Monday, December 1, 2014

Keeping a Daily Nanny Log

As a nanny, I enjoyed keeping a daily log and found it helpful in communicating with the parents about the children's day. The family I work for also used the log book to record information about the children so that I had a sense of how their evening or weekend went. When the children started school full time we gradually got away from journaling about their days. Now we look back at those log books to enjoy the tender moments, the fun times and the warm memories.
Here are some tips that could help you establish the daily log routine.

1) Simple is Better!

2) Location - keeping your log book in a spot that is convenient to everyone. Parents and nanny should be able to get to the log easily, in a convenient location for completing daily entries. We kept ours in the kitchen next to the cookbooks where there was easy access. It was convenient to make entries during rest time and it was the first thing the parents went to after they got home in the evening.

3) Entries - agree on what items should be recorded. With infants and toddlers logs can include feedings, meals, snacks, nap times, diaper changes, medications, etc. We also included the child's mood, activities for the day and any other notes regarding that particular child. If the log is a daily log - then entries should be made daily. Often as children get into preschool or early elementary school logs shift from daily entries to several times a week or month. I enjoyed writing from the child's perspective especially when they were tiny. As they got older I would ask them if they had anything they wanted to add to the entry - sometimes they had some very interesting additions.

4) Observations - your entry can also include observations that relate to the child. If you've noticed an increased interest in music or drama make a note. May the child has started an interest in bugs, making a note about that can help everyone think of activities or books that would be appropriate to that budding interest.

5) Sharing Information - parents appreciate the daily entries, but families can also include their own notes so that the nanny knows how the evening or weekend went. If the family also has an occasional evening or weekend sitter they could also post entries.

6) Other Ideas - We also kept a large plastic envelope near the daily log where we included birthday invitation, cards, notes, art projects, and other mementos. Later these items were sorted by the parents and added to each child’s box of treasures.

All three of the children I've cared for have used their log book in a
school project or two. They enjoyed reading the entries and remembering the great times. You don't need anything fancy. We had a separate book for each child - they each had a different type, from a bound journal to a small three ring binder. Some nannies and families design their own log sheet to be kept in a binder. Others use a notebook and still others have one log book for the whole family.

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