Tips for finding a great nanny
Nothing could be more important to parents than their child's wellbeing - finding the right nanny for your family is crucial because he or she will be a large part of your child's life. Being informed and knowing what questions to ask will be your best tool in finding a nanny who is right for you and your child.
The Search for an Agency
If you decide to go through a placement agency to find your family a nanny, there are a multitude of questions you should be asking:
- What qualifications does the agency look for in a nanny?
- Does the agency meet each nanny in person?
- Is a full background check performed? What does that include?
- Do they verify and check all references, including non-child care employment references?
- How long will it take to find a nanny through the agency? How many candidates will they present to you?
- Will they match candidates to your specific job description or will they send you all available candidates and let you decide who to interview?
- What information will you receive about each candidate?
- What do they charge and what guarantees and warranties do they offer? What is their policy on refunds and finding replacements?
Questions to ask about the agency itself:
- What is the agency's reputation in the community? Will they provide you with references?
- Do they have any complaints registered at the Better Business Bureau?
- Can you easily communicate with them? Do they return calls and e-mails quickly? Can they answer all your questions? Do you feel at ease with your placement counselor?
- Do they provide training and support for their nannies?
- Will they help you resolve any disputes between you and the nanny?
Interviewing a Potential Nanny
When interviewing a potential nanny you'll want to ask questions that draw out detailed answers instead of a simple yes or no. This will not only give you more information, but it will also give insight into the nanny's personality through the conversation it entices. Essential questions to ask are:
- Where did you work previously, when and for how long?
- Do you offer a complete background check? This should include a criminal background check, driving record check, reference screenings and sexual offender registry searches, as well as any other screening you choose.
- Why do you like this kind of work?
- What kind of things to you like to do with children?
- What's your discipline style?
- Have you taken any first aid classes?
- What are your long term goals?
Ask about their relevant references:
- What were your responsibilities?
- What were the ages of the children you cared for?
- Why did you leave the job?
Conducting Reference Checks
Always check references and ask for more than one. Once you've contacted the references, you should ask:
- How did this caregiver treat your child?
- Did this person ever have to cope with an emergency while employed by you? Please tell me about it.
- Why did he or she leave?
- Would you hire this person again?