’s routine. It is important that your helper be familiar with your children’s personalities to understand to approach them. It’s also important for your kids to know more about your helper (role and personnality).
It will be long for your helper to know eveything about your kid’s routine. To facilitate this learning step, you can write your children’s schedule. In this schedule, you need to list all the weekly activities: wake up time, school hours, lunch & diner time, bath time, tutoring and playing time! Don’t forget to tell her what are the favourite activities of your kids and what she needs to cook for them.
Your couple needs also to introduce some of your friends and the friends of your kids. It will be a good way to assimilate your helper to your daily life. If your helper is in charge to go to the school with your children, introduce her to the teacher.
3. Tour of your family’s home
Walk through the entire house explaining what would be the main duties and what are your expectations about cleaning and cooking. Don’t forget to tell her which areas of the house are off limits to children and if your home is childproofed, how the safety gates are operating. Take also enough time to explain her daily work flow and her accomodation (private room or sleeping with kids, food allowance or free food, working hours).
During the visit, make sure your domestic helper knows how to use air conditioning, TV, washing machine (don’t mix white with another colours!), and any other household appliances in your home. It is also the moment to give her a key of your home, tell more about your house security and share a hiding place of an extra key!
After this home tour, the visit will continue outside! Show her around your house, neighborhood, school and where it’s safe for the kids to play outside. Indicate her where is your favourite food market, supermarket and what are your expectations about groceries.
4. Discuss clearly her responsibilities
Your home’s tour is a good way to talk about your expectations and her responsabilities. We all want someone to step into a position and immediately know where everything is and how to take care of your home. Unfortunately, It takes time to become familiar with a new family, from identifying the cleaning products to recognizing the children’s favorite toys.
One of the main duties of your Domestic Helper will be to provide regular housekeeping. This may include sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, laundry and cleaning dishes. Clearly share with her your expectations and your habits.
Your helper will be also in charge to take care of your children! You need to teach and explain her what are your requirements:
- Daily schedule from the moment your child wake up to the moment he will crawl into bed at night
- Cooking, bathing, dressing and helping children with general hygiene
- Organizing and cleaning children’s play area
- Taking children to parks and playgrounds (let her know where it’s safe for the kids to play outside
- Teaching manners, languages and other socially appropriate behavior
During her learning curve, don’t hesitate to remind her duties and if it is necessary demonstrate how you feel they should be done. To speed up this curve, you can prepare an orientation checklist (the things to do or not no do). This is really helpful and will allow your helper to acclimate to your house and routines.
5. Emergency Contact Information & Safety issues
Before to go back to your professional life, be sure to provide emergency contact information that includes parents numbers (office and mobile) but also two emergency contacts other than the parents (these contacts could be neighbors, families, close friends or management of your building). Don’t forget to request contact information of your helper (her mobile but also some people to contact if your helper has any issues).
Moreover, make sure your domestic helper knows address and phone number of your house in the event of a call to 999 (emergency services). Organisation protecting helpers and consulate information are also useful.
If you have children, we recommend to communicate the number of your kid’s pediatrician and prepare a letter of permission allowing your helper to visit your doctor. For school, you must give her contact number of the school and required authorization letter to take care of your kids (many schools will not release your child to someone not on an authorized list).
Make sure you have a first-aid kit at home with all the essentials. It’s always helpeful! If one of your child is on any medication or allergies, explain clearly what medications should be given.
Whatever you choose to do and however you choose to do it, just remember – the first day and the following weeks of your time with your domestic helper are formative in how they will understand their job, view you, and be with your family. Take the time to think about how to communicate your expectations clearly and create an open comfortable rapport.