Although the process of finding the right nanny may seem daunting, there are a few tips to keep in mind to start you off.
Your child's safety and positive development should be priority.
Your child’s safety is one of the most important factors to consider,
particularly when it comes to hiring a nanny, which can bring about a number of
thoughts or worries. You also don’t want to rush the process until you find the
right person who will fit into your family and expectations.
Although the process of finding the right nanny may seem daunting,
there are a few tips to keep in mind to start you off.
Key points to finding the right nanny:
Be ready to look for a while
until you find the right person you envisage. You might think that it will
be an easy task, but it can be a long search that can be stressful at the same
Be patient. As mentioned,
the process can be long and tedious but it’s crucial to stay patient as you
don’t want to make any hasty decisions that you’ll regret in the end.
Be resourceful. Before you
go searching online for baby sitters and nannies, consult your family and
friends and let them know that you’re looking for a nanny. A relative, younger
niece or nephew or close friend might have spare time to look after the kids.
Identify your ‘wants’ and ‘don’t wants’
Writing a list of your
priorities will make the procedure a lot easier and will narrow down your likes
and dislikes. Don’t feel like you’re being too fussy – it’s your child’s
well-being and safety that’s the most important after all.
Age:Do you want to hire
someone older or more experienced? Or are you okay with a younger student who
is currently studying their degree in early childhood?
Is a degree necessary?Many
nannies haven’t actually studied early childhood before, but have been working
in the field for quite some time or have kids themselves.
Availability: Would you like
a casualnanny or a full-time nanny
that will also live at your home? Will your nanny only look after the children
when you ask – if you have an occasion or event scheduled, or would you like
the nanny to be like a parenting partner– school drop off, house work, school
pick up etc? (if you have older children too)
Level of Responsibility: Will
your nanny only be responsible for keeping children occupied, or would you like
them to feed, bathe and provide transportation?
Past Experience: Does your
nanny have experience with newborns?
As you can see, there’s an extensive list of questions to consider. But
in the end, it will make the process of interviewing applicants easier and
quicker – you’ll find information directly during the interview, not after
you’ve hired them.
Get the word out
So you’ve compiled a list of likes, dislikes and priorities and have discussed
what you want with your partner or family. Now you have to start searching for
1. Ask Family and Friends: As
mentioned above,speak to family and
friends first who might be interested in the position. Otherwise they may be
able to recommend a nanny that they’ve dealt with previously.
2. Access websites that advertise
nanny services: These websites surprisingly make the process easier, as
you’ll be able to see profiles of potential candidates with a clear photo,
biography, study details and employment history. You’ll be able to make
assumptions early and contact applicants online to organise a phone interview,
and then a possible face-to-face interview.
3. Advertise Online: If you’re
having no luck, you can also advertise online or in the newspaper classifieds,
although this isn’t really recommended as you can receive a number of replies
from strangers. It can be a little scary advertising so openly, so be specific
about what you’re looking for.
This is probably one of the most crucial steps of the hiring process.
During the interview, bring a list
of questions to ask to get as much information as you’d like on the spot.
Childminding beliefs and philosophies
Personal interests and background
Hypothetic questions like – ‘what would you do if my child was sick
while I was away on holiday?’
The nanny’s creativity – looking after children requires a level of
creativity to keep them occupied
The nanny’s energy levels are important, and although you might want to
hire an older nanny - will they be able to keep up with your kids’?
While interviewing, it’s also good to introduce the nanny to your
children so you can see how they interact with each other.
In these circumstances, you should listen to your gut. You’ll be
surprised by how powerful your own intuition can be – take note if something
doesn’t feel right or feels a little off.
A part of the interview process is the checking of references, which can make
or break an application.
Ask detailed questions
Verify the information that the nanny told you about her past position
Ask why the nanny left her last employer
Nanny’s strengths and weaknesses
Don’t be afraid to ask about the nanny’s personality and what they were
like at work
The last step of the interviewing process is to hold a trial shift, which will give you a real
idea of how the nanny performs. Of course you’ll need to pay for the nanny’s
time, but at least you can see how they interact with your children before
making a final and major decision.
Make an offer
You’ve finally made a decision! Now you’ll need to think about how much
you’re willing to pay your nanny. You don’t want to pay too much if the nanny
won’t be at your house and with your children every day, but you also don’t
want to underpay them at the same time.
Ask other parents what they’ve previously paid nannies
You can pay your nanny by an hourly rate
You can pay your nanny a set weekly rate if they’ll be taking on a lot
If they are residing with you, you can pay a weekly but reduced rate as
they’ll have free board, meals, electricity and internet
You’ll also need to consider things like vacation days, sick days and
Create a nanny contract that will state the pay, and rules and policies
– no speaking on the phone while driving / no smoking indoors etc.
Searching for a nanny can be frightening and overwhelming, especially
when it comes to your younger children and newborns. However, if you prepare an
extensive and thorough list of your priorities, likes and dislikes, interview
strategically and check references, you’ll undoubtedly find the perfect fit for
your family in no time.
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