What to Consider Before Hiring a Nanny

September 13, 2015

Here are are 6 things you should consider before hiring a nanny to ensure that you have covered all of your bases and that you are making the choice that best works for your family.

1. What qualities you are looking for in a nanny? - Before searching for the nanny of your dreams, decide what you want in your nanny? Will they focus on childcare? Tutoring? The house and cleanliness? Knowing what you expect from your nanny will help narrow down your search.  

2. Live in or live out? - A live in nanny does have its advantages. You can deduct room and board costs from the salary and would never have to worry about them being late. However, note that live in nannies are also subjected to the same employee protection laws as anyone else. For example, the nanny gets overtime pay if they work more than 44 hours a week. Just because they live in your house does not mean that they are willing to work overtime.

3. Interview all nannies you are considering face to face - Every nanny that you consider should be interviewed face to face. The interview is to see he/she is a good fit in your household. Ask the nanny as many questions about the job; for example, ask how the nanny would discipline a child in certain scenarios and if they are willing to do certain tasks that you expect done.

4. Education/certification - Most nannies from nanny agencies are required to have a high school diploma/GED, but there are nannies with post-secondary degrees. If you want a nanny whose primary duties is to tutor your child, maybe someone with higher education might be a better option. Also check if your potential nanny has any first aid/CPR training. To ensure that your child is in the best hands possible, make CPR/first aid certification a prerequisite for the job.

5. Screen them carefully - Criminal background checks and checking employment references are a must. Be a detective and ensure that your potential nanny is fit to be around your child.

6. Consider having a trial/shadow day - Always consider having a trial day with the the nannies who pass the interview portion. Even if they have great references and great qualifications, see how they fit into your household dynamic. You two might not get along as well as you had hoped and that something is off, or you may feel that he/she is the perfect fit your needs. Either way, trust your gut and you will eventually find your ideal nanny.

7. sharing your nanny! Childcare can be expensive, and there are many benefits to having your children socialize with others their age. If you don't require a full time babysitter or au pair, you might benefit by splitting the cost of a caregiver with another family. Not only is there potential to save money, but many nannies actually prefer this - as it allows them to earn a slightly higher income. And, of course, a happy nanny makes for a happy family.

Whether you're looking for a full time nanny, or an occasional babysitter, these steps will apply regardless. It's important to find the right person since they will be interacting so closely with your child(ren) and/or home.

We're here to help if you need anything, and our community is filled with loving child care providers that are waiting for you to contact them. Here's to finding a great match!