Finding the perfect nanny for your family can be a long and complicated process. There are so many facets that go into choosing the right nanny. You want to be sure the caregiver you hire fits well with your family, has sufficient relevant experience and training in caring for children, has excellent references, and a clean background check and driving record. Some families decide to do their own search from start to finish, while other families decide to use a nanny agency. Utilizing an agency can save a lot of time and energy. It often has many highly qualified, vetted candidates ready to meet with potential families. Whether you decide to use an agency or not, there are essential steps in the nanny search and hiring process.

The Process

1. Create a detailed job description that includes the schedule, responsibilities, and specific needs of your family.

Think about your priorities and preferences and include those in the description as well. If you are using an agency, it can help craft a description based on your preferences.

2. Find qualified nanny candidates to interview to find a good fit for your family.

If you choose to go with an agency, it will provide you with qualified candidates who have been screened and meet the basic criteria. If you decide not to use an agency, you will advertise your position independently. It is important to look at the background and relevant experience of each nanny candidate to ensure they are qualified before offering an interview.

3. Research and check references for your favorite candidates to ensure they are legitimate.

If you are using an agency, it will call references and do background and driver’s license checks on each nanny candidate. If you are not using an agency, it is essential to run a background check before hiring anyone. When you speak with their references, be sure to ask questions about their character and work ethic as well as their experience and abilities. Also, ask previous employers why the nanny is no longer working for them.

4. Schedule interviews with your favorite candidates.

During this Covid era, it may not be wise to invite candidates to your home for an in-person interview, so a video interview may be a better option. Some families may choose to meet the candidate outside, while maintaining social distance and wearing masks. During the interview, ask candidates detailed questions about their experiences and childcare philosophies to ensure you find a fit for your family. If appropriate, some families may include their children to see how the candidate interacts with children. Nanny agencies can help families coordinate a meeting with potential nannies that share the same childcare philosophies and have experience with children of the same ages.

5. Plan a trial with your favorite candidate before hiring her.

This is an important step in the hiring process that can often be overlooked. Invite your potential nanny to your home for a few hours to see how they interact with you and the children. Remember that they may need some time to learn the ropes, like with any other new job, but you will get a sense of their personality during the trial. If you are using an agency, it can help coordinate a time for this.

Questions to Consider

Are they a professional, career nanny?

Most families are seeking a nanny who can be a part of their family for at least several years. Therefore, it is important to ensure the nanny you choose is not working as a nanny for the short-term while searching for a “real job.” Career nannies are seeking long-term commitments because they have chosen to be a nanny permanently.

Do they have life experiences?

Some recent college graduates may decide to become nannies, and while some are highly qualified, others may lack the life experience necessary to be a great nanny. It is essential to find a mature nanny who can make wise decisions and use their judgment.

Can they provide advice and input?

Many career nannies have years of experience with many children and may be able to provide valuable insights into the children they are caring for. They can be an invaluable resource for parents.

Do they anticipate your needs?

An experienced nanny will often go above and beyond to help out with household tasks beyond childcare. If they have downtime while the baby is sleeping, they may fold laundry or clean up, even if that’s not part of their job description. They can help your household run more smoothly.

Are they settled in their own life?

Career nannies are often settled in their own lives and are not planning to relocate or go back to school in the short-term. If you are seeking a long-term caregiver, it is important to take this into consideration.

A Big Decision

Selecting a nanny for your family is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. This person will be taking care of your most prized possessions, so you want to be completely sure they have what it takes. Not only should they be competent, it is essential that their personality and ideologies jive well with your family.

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