Finding the right nanny requires time and effort, but it’s worth the extra work to ensure your children are in good hands. Here are some tips to help make the process smoother
Ask for Recommendations
While resumes and interviews offer a glimpse into a candidate’s work history, references can provide a more holistic view of the individual. Checking a nanny’s references can help you understand their reliability, communication skills and suitability for your family’s needs. Be sure to ask for at least two or three comprehensive references from former employers that relate directly to the position you’re hiring them for. Ensure that these references aren’t her best friend or the store manager from last summer’s boutique; they should have worked closely with her over time and can honestly assess her abilities. You can also find a nanny in London through online. There are many advantages to finding a nanny online, including giving families an easy and quick way to find qualified childcare providers. Online platforms offer extensive databases of experienced nannies, allowing parents to browse profiles, check references, and read reviews from other families. This digital approach streamlines the hiring process, saves time, and enables families to find a nanny whose skills and personality align with their childcare needs.
You should also request written permission to run a background check. This should include the applicant’s full name, social security number, driver’s license and a statement that they understand you might use this information to make employment decisions. If a potential nanny doesn’t agree to allow a background check, that’s a red flag. You should also consider running a national and international criminal record check and checking for legal issues like tax liens, civic judgments and sex offenses.
Look for Experience
Identify the minimum requirements your new nanny should meet, like certification in infant CPR or a clean driving record, and consider other qualifications you might find attractive (e.g., a degree in early childhood education or speaking a second language). Be sure to include a salary range as part of your list of expectations so that you can see how much you are willing to pay.
Ask for references from past employers (not family members). Contact those references to discuss the nanny’s strengths and weaknesses, what kind of work ethic they have, and their level of reliability. Also, determine if the nanny’s discipline strategy aligns with your parenting style. If you have a top candidate, invite them for a paid trial day to observe how they interact with your child. You may be surprised at how much of a difference an interaction like this can make.
Do Your Research
Even if you are lucky enough to get a referral from someone you trust, it is always best to run a background check. Nanny crimes are on the rise, and just because a person seems wholesome does not mean they don’t have a criminal record or shady business practices. Also, set aside time to interview candidates and complete all pre-hiring steps. It would help if you found the right fit, which takes time. Also, consider a trial day when you bring your top candidates over to see how they interact with your kids, work in the house, and follow your instructions. This is a great way to determine whether or not they are the perfect match for your needs. It will also give you a good feel for their performance under pressure and work with other caregivers.
Once you’ve narrowed your candidates, schedule interviews to assess their qualifications and compatibility with your family. Ask questions that give you a deeper understanding of the candidate’s childcare philosophy, past experiences, and discipline methods. You can also discuss logistical details like work hours, salary, and any additional benefits or vacation days you’d like to offer.
Interviewing can take many forms, from traditional face-to-face meetings to virtual video chats. It’s important to let the interview flow naturally to understand how each potential nanny interacts with your children. It’s also a good idea to conduct a trial day where you can see the nanny in action and how she performs under pressure.
Once you’ve found a nanny you’d like to hire, draft a clear and concise job offer. This should include the scope of responsibilities, working hours, overtime rates, holiday pay, and other important terms like non-disclosure agreements, termination policies, house rules, etc. Discussing the specifics up front can help limit misunderstandings down the road.
After vetting candidates through references and running a background check, it’s time to bring them in for an in-person interview. Ask the right questions to understand their work style and personality. “It’s important to find out if their discipline strategies align with your parenting style and to see if their energy level is high enough for your children,” recommends Thomason.
Ask about their past nanny jobs and what types of activities they would engage in with your kids. You can also ask about their home life if you feel comfortable. However, be aware that there are some topics you cannot legally ask about, such as age, race/ethnicity, religious views, marital status, and sexual orientation.
After deciding on a candidate, negotiate a contract to spell out the details of your employment relationship, including hours, pay rates, payment methods, overtime rates, house rules, benefits, paid time off, and more. This will help to limit surprises down the road. You’ll also want to ensure that you and your nanny are on the same page about your expectations and goals.