Resources to Help Select the Right Nanny for your Family
A few years ago, nanny services were a luxury that only wealthy families could afford. It was also a time in which stay-at-home-mums were the norm. Today, women have more participation than ever in the workplace, and most families need two incomes to make ends meet. Because of all these changes, childcare has become a necessity. Finding the right nanny is not an easy task –after all, they will be in direct contact with your kids–. The good news is, there are resources to help make the process easier. Here we discuss some of the most important ones.
Minimise Risks Through Information
Because a nanny will have access to your home, your children, and your intimacy, you need to make sure you are dealing with someone honest and safe. A parent’s worst nightmare is to hire someone that would, in any way, harm their kids. In a society in which information is available at the tip of our fingers, it is easy to avoid this risk.
Background checks are standard procedures for hiring employees at any company, so why shouldn’t they be standard when hiring a nanny? Sites like https://checkpeople.com make the process easy. You get a comprehensive and straightforward report including identity verification, sex offenders status, and traffic records. They even offer to verify social media accounts if you consider it important.
Whenever possible, Hire Locally
There are many advantages of hiring locally, including more possibilities to verify credentials and experience. You can use local social media groups, or post your job in school and church boards (or other popular local sites). While background checks can give you important cold-facts about someone, nothing trumps the benefit of a fellow parent’s recommendation. In some cases, daycare or kindergarten teachers are open to nanny positions, so let your daycare or school know that you are looking.
One of the most common problems between nannies and parents are the product of unclear expectations. For example, some families consider that their nanny should also do light housework. While cleaning after the children is usually standard, a nanny is not a housekeeper. If you expect any kind of work outside of childcare, you should be straightforward about it during the interview stage. Other common issues come from lack of clarity regarding payment dates, paid time off, and overtime. While open conversations are a good way to start, the best way to ensure expectations are clear is to have a thorough written agreement.
Establish a Probation Period and Help Kids with the Transition
A probation period is a great way to ensure your family and your nanny are a good fit. It gives both parties a chance to opt-out of the contract. But, it is also important to give your nanny all they need to be successful. Understand that for some children, getting used to a different caregiver is not easy, so a transitional period (a few hours at first and more every day) is a good strategy. Make sure you give your nanny all the information and tools they need to make it easier for them to establish a good relationship with your children. A few “surprise” visits during the probation period might also give you peace of mind.
Choose Someone That You All Like
Credentials and qualifications are very important, but, if you are considering welcoming someone into your family, you need to be like-minded. Make sure you are on the same page regarding discipline, routines, and boundaries. Older kids should also have a say when it comes to choosing someone that will spend time with them. They need to feel comfortable or it won’t work. Never hire someone that makes you feel uncomfortable, or who questions your parenting choices.
Consider Using an Agency
Some families don’t have the time to go through every step when it comes to choosing a good nanny. If this is your case, an agency may be your best bet. Choose a reputable agency with plenty of reviews, and one which complies with federal and state rules. Good agencies have established systems that help them vet candidates and place them with families that will be a good match. An added benefit of agencies is that they will be able to find a replacement quickly in case it doesn’t work with your first choice. They can also send emergency replacements in case of illness.
Finding a nanny is hard work, but taking your time and avoiding rash decisions will save you from bigger problems. A good nanny will not only give you the peace of mind of knowing that your kids are safe, but it will also help them thrive and learn. Many families keep in touch with their nannies long after their kids have grown up because they end up becoming lifelong friendships. Always take your time and follow your intuition, get all the information that you need, and ask plenty of questions. And, once you hire someone, keep communication open. Discuss issues when they happen, and find solutions to problems together.