How to choose a nanny

Hiring a nanny for your precious child is a difficult decision. Firstly, you are filled with guilt because you think that you are not a good parent if you need a nanny to look after your child. Secondly, how do you ensure that the nanny you hire is trustworthy and can take care of your child just the way you do?

As far as the guilt is concerned, you should try to overcome it. There must be a genuine reason why you are looking for a nanny. Thousands of women who have to return to work, have to shoulder other responsibilities or don’t have family support keep a nanny.

Next, you should keep in mind the following factors during the process of choosing a nanny for your child:

Determine Your Childcare Needs

It would be a good idea to list your expectations from a nanny. Do you need a part-time or full-time nanny? Do you need a young or old nanny? Do you need a certified nanny or would a domestic help do? What duties do you expect the nanny to perform? Do you expect them to cook, drive a car or do housework?

Think of this list as a job description for the nanny.

Check for References

Before searching for a nanny from professional agencies or other online resources, ask your family, friends or parenting groups for referrals. Referrals are usually the best way to hire a reliable childcare provider. If you get a nanny who has already worked with someone you know, your trust level in their capability is higher.

Contact Professional Agencies

If you don’t get lucky with references, you can hire a nanny through professional childcare or babysitting agencies. Browse through their website, social media pages and online reviews and parent testimonials about their services. Find out their nanny screening and background verification process. Check for all terms and conditions, including replacements when the nanny quits or is on leave.

Interview the Nanny

You must interview a few nannies before you zero down on the right one. This interview will give you a good judgment about the nanny’s personality, behaviour, parenting style, experience and expertise. You might also want to know whether you will have to provide meals to the nanny, allow mobile use, employment benefits, etc. Ask questions about their health, if they have children, why they quit their last job, do they know about first aid and emergency response, etc.

You should also discuss the nanny’s salary during the interview unless you are hiring from a professional agency which usually charges you for the services and pays the nanny from their end.

Let the Nanny to Shadow You as a Trial Period

When you finalise the nanny, let them know that they will have to undergo a trial period of 1-2 weeks. During this time, the nanny will take charge of your child. You can train the nanny on your child’s schedule and habits, right from waking up to bedtime. This period will also enable you to assess the nanny’s personal traits and whether she is capable of taking care of your baby.

Keep a close eye on any red flags such as the nanny occupied with her phone most of the time, bringing her kids to your home, etc.

Your gut feeling and parenting antenna will guide you to hire the best nanny for your child. Make sure that you check for their credentials and keep a copy of their identity and address documents.

About Smita Omar

Smita is an ex banker who voluntary said adiós to a high flying career to explore the rocky yet beautiful terrain of motherhood. When she is not busy juggling between her naughty daughter and foodie husband, you can find her donning the hat of a freelance content developer-editor to keep her sanity intact. She has been a Work-From-Home-Mother for 8 years and turns to meditation when the going gets tough.


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