Most parents today need or want to work, and some simply want a little "me time." However, doing so requires that you find and hire the right person to care for your children. That said, finding the right nanny can be a challenge so here are four tips to help you find the right person for the job.
1. If Possible, Hire a Nanny Through an Agency
Many wonderful nannies work independently, but there are benefits to hiring through an agency.
Before anyone steps foot inside your home, the agency will perform various pre-checks that dig into a nanny's trustworthiness. Instead of relying on personal references, you’ll have access to hard data. You'll know if he or she has a criminal record, questionable driving history, a history of substance abuse, child abuse, or a poor work history.
Most agencies will also make sure that a nanny is properly trained and qualified for the job. Training should include CPR certifications, AED certifications, and First Aid training. An agency should also match a candidate's availability with your needs. For example, if you need someone longterm, they should provide a candidate who is ready to commit at least a year to your children.
The agency will also ensure that your nanny is healthy. They will verify that the person is free from communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, and is physically capable of looking after your little ones.
Finally, an agency can search their pool of candidates for someone who matches your provided needs.
2. Interview the Prospective Nanny
While an agency can help you find a nanny, you shouldn’t forgo your right to interview the candidate yourself. We recommend a two-part interview.
The first interview should be limited to you, your spouse, and the candidate. During this time you can gauge the nanny's demeanor and style to determine compatibility with your children. Ask the nanny to plan a sample day for your kids and prepare a list of questions. Consider your instincts when deciding if they are right for your family or not.
If the candidate seems suitable, schedule a second interview to include your children. Observe the way the candidate interacts with your kids. Does she seem genuine with them? Does she exhibit kindness, firmness, and patience?
3. Check the Nanny's References
Even if the agency has checked references, so should you. This step will allow you to dig into your candidate's past performance. After all, there might be things that your agency found acceptable, that you do not. And while you can use this time to dig into the reason she left her last role, keep in mind that sometimes the dissolution is less about the nanny and more about the employer. Finally, we recommend that you ask her previous employers if they would recommend her for a new childcare position.
4. Purchase a Nanny Cam for Your Home
You may be hiring a wonderful, trustworthy person, but you should still purchase and install a nanny cam in your home as an additional layer of coverage and security. There is a model available to fit every budget, and it’s a worthwhile investment.
Informedmag.com recommends the Minicute Pen, which is, as its name implies, a pen. If you prefer something more covert, they recommend the Conbrov DV9 HD. Of course, you can always opt for something completely transparent, like an indoor home security camera. No matter which camera you pick, there are several ways you will benefit.
Whether you have an infant or toddlers, knowing what is occurring in your home when you’re not present is invaluable. The camera will record the interactions that occur while you are away, so you know how your nanny is treating your youngsters and vice versa.
An added benefit is the home security value that a nanny cam can provide. Your valuables are monitored by the presence of the camera from not only the nanny but from intruders as well.
A camera will also help you to evaluate your nanny's performance continually. For example, you will know if she is spending more time sleeping, chatting on the phone, or watching television than she is caring for your kids.
This coverage will also provide peace of mind for you, too. If you are anxious or worried about leaving your little ones while you’re at work, the simplest solution is to install a camera. A camera will not only monitor your nanny but will also monitor your children. When you see that your babes are cared for and happy, it can end your worries over leaving them at home.
Finally, make sure to research your local laws governing the use of nanny cams. And of course, never place them in an area where someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy, like in a restroom, even if that restroom belongs to your children.