You entrust your children to your nanny, so you need an effective strategy for choosing the right nanny. It is important to choose a nanny who is trustworthy, caring, capable and competent. These tips will make your search easy and organized.
You should identify your needs before hiring a nanny. If you do not know what you want, you cannot find the right nanny. Thus, it is essential to know what you want before starting the process.
- Determine the hours you expect the nanny to work. Do you want the nanny’s hours to end the moment you walk in your house? Does the nanny have to work weekends, or is weekday work enough?
- Will you require the nanny to drive your children to activities or school? If yes, your nanny will need reliable transportation and a clean driving record.
- Do you want your nanny to supervise other children during play dates?
- Identify duties that are unrelated to your child. For example, do you expect your nanny to take care of errands?
- Identify housekeeping and other chores you expect the nanny to perform.
- Will you expect your nanny to ensure that your children fulfill their responsibilities, such as making their beds and doing their homework?
- Will the nanny whether be responsible for assisting your children with their homework if they cannot complete it themselves?
- Does the nanny have to feed or walk a pet? A nanny who is allergic to pets may not meet your needs.
- If your nanny speaks multiple languages, what language will the nanny use to communicate with your children? Will the nanny teach your children another language?
- Decide how you want the nanny to handle discipline.
10 Tips for Writing a Good Nanny Job Description
Once you know your needs, you need to incorporate them into a job description. However, a complete job description includes more than just the duties you need fulfilled.
- List the job duties and expectations.
- Indicate the qualities that you are seeking such as reliability, fluency in another language, or physically able to lift your child.
- Identify habits or qualities that are not acceptable. For example, you may want a nanny who is a non-smoker.
- State the number of children the nanny will be watching, their ages and gender. Indicate activities that your children enjoy.
- Indicate the approximate salary, so you do not waste time interviewing nannies that are too expensive.
- Identify benefits included with the job.
- State the expected hours of work and whether you require weekend hours.
- Include whether the nanny will commute or live in your home.
- Indicate preferred experience or educational background. Identify allergies or medical issues the nanny may need to handle
- State that you will require background and credit checks.
10 Tips for Circulating Your Nanny Job
You should circulate your advertisement to find candidates. There are many ways to circulate your advertisement.
- Posting the advertisement at local community places is typically free and you may attract candidates who may know a mutual acquaintance. This makes reference checking easy. If it does not work out, you may find it more difficult to terminate employment.
- Post the advertisement in a house of worship or college bulletin board.
- Post your job in organization newsletters. For example, many churches and clubs have newsletters that are distributed to their members.
- Distribute your advertisement to friends or neighbors who may know someone seeking a nanny position. Sometimes a friend may be giving up a nanny because her children are entering school.
- Advertise in a local newspaper. You may spend a little more money, but it will reach a broader group. However, you may attract candidates who are geographically inconvenient.
- Online advertising such as Craigslist.com is economic and will provide broad exposure for your ad. Remember to check your email regularly.
- Contact an agency (like NationalNannies.com). Agencies charge fees, but they screen candidates and often assist you if the nanny does not work out. Agencies can provide you with candidates. They can perform background checks and follow up to make sure the nanny meets your expectations.
- An online agency such as www.enannysource.com can provide access to its nanny database of nannies and put you in their database of employers, as well. Online agencies are cheaper than full service agencies, but they do not screen applicants. They can perform background checks and provide tools such as employment contracts and interview questions.
- Post your advertisement at an elementary school. Sometimes student teachers who cannot find a job will take a nanny position.
- Use a website such as www.nannybackgroundcheck.com to help you conduct your search. This service provides tools to help you write advertisements and screen nannies. It will supply interview questions and other information so that hiring a nanny is less difficult. However, it does not provide a database. Responses to your ad can be directed to this service.
10 Tips for Screening Nanny Resumes
It is important to carefully review the response to your ad to identify strong applicants.
- Review the resumes when you will not be interrupted.
- Prioritize your criteria.
