The thought of leaving your precious little newborn or toddler with a stranger can be terrifying. These tried and tested tips on hiring a nanny can help you find someone well qualified and trustworthy:
Identify your needs
Before beginning the recruiting process, take some time to identify your needs. List down the functions your nanny is expected to perform, as well as the qualifications and skills that your nanny absolutely must have. Will your nanny be expected to cook? Should she be fluent in a second language? Must she drive and have her own car?
Request for a resume
While it may not be common for all nannies to have a copy of their resume on hand, it may be one way to ensure that you are considering a candidate with childcare experience. Another option is to make your own questionnaire or information sheet and have all candidates fill these up prior to their interview.
Let her talk
When it comes to the interview process, avoid asking questions that are merely answerable by “yes” and “no”. Remember that you want to find more about your candidate, and one way to do this is by asking open-ended questions and hearing her talk. Have her describe the children she took care of at her last few jobs, or have her enumerate the reasons she left her previous employers.
Ask for references
It is incredibly important to check references when searching for a nanny. Ask for previous work references and personal references—and call them. Prepare a list of questions to ask. If possible, even do a criminal background check. You do not want to risk leaving your child alone with an incompetent caregiver.
Introduce her to your family
Once you’ve narrowed the search down to one or two candidates, introduce your nanny to your spouse and to the child or children that she will be taking care of. Observe how she interacts with your children. If your children are old enough, ask them for their opinion later on. If she doesn’t seem like a good fit with your family, then trust your instincts and keep looking.
Draft a contract
Once you’ve made the decision to hire a nanny, draft a contract outlining what is expected of her. This includes all expected duties, days and hours required, the rate of pay agreed upon, and benefits.