Many experts agree that nannies provide loving, safe, and responsible care for children. However, there is no licensing or regulation of the nanny market. No government agency can ensure that a nanny meets the minimum requirements of experience, criminal background check, and safety, unlike someone who works in a preschool. Parents should do their research before hiring a nanny.
Finding the right nanny can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect match for your family.
1. Before you begin your search, it is essential to understand your needs.
It would help if you determined the hours you will need care and whether or not you are willing to work extra hours on weekends and evenings. Start your search by looking at the hourly rates of nannies in your local area. This will help you determine if your childcare budget can pay a livable wage. Keep in mind that nannies must be paid for their hours, overtime included.
Next, decide how much and what kind of childcare experience is required. You should set realistic expectations and prioritize the responsibilities.
You should establish clear terms of employment. For example, you might want your nanny certified in CPR/First Aid and has a valid driving license with a clean driving record.
You should start the process early, so you have enough time to find the perfect match. It can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks for a nanny to be hired.
2. Create a thoughtful, informed hiring process
Create a job description that includes the requirements, responsibilities, and schedule. It’s recommended to spread the word to your friends, colleagues, mothers’ groups, and even online.
You should ensure that you thoroughly screen each candidate. Review resumes to verify relevant child care experience and talk with at least three references. Gather documents such as vaccinations or certifications.
After interviewing a few qualified candidates for the job, interview four to five more and then hold a second interview with the top two candidates. To find out how you and your family work together, give the preferred candidate a two-week trial period. Trials are scheduled and paid. You basically ‘train’ your babysitter on caring for your child and where your children are located in the neighborhood.
During the trial, your babysitter will ask you questions about your background, safety, and health. If you feel like it is a good match, you can draft and submit a written contract that includes their schedule, responsibilities, and benefits terms.
If everything goes smoothly, you can review the contract and sign it with your nanny at the end of the trial. You should ensure that your nanny has everything she needs for managing medical emergencies, police, fire, and other disasters in your locality.
3. Establish a standard of care.
To ensure that expectations are established, create a ‘Rules of the House” policy statement regarding safety and communication. Your child must never be left alone and unattended. That is one thing you should put in the contract so your new nanny is aware of it!
You should always have access to them via your cell phone. It would help if you established a policy regarding social media use and privacy. Consider whether you are okay for them to post photos or if it is something you prefer.
You should make sure that she is familiar with dealing with medical emergencies and where the nearest pediatrician, after-office facility, or hospital emergency room are located. You can also give them a form to authorize medical care if you cannot be there for your child.
4. Invest in a Trial Run
Did you find a possible winner? You can schedule a visit to your home and have her spend a few hours with you and your kids. These are times when a nanny will work at your home and have the opportunity to interact with your children.
This will allow you to know her personality, childcare style, and how she fits in with your family. While you need to be careful about your initial impressions, the nanny will also need to know you.
Related: Invest in a nanny cam (read review)
Don’t expect your new nanny will be perfect from day one, and the nanny is no exception to this rule. Every new employee requires some training, and to build a long-lasting relationship, you will have to spend some time with your new nanny, especially at the beginning.
5. Establish a partnership for collaboration
Nannies want positive relationships with the parents and the children they care for. Good care can only be provided if the parent-nanny relationship is healthy.
Your child will receive the best possible care, but only if you work together. You can look to them for advice, ideas, and opinions. Let them know how much you value their care. Talk openly and respectfully about the working relationship with your child, including their schedules, compensation, and how they behave.