I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter I quit my job because we were due to move in a few months and I wasn’t ready to leave my baby girl with anyone. My daughter failed her newborn screening at the hospital and I had to take her to a bunch of appointments during those first few weeks. We ended up finding out that she was born with a profound bilateral hearing loss in both ears. We ended up moving when she was a few months old and it took a while to get all of her treatment ironed out in our new location. They set her up with home visits twice a week so that she could get speech and play therapy by the time she was 6 months old. The therapists started teaching her sign language while playing with her.
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Once she reached the point of going to the school for the deaf preschool program at the age of three, I finally went back to work. I struggled with finding someone to watch her. We tried using several different people to watch her and they would only last for a few weeks. It is tough finding a nanny or someone outside of a daycare facility to care for your child the way that you would. Today, I wanted to share some tips on how to find the perfect nanny for your child.
Often times your friends are your best resource when it comes to finding a qualified nanny that you can trust. Since your friends personally know the nanny or caregiver, they are already comfortable with that person and can safely give a referral. Word of mouth is still the largest form of advertising and it is usually the best way to go when it comes to looking for someone to watch your kids. After all, your children spend most of their day with their caregiver so it is very vital to find someone who shares the same morals and values as you do.
Use a Nanny Agency
You can use a nanny service to help you find a reputable nanny in your area. For example, you can contact a London nanny agency or search for a nanny agency in your area. Nanny agencies are great if you don’t have the time to search for a nanny. I highly suggest that even if you are using a nanny service in your area that you follow some of the tips that I mentioned below. Most nanny agencies often perform background and credit checks, you are welcome to do these yourself so that you can verify who will be working with your child/children.
Before Hiring a Nanny or Caregiver for Your Child You Need to Know Exactly What to Look For
It is important to write down a job description for your nanny. This lets them know exactly what they are responsible for when they are caring for your child. If they are working in your home, you might want to include details on light cleaning, cooking, ect. The goal of your job description not only lets the nanny know what they are responsible for each and every day but you can also use it to develop skills that the nanny should have. The skills that you list should be used to determine if the nanny is qualified during the interview process.
Always Ask for a Resume
Even if you are hiring a nanny that you know, it is always best to have the nanny submit a resume even if they don’t have a professional one. Their resume will give you a brief history of how long that they stayed at their previous job and what they did. Always make sure that they have childcare experience before they start learning how to care for children on your child.
Do An Interview the Nanny Prior to Hiring Them to Watch Your Child
Always interview all of your candidates for the nanny position even if they were recommended by a friend. You always want to ensure that the nanny selected meets you and your child’s needs. Before the final decision, it is always best to introduce your child to the nanny. If possible, never introduce them during the interview process because you don’t want your child or children to get too attached during the first meeting.
Interview Questions for a Nanny
When you are interviewing a nanny, never ask them your traditional interview questions because they aren’t relevant to this situation. Instead, you should come up with several different types of scenarios and ask them how they would handle each situation. Here are a few examples:
- What if your child refuses to eat the meal that they fixed for your child?
- They are at a play date or park with other children and your child isn’t sharing with the other kids?
- What would they do if your child started running a fever or had an accident that requires medical attention?
- What would they do if your child made a huge mess in the house?
Take the Time to do Reference Checks
Whether you or your friend personally knows the nanny, you should always do your reference checks. The reference checks can give you piece of mind and allow you to find out how the nanny performed to each families childcare needs. Make sure to ask the references things that came up during the interview process. Always ask how they were able to follow directions, how well they were able to manage stressful situations, and how they cared for their children.
Always Get a Background Check
Getting a background check these days is fairly easy process that parents can do at anytime. A background check gives you the opportunity to verify their social security number, education information, and even criminal history.
Run a Credit Report
Parents can opt to run a credit report before hiring a nanny especially if they are working in your home. A credit report will simply tell you if they are in financial trouble. Those in financial trouble could possibly run off with things in your home so that they can sell it for cash. Even an honest nanny who is upfront about their financial situation, might still do things in your home that you might not like.
Perform a Drug Test Before Hiring and Randomly as They are Caring for Your Child/Children
It is very easy to perform a drug test these days. You can pick up a drug test from your local drugstore such as Walgreens, CVS, or Walmart. Simply follow the directions in the drug test kit.
Search the Sex Offender List
Always search the sex offender list when you are introducing a new person to your family especially if you have children. It is simple to search your neighborhood or a particular person to find out if they appear in the national sex offender database. I personally use Family Watch Dog because it is a great database and it is free.
Make a Reasonable Offer
Do make a reasonable offer. You can expect to pay a nanny anywhere from $200 or more a week depending on where you live. If they live with you, then you should factor in living expenses into their salary. Don’t forget to cover sick days, vacation pay, and go over all expectations prior to hiring a nanny.
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Have you ever used a nanny to care for your child/children? Do you have any additional tips to help other families find the perfect nanny to watch their children?
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