How to Decide on Criteria for Hiring a Nanny

March 14th, 2017 by

Searching for a nanny can be a time-consuming endeavor, especially if you don’t know where to begin or don’t have a family needs assessment completed. Before you begin the interview process, it’s important to determine what is best for your family so you can start off on the right track. Each family is different so what might work for your friends might not necessarily work for your household. Read on for suggestions on how to decide on your criteria for hiring a nanny.

  • Focus on your job description: After determining your family’s needs, draft a semi-comprehensive guide listing the responsibilities and duties expected of the nanny, and a budget that works for your family. The job description should feature information such as the start date and schedule as well as possible housework, routines, specific food requirements or allergies, pet-care, and salary/benefits. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations. A nanny’s main responsibility is childcare and while light housekeeping related to the baby or children is fine, performing familial duties in addition to childcare is not always feasible.
  • Assess your children’s needs: Prior to focusing on your job description, think about the needs of your child or children. One place to start is deciding whether you need a live-in or a live-out nanny. A live-in nanny can be an adjustment for any household so make sure to talk it through and list the pros and cons. Is it important for your nanny to have up-to-date knowledge of child development stages? Do you want a big sister/big brother type of role model for your children? An educator to assist with homework in addition to childcare duties? These are only a few sample questions to consider. Your family’s individual requirements will decide the rest.
    • Nanny education: Depending on a family’s needs assessment, the parents might want someone who has a college education or speaks a foreign language. If you’re just seeking part-time assistance for date nights during the week, you can hire someone starting out or in the middle of attaining his or her college degree. It is paramount, however, that any nanny you hire be safety-conscious as well as CPR and first-aid certified.
  • Work with professionals: Parents looking to hire a nanny should concentrate on utilizing a reputable nanny placement agency. A seasoned and professional placement counselor will make the hiring process easier for the family, allowing the family to concentrate on employing the right person for the job. Here at The Nanny Authority, our dedicated placement specialists review hundreds of caretaker resumes on a weekly basis, weeding out those that are deemed to be unfit. Only about 15% of applicants make the cut.
  • Must-have traits for any nanny: While some characteristics of a good nanny are non-negotiable, the ones below are must-haves. They are in no particular order and can be shuffled around depending on your job description.
    • Hands-on experience: Hands-on experience is a vital component in a nanny’s background. At the Nanny Authority, we require our nannies to have a minimum of three-to-five years of such experience. However, some families prefer a more inexperienced nanny because they believe that he or she will be more open to the family’s parenting style. A nanny who has accumulated more work experience may require a higher salary.
    • Patience: One trait that is crucial to being a great nanny is patience because a nanny will often spend long days caring for children, and is bound to encounter at least one mishap or crisis a day. The caregiver needs to be able to remain calm in the midst of chaos and make sure that children don’t pick up on the stress. Since your children are around their nanny all day, it’s important that the nanny serves as a role model of patience, teaching children to do the same. Patience is also key if he or she is working with a child that has special needs or behavioral issues.
    • Dependability: Parents need to know that the childcare provider they’re hiring is going to be reliable, dependable, and trustworthy. If the terms of the nanny’s schedule dictate hours from 8am to 6pm, the nanny should arrive a few minutes earlier and be prepared to stay a few minutes later if need be, since parents can occasionally get stuck at work.
  • How to verify references: Even if you love a candidate from the initial interview, you should always conduct a reference check. Here at the Nanny Authority, our placement counselors verify the nanny’s background information and driving record, giving a copy of the obtained data to the parents. The nanny also must provide us with a complete chronological history of employment, with no gaps. Conducting reference checks is time-consuming. An agency is skilled at asking the right questions and can get the family the answers that they need. The Nanny Authority is also adept at listening for certain personality traits such as reliability, patience, caring, etc.

For assistance with your search, contact The Nanny Authority via e-mail or at 973-466-2669 today! Our placement specialists support the family from beginning to end on their search to guarantee a successful match for both parties.