How to choose the perfect nanny

Desperately Seeking Mary Poppins...what exactly should you be asking when you choose your nanny?

How to choose the perfect nanny

Finding the right nanny for your family isn’t easy or quick we’re sorry to say, it can in fact be a long and complicated process the find the correct person. It’s best to give yourself some time –  we recommend starting the search process four to six weeks before you need a nanny – this way  you have adequate time to find decent candidates, do background checks, and contact references.

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Here is some tips on what exactly should you be asking yourself before yip hire a nanny…

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? Try to determine the care you need: the days you require, any additional hours on evenings and weekends, school holidays and help on family getaways and trips.

Plan your hiring process Work out and write up a job description. Base this around your families schedule, what responsibilities and what requirements you need for you and your family in order for the employment to work for all.

What are her qualifications? Nursery nurses are qualified; nannies by definition, are not. You want someone competent, trained and/or experienced and of course, DBS checked. Is it important for them to have a current CPR/First Aid certification? Is a valid – and clean driving license a deal breaker? Always ask to see original copies of qualifications, documents (like vaccinations or certifications) and identify cards, not copies.

Check references 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 more than once Hopefully you have a few qualified candidates to interview. Try to interview around four or five and then conduct a second interview with the two best candidates.  It’s also a good idea for your preferred candidate to go through a couple week trial period to see how your family and the nanny work together or, spend a weekend en famille as 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!)

Trials are scheduled, paid and a time for you to essentially train your nanny. Also, use this time explain the care your child needs, learn pick up times,  note child-related activities and clubs that are in the home, after school and at local venues.

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.

Found the one! After your trial if the nanny you would like to hire feels like a good fit, you can draft and present a written contract that includes their schedule, responsibilities, compensation and benefit terms. It’s also a good idea to create a policy type statement on safety, rules and communication – so expectations are set from the very start. This could be your child is never to be left unattended, go anywhere unless you know ahead of time and give explicit permission, limits on screen time, playdates, managing behaviour and so on.

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 and be a good employer:

  • Respect her privacy, and her working hours
  • Don’t encroach on her free time – no calling out of hours or on her days off
  • Make sure you pay her on time and for any overtime
  • Review her salary, working conditions or live-in space (if applicable) on a regular basis
  • And, if you can give her other perks, such as a car and an interesting lifestyle, all the better!
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Nanny For Hire: Reading (or writing) between the lines…a light-hearted ‘how to’ job description ad

NANNY REQUIRED:

MATURE nanny wanted (patner 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).

> And, for the very best nannies… it has to be graduates from Norland College

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