Parents are used to telling their kids to put the phone down.
And now they have extended the order to nannies.
Nannies are being asked to sign contracts that limit their smartphone time due to fears they’re glued to their screens, it was reported last night.
Nannies are being asked to sign contracts that limit their smartphone time due to fears they’re glued to their screens, it was reported last night. Stock photo
Kate Baker, co-founder of childcare agency Abeville Nannies in south London, told the Times that around 20 parents had asked about having a clause about mobile phone use in contracts in the past three months alone.
She said: ‘(Parents are) saying, ‘we don’t want you to be texting your friends or being constantly on your phone while looking after the kids in the playground’.’
The company helps parents find nannies, but does not directly employ them.
It is now considering adding in a clause about phone use in the standard contract it offers.
It states that ‘unauthorised use during working hours may result in a disciplinary warning or dismissal.’
Kensington Nannies, another childcare agency, already has rules about social media use in some of its contracts.
Some parents are specifically asking for older nannies because they feel they’re less likely to be distracted by Facebook or Twitter. Stock photo
As part of the agreement, nannies are given a work mobile and aren’t permitted to use their personal mobile while babysitting.
Some parents also instruct nannies about how much screen time their children are allowed.
But Ms Baker, who has spent 17 years in the childcare business, said parents must be wary about making too many demands.
She said: ‘You are trusting the nanny with your most treasured possessions: your children.
‘Do you want that nanny to think that you don’t trust them?’
It comes after the New York Times reported that nannies in Silicon Valley in the US are being instructed to not use devices in front of their children they are looking after.
Parents are demanding that devices such as smartphones and tablets are kept hidden and computers and TVs are turned off, according to the newspaper.
To ensure the instructions are followed, parents who work in the tech sector are even going so far as to draw up stringent ‘no-phone contracts’ for their nannies to sign.