If you need to hire a nanny – either because you’re going back to work or you simply need a bit more time to yourself – you will naturally be anxious about finding the right person. After all, they are not only responsible for the safety of your child: if they are going to be spending a great deal of time with them then their attitudes can manner can rub off onto your son or daughter. This is why it’s essential that you take your time when choosing a nanny. There are many different routes you can go down in your search, some of which are:
Do Some Thinking: Before you look into the kinds of nanny services there are out there you need to decide on your priorities. What kind of nanny do you want: would you prefer somebody younger or somebody with years and years or experience? What are your values as a parent and what kinds of rules would you want to set? It’s important you work this out now so that when it comes to interviewing or hiring somebody you will have a list of questions ready to ask them. You should also do a little research into what nannies into your area tend to charge on average. This way you will know roughly how much money you will need to be setting aside each month.
Get Recommendations: One of the simplest ways to find a nanny is to ask family or friends with children whether they know of anybody reliable and experienced. The good think about this is that if a nanny is a person a friend of someone you trust, or they can be vouched for personally, you can feel more confident about letting them care for your children. However, not everyone has such a network to rely on. In this case you can simply go for one of the options below instead.
Nanny Agencies: These days there are plenty of highly reputable nanny placement agencies out there helping to make your life as a parent just that little bit easier. A popular example would be something like the RockMyBaby London Nanny Agency. These are a great option for families who are pressed for time since they can vet potential candidates for you, prepare you for interviews or help you understand what your role as an employer will entail. If you choose a properly certified agency then all their nannies are guaranteed to come with good references and will also have been safety checked. Look for ones that are members of groups such as the ‘International Nanny Association’.
Listings Sites: There are also plenty of websites that will provide listings of pre-screened nannies. Whilst they don’t act as agencies in that they will not deal with salaries and contracts and so on, many of them will give you a lot of information about the nannies on their database. Things like their experience, availability, salary expectations, references and so on. Some of these sites will oblige you to sign up as members which means you can also post job descriptions up there and invite nannies to apply. This way they come to you rather than you having to seek them out.
Message Boards: If you haven’t opted for any of the above then there is always the good old-fashioned message board. You may find that university job boards are a good place to advertise for a nanny as many students – particularly graduate students – are looking for part-time work to help fund their studies. The good thing about this is you generally won’t have such high salary requirements. Indeed, if you can negotiate for a live-in nanny they may agree to certain hours in exchange for bed and board. It all depends upon what suits you. Also, have a look out for local message boards for parents in your area. Many of these will feature ‘nanny available’ sections.
But however you choose to go about finding your nanny, make sure you take the time to interview and vet each candidate thoroughly. Even if you go through an agency and they have already given you all the references, you still need to make sure that they are somebody who can get along with both you and your children. Otherwise you may be in for a bumpy ride.