The time has come when you have to leave your sweet baby and return to work. It can be a bittersweet day for many moms, knowing they have to leave their baby all day. Some moms are thankful for the time away whereas other moms dread the moment they have to say goodbye. Regardless of where you stand, there are a few things that need to be considered during the interview process with a potential nanny.
I have spent many years as a nanny and now that I am transitioning out of that position, I want to educate moms on what to look for in a nanny. Of course each set of parents will have their own standards as well, and you should stand by those, but also consider these tips when choosing a nanny.
So what should you look for in a nanny?
Your future nanny’s schedule is very important. You could fall in love with a nanny only to find out that they can only work twice a week, but you need them for five days a week. It is important to be clear on how many days and what days you will need them. After establishing their schedule, I encourage you to pry a little further. Ask if they are in school, working another job, or like to travel often. This is very important because any of those can throw off your daily routine and leave you looking for a last minute babysitter. Along with that, ask about the long term.
Are you sticking around in this town for a couple months, a year, or more?
Are you in a school where your schedule changes often?
These are all VERY important to ask so you can make sure you have a good consistent nanny.
I’m sure you definitely want a nanny who has worked with children before. I would say even go as far as asking for the phone numbers of previous people they have babysat or nannied for. Find out if they were good with the kids. If they have been a nanny before, then ask why they left the job. This will establish if your future nanny is just looking for “easy” money or if they are really passionate about caring for kids.
Have you worked with kids?
If so, what ages were they and for how long?
As a mom you desire to raise your child a certain way. That may mean you want them to know God, so talking about Him and praying are important things to do with your kids. Or maybe there is a certain discipline technique you want used with your child. Whatever it is, it’s important for the nanny to be on the same page as you.
I was a nanny for a couple of years with a family who wanted me to read a book, sing a song, and pray before bedtime. It worked out so great because I believe in God and, like the parents, I wanted their child to know God. If that is your desire, then finding a nanny who is comfortable talking about God and has a relationship with Him will be something you want to prioritize.
I also was a nanny for a family who didn’t want me to say “no” to their kids. Alternatively, they wanted me to say “let’s do this instead” or something similar. I wasn’t a huge fan of this discipline technique so I failed frequently!
It is important that you are on the same page with discipline and make sure to go over the way you discipline during the interview process.
High school nannies are great when you need someone to come for a couple of hours in the late afternoon but you may want someone older when it comes to picking up and driving around.
Are you in high school? College? Or Graduated?
More importantly if you want them driving your kids:
How long have you had your license?
During the interview process ask “What would a typical day look like with the kids?”
This will show you if they are passionate and organized with kids.
Do you have certain games you like to play or activities you like to do with the kids?
If you want them taking them places then,
What places would you take them?
These are all very important things to ask during the interview process. If they don’t know or maybe seem like they don’t care, then maybe it is time to look elsewhere.
One thing you want to establish before hiring a nanny is what they are comfortable with.
Are you a work from home mom who needs someone to keep their child busy while you work?
Will you or your husband be home during the day while they are there?
As a nanny I would hate it when I would show up to work and the kids were sick. It just didn’t make sense to me either because I would watch the kids and the next week I would be sick and unable to come to work anyway! Another thing that bothered me was if the parents were home while I was there. Now it wasn’t that I felt like they were judging me or I didn’t want them watching how I took care of their kids. I don’t care about that. It was just too confusing for the child. My rule always was: if you are home, then you are in charge. You do the discipline and I’ll help out with things; but while you are home, you are the parent.
On top of that, if you are a work at home parent then I suggest finding a place to work where your child won’t find you. I worked for a mom who stayed at home to work and it was so sad and frustrating for me to have to keep their child away from a “certain room” when they knew mommy was in there. So if that is the case for you, then find out if your nanny would be comfortable with it beforehand.
Are you willing to watch the kids even then they are sick?
Are you comfortable taking them places?
Is there a certain age you are not comfortable watching?
It would be foolish for you to hire someone to watch your kid that you don’t really “vibe” with. Decide whether or not you feel like they could be someone you get along with. Someone who would be okay telling you the events of the day even if they weren’t all that great. You would rather hear a story of your kid getting hurt come from the nanny rather than your child after your nanny has left. Be sure it is someone you are comfortable with and they seem comfortable with you as well.
During the interview process are you laughing together?
Enjoying the time spent with one and other?
Could the nanny also be your friend?
I really hope these 7 tips help you when it comes time to pick a nanny. I know the struggle of finding nannies can be rough but don’t settle for someone just because they seem to be your only option. These are your kids! You want someone who you trust! I even suggest having a couple of hours where you and the potential nanny are home with the kids so you can watch how they interact with them and if they seem comfortable before you head off to work.
If you have any more questions feel free to ask!