Define your needs
Do you want a live-in or daily nanny? Will your nanny have soul charge or are you or your partner likely to be at home too? .
What are her qualifications?
Nursery nurses are qualified; nannies by definition, are not. You want someone competent, trained and/or experienced. Always ask to see original copies of qualifications, not copies.
Speak to previous employers – don’t rely on written testimonials handed to you at the interview. Its also a good idea to do a police check (even if you go through a nanny agency).
Interview her more than once
Ideally spend a weekend en famille It will give you good idea of how you’d get on. (neither of you is likely to keep up any pretence for a whole weekend!)
Let your children have a say
Let them meet her to see if they like her. Children usually know who they like and dislike – and their instincts are invariably right.
And once you’ve found her, how do you keep them?
The answer is simple; Make sure that your job is more attractive than any other she might be offered. Be a good employer: respect her privacy, and her working hours; don’t encroach on her free time; make sure you pay her for any overtime; and review her salary on a regular basis. And if you can give her other perks, such as a car and an interesting lifestyle, all the better.
Reading (or Writing) Between the Lines…
MATURE nanny wanted (husband can’t be trusted with a young attractive one) to care for LIVELY BABY(cries a lot, never sleeps) and ENERGETIC TODDLER (boisterous, bording on hyperactive).
LIGHT DOMESTIC DUTIES (you’ll be expected to cook and clean) and SOME BABY SITTING (we’re out most nights).
NON-SMOKER (we’re fanatical about it since we gave up) and CLEAN DRIVER’S LICENCE (we need someone to chauffeur us when we’re drunk).
Perks include OWN ACCOMMODATION (converted broom cupboard) and FAMILY HOLIDAYS (well, it wouldn’t be a holiday if we had to change nappies would it?).
REFERENCES ESSENTIAL (though we have a special device to spy on you anyway).