Things To Consider When Hiring A Nanny

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Any parent would agree that there is nothing more valuable to them than their children. Hiring a child care provider is a major step and one where parents want to take every precaution carefully. Most nannies are loving professionals who will genuinely care about the safety and well-being of your child or children. Still, there is no such thing as being too careful about the person you leave in charge of caring for your children.

This guide to hiring a nanny will cover the fundamentals in making a wise and informed decision.

1.       Decide what you need before you start the process. Do you need a live-in or live-out nanny? Do you need someone with specialized experiences, such as caring for a child with special needs? Do you need someone who will work to educate your children, or do you strictly need childcare?

2.       Decide whether you want to hire independently or use an agency. A reputable agency has the resources to do extensive background checks, or you can conduct your own at https://crbdirect.org.uk/, and they add a layer of protection as they are responsible for the nanny’s actions. Many agencies offer training for nannies on things such as CPR, child safety, and early childhood education.

However, agencies get their cut of your budget as well, meaning the nanny costs more. There are no reliable statistics that hiring a nanny through an agency offers any advantage in the quality of care.

3.       If you proceed without an agency, you will need to post the job. Some websites specialize in matching nannies and au pairs with families, or you can rely on word of mouth referrals.

4.       Do your research about what nannies in your area are being paid, and don’t forget to budget for taxes, bonuses, food, and activities.

5.       Interviewing candidates will be the most challenging part of the process. Start with your five strongest candidates and set up an informal interview outside your home and somewhere like a coffee shop.

Ask detailed questions, pay attention to the questions the candidate asks about you and your children. If you feel a sense of rapport, and no red flags, then invite the candidate to another interview at your home.

During the at-home interview, explain in detail how your household runs, and what they will be expected to contribute. Introduce the candidate to the child or children, and suggest that they spend an hour or so together.

This part of the process may seem stiff and a bit uncomfortable, but you need to get a sense of how your children will respond to the nanny and how she responds to them. Does it seem fake and forced, or does the nanny have a natural affinity with the kids?

6.       You should select two or three of the strongest candidates, and proceed to reference checks. The nanny should be able to provide a minimum of three of other families where she has worked as a nanny, or been involved in the day to day care of children.  If the person is new to being a nanny, the references may be a bit more complicated, but look for alternative sources. Did the work at a nursery for their church, babysit extensively, or have an educational background in childhood development?

7.       Do a background check. No matter how glowing the references, or even if the nanny is someone you know personally, do not skip this step. Make sure the type of background check you are doing is sufficient to catch anything you would want to know.

8.       Verify social security card or green card, and fill out an I-9 form.

9.       Have the nanny fill out a nanny contract. The contract should specify everything that is expected of the nanny and what she can expect from you. Detail the duties that she agrees to do, and the compensation offered hours, benefits, and how extra responsibilities will be handled and compensated.

10.   Initiate a trial period of two weeks. Make it clear that this is for the nanny’s benefit as well as yours. Two weeks should be long enough to get a sense of how well they are bonding with your child or children, as well as giving the nanny a chance to decide if she is a good fit for the household.

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