It’s time to address the elephant in the room: quitting. It’s something everyone has experienced at least once, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy — especially when children are involved. Leaving a nanny job usually means a tough transition for everyone: parents, kids, and nannies alike. While there are plenty of reasons why nannies move on from their families, it’s important to remember that leaving does not undo all the hard work and memories you’ve accomplished and created during your time with them. In order to preserve goodwill between everyone and maintain a positive reference, here are some pointers that will allow you to leave your position gracefully.

  1. Honesty is the best policy

Give a clear, honest answer for why you’re leaving. While it’s not necessary to delve into all the details, you want to make sure you’re being upfront with the parents you work for. Imagine if you ran into them in town or if they heard about your new job from another parent — if you’re honest from the get-go, these scenarios won’t grow into occasions to dread. Whether the reason you’re leaving is clear-cut or perhaps more personal, your family deserves to know why you’re leaving. Explain your reasons in a calm, professional manner and be quick to offer as much assistance as you can to help them during the process.

  1. Give as much notice as possible

Remember, the parents are going to need time to not only adjust to the fact that you’re leaving, but they’ll have to go through the entire hiring process once again. They’re also going to have to find a way to explain your departure to the children and make sure they have the emotional support they need going forward. Planning an appropriate amount of time to ease the stress of the hiring and training process is courteous and helpful.

  1. A little extra goes a long way

Volunteering extra hours so mom and dad can interview new candidates is one way you can make sure you’re leaving on good terms. Once a new nanny is chosen, offer to train them to help ease the transition for them and the family. Take a little time to compile schedules, takeout menus, phone numbers and contact information for neighbors or classmates, or any helpful lists you can think of for the new nanny is a great idea to help them become familiar with the ins and outs of their new job. Working hard right up until the end will ensure you’ve done your part beautifully, and mom, dad, and the kids will appreciate it too.

  1. Saying goodbye to the little ones

Emotions will likely run high during your departure — for you, for the parents, and most of all, for the kids. Ask the parents how they’d like you to participate in breaking the news to the children. While they’ll likely be the first to let them know you’re leaving, it’s best to follow their example during this time. Work together to ensure the children understand how your relationship will change, and how you’ll be part of their lives in the future. Being sensitive to their feelings and proactive with the transition can help them adjust to the new nanny, too.

  1. Life after quitting

It’s up to you and the parents to figure out what role you’ll play in the family’s lives after you move on from your position. It’s not uncommon for many nannies to check in or even babysit after leaving their position. Discuss the best ways to “check in” with everyone after you leave. Maybe that means sending holiday cards and messages, or perhaps it means the occasional coffee with mom or evening babysitting.