Hiring a nanny is one of those things that busy families may think about from time to time. Yet, it isn’t like hiring a babysitter, and is a decision that should not be taken lightly. A nanny, who is connected to your family and develops a loving and responsible history of providing care, WILL become part of the fabric of your family life. Still, it is important that you realize that the nanny – parent relationship is one that must be first founded from a common sense business foundation.
Where do you start? There are plenty of places to start your nanny search. You may luck up and know a friend of a friend who can recommend someone personally. However, just because a nanny fit into one family doesn’t mean that they will fit into yours. You can also start looking for a nanny through an online agency. Agencies such as the one listed here, http://www.nanny-agency.com/ help you to set up a profile and will assist in matching you up with a nanny that fits your needs personally. Additionally, going through a nanny service means that the person should have had a background check, come equipped with references and have a short but telling history of work. Sometimes the problem with going through an agency is that the people available for jobs may not be local, making interviewing tricky.
And yes, you must interview your nanny face to face. Part of the perfect interview process for a nanny is taking a moment to listen to you gut feeling. The impressions, feedback, and emotions you get from meeting someone in person will deliver you a lot more insight than a resume. So listen to them. When you are considering someone to care for your children full time, when you are not around, you have to be extremely diligent about performing a complete interview. So listen to your intuition. Try to preview their application ahead of time so you can make a list of questions. Unlike hiring people for other employment, when you are hiring a nanny, it is okay and recommended to ask some more personal questions.
It is also very important that you check their resume and perform a little background check of your own online. This is why it is important that aside from getting written references from your nanny, you also require that she give you a fully completed application for employment. This should include her driver’s license, her date of birth, social security number, places of residence etc. Then, pay the extra few bucks at an online site such as www.backgroundchecks.com or www.peoplerecords.com. Additionally, have your nanny include with her application an agreement to a background check through a local law enforcement agency. These cost between $5 and $25 at a local police station. Are you going overboard? No way. This person is going to be living in your home, spending time with your children and have access to lots of your personal information. Being too careful is the only option.
So now, you have found her! Then what. You should start the nanny relationship off being as clear as possible as the job details. This mean sitting down with her (or him) and listing every task that is included in their job, discussing pay, and even thinking about off days, freedoms she may or may not have in your home and rules. If you want your nanny to cook or clean for you, then you should outline this in the very beginning. One of the reasons it is so important to hammer out the job expectations in the beginning is because in a year’s time, feelings may have developed that make it harder to assert yourself and treat the nanny on a simply professional basis.
Hiring a nanny also entails that a family, no matter how busy, be prepared or things like feeling jealous. Chances are your children may spend a lot of time with the nanny – maybe even more time than they do with you. This means the nanny may eventually get to know your child better than you do AND your children may like her better than they like you. Oh yes, that is a tad biting. But you should think of it as a good thing. At least this helps you to feel comfortable and know that the nanny you have hired is doing a good job with the kids and that the kids approve, feel safe and are happy with her.
You may even find yourself becoming close with your nanny. And that is great! Yet, at some point, the boundaries of having a stranger live in your home and take care of your family is going to become an issue. And from a nanny’s standpoint – it can be frustrating to watch parents treat the children she cares for in a way that she doesn’t agree with or like. Try to communicate, keep some boundaries about your personal life – and realize that while the situation touches close to family, it is till one with professional roots. You are being provided a service.
Last but certainly not least, it is important when hiring a nanny that you always treat this person with respect. Listen to them. Ensure that they feel comfortable talking to you and take their needs in mind when you do things like grocery shop, make vacation plans, and hand out Christmas gifts. Realize that no matter how tough or tight money gets, your nanny should never be the one taking the pay cut! If you are respectful towards her, clear from the beginning about what you expect and need, and do your homework – you can be one of the many who has found a great deal of relief in knowing a compassionate nanny is taking care of their children.