Finding a good and reliable nanny that you can trust to look after your children can seem like an impossible task at times. After all, you are about to entrust your children, your home and private space with a complete stranger. We would like to give you some ideas on how to manage this difficult task with ease.
Before jumping into the deep end, it is crucial for you as a parent to establish your expectations and priorities. For example, do you expect your nanny to cook and clean, or are you strictly after someone to mind your kids. Starting with a checklist is generally a good idea. So, let’s find you a good nanny.
Where to find Nannies
Nowadays with the internet being readily accessible to most moms, this task seems the most straightforward however finding trustworthy help can be a bit tricky at times.
Word of mouth
Talk to your trusty friends and family members. Word of mouth is probably the easiest and most reliable way to find a good nanny. Friends and family members would likely only suggest someone they deem trustworthy. Moreover, they can share some personal stories that could make the decision even easier.
With the abundance of online nanny websites and Facebook groups. It can be a bit of a daunting experience, but this is probably the most convenient way to connect with nannies in your area. Please beware that some advertised websites you can stumble upon after a quick Google search can have some fake reviews so you will definitely need to use some common sense when choosing a platform.
You can also create your own advertisement. To reach the right candidates and avoid time-wasters make sure you clearly list your expectations. Include the most essential responsibilities, if you require your nanny to do more than minding your children it’s important to note it at this stage (cleaning, pet sitting, shopping, etc.). Mention about house rules, holidays, and your daily routines, special diets and medical care if any. In addition, if you are looking for a live-in childminder, tell them about the accommodation and the acceptable use of communal areas. Clearly state the salary and what’s included (meals, accommodation, travel etc.)
Making sure they are a Good Match
Start by introducing your family and move onto the job description. It’s essential to manage expectations, talk about possible over-time and compensation in emergency situations. It’s crucial to discuss house rules and acceptable ways to discipline the children at this stage.
Start with the basics, understanding why they chose to become nannies and what did their previous jobs entail. It’s also equally important to understand the reason they are looking for a new job. So, don’t be afraid of asking difficult questions about her previous employers and the reason behind leaving. Asking about things they liked and disliked about their previous jobs is also very important.
Ask them whether they have children and if so how old are they. Ask the nanny about possible personal child-related emergencies. For example, if their own children fall ill, what would they do in that scenario? What would their own Plan B be and how would they react?
After this you can ask the nanny to describe how she would plan out a day for a child, thinking about activities, nap times and meals.
Before wrapping up the interview it’s good practice to provide some hypothetical situations and asking the nanny to explain how she would deal with them. (Temper tantrums, emergencies, accidents etc.) and asking about her general lifestyle (eating habits, hobbies, sports etc.).
Setting ground rules is imperative. You, as the parent and a nanny, should be acting as a team and you need to ensure you are always on the same page. Remember that some things that are obvious to you might not be the same for them. Depending on age and culture norms can differ, therefore clearly communicated ground rules and childcare philosophy is essential.
Thoroughly checking the references provided is obviously a must. Make sure you follow up every lead provided and find what the previous families liked and disliked about them.
After going through everything, set up a trial period to see if the arrangement would work out for all of you and look out for the good and bad signs.
Things to keep an eye on when hiring a nanny
She is responsible for your children so something as simple as being late for the job can be an immediate red flag. Besides, life is unexpected and things happen but you need someone you can rely on and if this is an issue that keeps coming up that’s definitely a problem. Keep an eye on your children’s reaction when they see them, at first kids can be wary of strangers and that’s completely normal but overall you want your kids to be excited about spending time with their nannies, not feel like it’s a punishment.
Make sure your nanny stays connected, ensuring that they are able to tell you exactly what they did during the day. Accidents happen but if easily avoidable ones keep reoccurring that’s definitely a problem. Keeping the kids and their room tidy is also a telltale sign. Kids get into trouble and they get dirty but it’s important that a trustworthy childminder prioritizes their safety and cleanliness. Moreover, they would keep your kids and their surrounding as clean as possible. It’s a sign of a good nanny if she keeps you updated often and immediately tells you if something is up. Never tolerate someone who lies or steals. It’s important that a nanny understands that you are working as a team, so she shouldn’t try to take over or criticize you on how you raise your child.
Things you can do to make a nanny’s experience better
As we established before, finding a good and trustworthy nanny takes some effort therefore once you found someone who fits the bill it’s crucial for you to learn how to be a good team player as well.
Make sure you keep to the contract, it’s okay to try out different things and methods but make sure any changes you make in your expectations are clearly communicated, discussed and agreed on beforehand. Besides, over time nannies can become part of the family but make sure you keep your relationship professional. If your nanny is also looking after your older children, prepare your kids in advance and ensure they are treating your childminder with respect.
As mentioned above a nanny should be part of your team, and creating a good working environment is essential.