There are a multitude of reasons why parents should enlist the services of a reputable and trustworthy nanny agency. Many working parents don’t have the time to properly research and interview candidates and instead, rely on the assistance of professionals. It’s important that the agency you use is qualified and dedicated to making a strong match on behalf of both parties. An established nanny agency will have amassed decades of experience in the caretaking field, passing along their expertise to the family. Here at the Nanny Authority, our elite, dedicated nanny specialists hold the necessary tools to help you make a significant decision in your family’s life. Below are some of our do’s and don’ts when using an agency.
- Do find the right caretaker for your family: When you’re planning to hire a nanny, it’s important that you take your time to ensure a successful match on both sides. Changes in your child’s life can often lead to him or her feeling unsettled and it’s important that parents do their best to minimize a rocky transition. Parents can feel safe working with an agency because their candidates have already been carefully screened and vetted, and are therefore safe to recommend to families. Many of our nannies are candidates that we’ve worked with in the past or are referred to us by clients, which provides us with more information on the type of home environment the caretaker would excel in.
- Don’t rush the process: Utilizing screened nanny services, such as the Nanny Authority, can alleviate some of the pressure that is put on busy parents. Looking for a nanny can be a long and difficult process, especially when you take into account the significant role a nanny will play in your family’s life. The important thing is to be patient during your search and to keep looking until you find someone that is the right match for your family.
- Do focus on the job description: Reflecting on your criteria allows you to think about the must-haves and take past experiences into account, whether they are your own or what you’ve learned through friends. The job description should feature information such as the start date and schedule, duties and responsibilities related to childcare and possible housework, routines, specific food requirements, and salary/benefits. Make sure to find a budget that works for your family and adhere to it. The job criteria should also list what personality traits the family is searching for. For example, do you prefer a warm and bubbly nanny or do you feel that a laid-back, quiet nanny is better suited for your family? If you need assistance developing your job description, you can contact us here and a qualified placement specialist will be able to provide assistance.
- Don’t expect the impossible: A nanny’s main responsibility is childcare. Daily tasks typically include arranging playdates, reading, assisting with bath time, children’s laundry and keeping their rooms tidy, and other miscellaneous activities and entertainment. Light housekeeping chores can include grocery shopping and running errands, kitchen clean-up after meals, and emptying the garbage. However, if you have infants or toddlers who require constant supervision by your nanny, expecting the nanny to perform additional familial duties in addition to providing full-time childcare is not advisable or reasonable.
- Do complete a comprehensive background and reference check: We run an extensive screening process on the qualified candidates that we move forward with. All hires are contingent on a clean background check, which includes social security verification, nationwide criminal search, sex offender registry search, and a driving check. The nanny also must provide us with a complete chronological history of employment, with no gaps. Conducting reference checks is time-consuming and parents can become distracted on the phone and forget to ask certain questions or be unable to reach a past reference. Our placement specialists are adept at asking the right questions and can get the family the answers that they need. Our detailed reference checks uncover information on a nanny’s personality and skill-set, allowing us to understand which nannies are suitable for which positions.
- Don’t ask yes or no questions during the interview: Customize your checklist with inquiries and concerns relevant to your family. It’s important to be as specific as possible to ensure a successful meeting. Sample interview questions can be found here. During the conversation, parents should also encourage the nanny to ask questions. You want to ensure that this will be a good fit for both parties.
- Do arrange an in-home trial: After you’ve settled on one or two potential candidates, a full trial day with the children present should be arranged prior to finalizing any agreement. This gives parents the opportunity to witness how the caretaker interacts with the children on a hands-on basis. It also provides an opportunity for both parties to discuss appropriate child discipline methods and techniques so that everyone is on the same page regarding suitable behavior and child-rearing styles. Additional tips on establishing strong nanny-family communication protocols can be found here.
- Don’t wait to make an offer for the right candidate: When you find your perfect nanny, don’t hesitate! Put in an offer as soon as you know she’s the one. We’ve seen families fail to make an offer quickly enough, and their perfect nanny will take a job with another family.
- Do discuss a nanny contract: As soon as a family decides to hire a candidate, we provide them with a family contract to complete. This ensures that there are no surprises down the line and allows for the match to be a successful, long-term placement. This document is non-binding but it helps to manage expectations and responsibilities for both parties. A nanny contract can help you structure pay and other monetary aspects such as salary, hours, travel responsibilities, allocated time off, and other obligations.
Are you looking for a nanny? Fill out our family application today! For more information on our services, please contact us via e-mail or at 973-466-2669 so we can help you find the best candidate for your home.