You’re hiring a nanny. What should you look for?

Hiring a nanny for your family is a delicate and intimate task that, when done right, can be extremely rewarding. However, when parents neglect important information, the process can become a nightmare that haunts every member of the family, especially the children.

In today’s world, it’s important to be detailed about hiring a nanny. Too often, families leave out important issues, such as background screening, and rely instead on the pleasant smile and demeanor of a woman who shows up on time for an interview. Who was that agreeable individual? Who told you what an excellent employee she is? Was it the friend of the nanny being interviewed or someone her friend is employed with? Families must remain vigilant and be aware of the danger these trends hold.

You must perform a thorough background check on a potential nanny, including a national criminal background check, sex offender check, and DMV check. You should also obtain social security verification.

It is equally important that you do not gather this information from online databases that often do not update their records frequently enough. The norm with families is to interview a nanny and offer a start date that is within days of the initial interview. If time permits, offer the top candidates at least a week’s trial period. During this time, you can observe interactions with your children as well as look for all the qualities that are important to you as a family.

Create an employee checklist to ensure that the nanny’s job description is explicit. It will come in handy during evaluation periods as well whenever you hear, “That’s not my job.”

Stereotypes continue to be proven false with regards to which ethnic groups make the best nannies. Regardless of whether the nanny comes from a small Caribbean island, the countryside of Brazil, or a large city in Europe, what matters is that she could be a positive addition to your family and that she brings with her values that promote an environment of growth for your children.

I am often asked, “How do I get my nanny to stay with my family?” and I am lost for words. All individuals, regardless of economic status, cultural background, or gender, thrive when respect and care are shown toward them. Kind words such as, “You are performing well” or, “The kids enjoyed the day at the museum with you” make a nanny feel appreciated.

I also encourage families, especially those using the services of a nanny for the first time, to hire a nanny consultant or coach to ensure that important details are not left out during the initial hiring process. Nanny Coaches who acclimate nannies on the job will ease the parents’ anxiety through their presence on the job for whatever period of time the parents choose.

Remember that your home is a stage and the kids are your audience, eager to emulate what they see, which could be the both the positive and negative behaviors that are modeled; so it is critically important to hire the right individual.


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