Hiring a nanny can either be a good experience or a bad experience. Because a nanny will become a part of your family, it is best to gather lots of information on the potential hire. Each family is different and has different needs. Every nanny is different and has their own needs, too. You can hire a full time or part time nanny. Some nannies are willing to do temporary, short term assignments and other nannies prefer a more permanent type of work. Nannies can either be live out or live in. Think carefully about the type of nanny your family needs before beginning your search. Children need stability and having a dependable caregiver is no different.
You can find private nannies through local nanny agencies, online agencies, newspaper ads or word of mouth. Most agencies will do background checks for you. However, it is best to do background checks and reference checks on any potential nanny. If she will be driving, ask for her motor vehicle record. Once you have found some possile nannies, it is time to narrow down your choices by interviewing them.
If you are seeking a live-in nanny, you should provide her living arrangements. Your nanny will need her own room and perhaps her own bathroom. Some families use their “in-law house” as the nanny’s home. Your nanny should be able to have an area that she can call her own after her duties are done. As with any employee, you don’t want o wear her thin. During the interview process, show potential nannies the privided arrangements and ask if anything needs to be added. You will need to decide what is provided for the nanny. Is her food included or does she need to buy her own? Does she get a separate phone line, andis the phone bill included in her room and board? What hours is she working? Does she need to be “on call” at any point during her off time? Is transportation and insurance provided?
Many families seek a live out nanny. This type of situation works well for a nanny that has a family of her own. Generally, a live out nanny will be hired on a set hourly work week. No living arrangements need to be provided. Some families do provide transportation, insurance and possibley a cell phone.
You will need to decide what benefits or “perks” to offer your nanny. Will you allow paid sick days and holidays? Does she recieve a paid vacation week? Can she bring her own children, and if so, how often? Will you offer insurance for her and/or her family?
When interviewing nannies, tell them exactly what your family needs and what you expect out of a nanny. Does the position involve running errands or any housework? Ask your nanny if she feels comfortable meeting your needs. Many families ask their nanny to do light housework, laundry for the children, cooking and meal preparation, grocery shopping, animal care and other taks that are related to the home.
You will want to ask about her experience with children. Does she have any formal training for working with kids? Has she been a nanny before? What did she like or dislike about her experience? Is she CPR and first aid certified? Asking alot of questions will let you see if she is a right fit for your family. You may also want to ask about:
1.) What does she enjoys doing with children in her care? Perhaps she likes to cook and do crafts. Maybe she likes to be outside and has an interest in sports. You will want a nanny that enjoys interacting with your child.
2.) Can she cook? Because children need to eat throughout the day, it is important that she can cook. Find out what types of food she can or will prepare for the children. Is it nutritious and does it meet your standards?
3.) Ask about her family. Does she have kids? Is she married? Will this interfere with her commitment to your family?
4.) Find out how she handles discipline. If your child misbehaves, what will she do? Children need consistent rules and guidance. Is her discipline and yours similar?
5.) What type of salary is she looking for? Can you afford this and does her experience/education deserve more or less?
Ask her questions about situations that may occur and see if her repsonses are a match for your family. If your newborn is unconsolable, what will she do? If you two year old is potty training, how will she support that? When your school ager needs help with his homework, can she help him? If your three year, who is allergic to bees, gets stung at the park-what would she do? Knowing that you are leaving your child(ren) in the best of care will take a lot of worry off of you while you are away.
Once you have found a nanny that seems to be a good match for your family, discuss any additional needs that she may have. After she has started working for you, give her a review after the first few weeks. Let her know what she is doing well and if there is anything that needs to change. Give her a chance to share her thoughts with you. Communication is very important when your children are involved.