In Search of a Fantastic Nanny
Hiring a nanny is a hugely important decision and one which should never be taken lightly and without due care and attention because the individual you hire will become a very large part of your child’s life and could, potentially, spend more time with them than you do!
You would want to find someone who will put your child’s needs ahead of their own, keep them safe, want them to be happy and fulfilled and make sure that they are occupied when you are not there. With all of these criteria to take into account, it’s hardly surprising that many parents find hiring a nanny very stressful.
Fortunately, with the right sort of thorough planning and preparation, you can make your search easier and also ensure that you find the right person for the job.
Here are five top things to consider when you are searching for the perfect nanny:
- Do you need a live-in nanny or daytime only (either part or full-time)?
- If you work part-time you may manage with a nanny share and you could consider sharing a nanny with a friend or family member.
- If you need a live-in nanny you will need to provide good accommodation and possibly even a private bathroom and you will need to provide meals.
- Will you want the nanny to eat with the family or separately and who will be responsible for the preparation?
- What hours do you need and at what time of the day – If you work regular hours, a day-time nanny will be perfect. However, if you do lots of work-related socialising or have to spend extended time away from home you may have to consider a live-in solution.
- Your nanny will need regular evening, weekend and holiday breaks – how will you cover these breaks?
- If you are considering a live-in nanny you will need to consider how to feel about certain lifestyle choices:
- Would you accept a smoker or someone who likes an occasional glass of wine with dinner?
- Will you allow them to have visitors to your home – you should establish beforehand if a potential candidate is in a relationship and, if so, would you allow their partner to visit your home.
- What duties do you consider essential – anything in addition to childcare will need to be discussed prior to employment:
- Many nannies are prepared to make the children’s meals and will often with the children.
- Do you expect your nanny to do household chores – you can ask them to tidy up toys with the children and keep communal areas tidy but asking them to do the whole household’s ironing may be well beyond the call of duty unless this is something they wish to agree to upfront.
- If you require your nanny to do the school run or other trips by car you will need to provide or pay for this transport, including vehicle insurance and maintenance. You need to also be certain that any potential employee has a full driving licence and no driving convictions that would affect your decision.
- Would you expect a nanny to travel with you either for work or holiday purposes?
- You need to check that they would be happy to do so and that they possess a passport and are prepared to have vaccinations should this be necessary.
- How much notice could you give for last minute trips – your potential nanny has a life outside of your household and may need to make arrangements before travelling.
- You should consider how you would accommodate another person and factor in the extra costs.
- Finally, you need to consider how much you will need to pay:
- Decide on a minimum and maximum salary – an experienced nanny will expect to be paid accordingly.
- Nannies are often accustomed to being paid a net weekly salary rather than a gross salary. You would need to factor these and all other essential costs so that you know the fixed bottom line.
Once you have worked out exactly which of the above factors are most important to you and your family you should make a list of any absolutely crucial skills which are required. Once you have the basic list you need to prioritise them in order of importance. Some things will be more essential than others so having a list to refer to will help you once you begin to look at any applicants.
It’s also worth noting all these essential facts in your job description because you can avoid misunderstandings or applications from candidates who don’t fit your needs. If you are finding it hugely difficult to organise your essential needs and requirements it would probably be worth approaching a reputable agency rather than trying to find someone yourself. They will be able to help you find suitable interviewees for your individual circumstances and could help you to avoid endless hours interviewing unsuitable applicants.