- A good cover letter is customized to the requirements in your ad.
- Eliminate resumes with poor grammar or organization. They indicate the candidate is careless.
- Pay attention to the candidate’s contact information. The address indicates her proximity to your home.
- Note whether the resume lists the skill set, experience and education you want.
- Review the applicant’s interests. An athletic nanny may be perfect for an active child, but a nanny who is artistic may be ideal for a child who loves crafts.
- Does the applicant seem stay at jobs for a while or jump around? Are there periods of unemployment?
- Look for bonus skills that are not critical but can benefit your child. These can include CPR, a second language, or a teaching background for tutoring.
- Make a chart listing the criteria from the resumes you like, so you can compare candidates easily. Make columns listing the candidate’s name, her work experience, her address, her educational background and her bonus skills. Add one last column and list any questions you want to ask the candidate. Identify your most desirable candidates based on the comparison.
10 Nanny Interview Questions You Need to Ask
The interview is an opportunity to learn about the candidates. It is vital to prepare questions that help you determine whether the nanny will be reliable, competent and a superb fit for your family.
- Describe your experience caring for children. Ask about the children’s ages and their personalities.
- Do you have your own children? This is critical because your nanny needs to be reliable for your children. If she has children, you need to know what she will do with them if they are ill.
- What is her lifestyle like? Find out about what the candidate likes to do. Is she a late night person or early to bed? Does she have any particular hobbies? You want a nanny that will arrive on time each morning, and his interests that will mesh with your children’s interests.
- How would you handle my child’s refusal to do homework? Describe your discipline style.
- Do you have other commitments, or can you be available for emergencies?
- Do you smoke?
- How reliable is your vehicle?
- Will you provide personal references and information, so I can run a full background check?
- What do you like least about working with children?
10 Reasons to Run a Full Nanny Background Check on Finalists
No matter how proficient a candidate appears, it is necessary to run a full background check on top candidates. You want your children to be safe and your employee to be honest.
- Your nanny will be spending a large amount of time in your home. You may keep jewelry and other valuables and will not want to worry about theft.
- Your nanny will have a key to your home. A criminal check will make you feel secure that it will not be copied or given to anyone.
- Your nanny may be driving your children to activities. It is vital that she is a safe driver.
- A drug test is imperative, so you can be confident that your nanny is not using mind altering substances that could impair her judgment or the safety of your child.
- It is not uncommon for child abusers to abuse children who know them. Your nanny will spend a lot of unsupervised time with your children, so a child abuse check is essential for their safety.
- Your nanny may have access to valuable personal documents. A criminal check reduces the likelihood that your nanny will steal your identity.
- A background check can alert you to whether the nanny has any restraining orders. A dangerous ex-husband or boyfriend could endanger your children.
- Verifying that a candidate can legally work in the country is crucial. You can have legal problems by hiring an illegal immigrant.
- Check references to ensure the nanny has the experience she indicates.
- Make sure you know all names your nanny uses in case you need to track her down.
10 Reasons to Have You Nanny Sign an Employment Agreement
Keep a written, signed copy of an employment agreement, so all parties remember the details and expectations of the job.
- Your nanny contract should list the hours and times of the job.
- The contract should list the job duties, including any duties that pertain to the household instead of the children.
- Include provisions detailing the benefits of the job. This should include vacation time, insurance and other benefits.
- The employment contract should outline the specifics about compensation. This includes the dates of payment, compensation for extended hours, whether the nanny will be paid if the family takes a vacation and any other payment details.
- The contract should state the procedure for termination. Indicate the requisite time each party must give notice.
- Indicate how the employer will handle accrued vacation time when the relationship ends.
- An employment contract can minimize extensive legal disputes by requiring the parties to agree to arbitration.
- The contract can indicate specific reasons for termination.
- The employment contract can also set out specific procedures for emergency situations such as who to contact if you cannot be reached.
10 Things to Do Preparing for Your Nanny’s First Day
Schedule time to prepare for your nanny’s first day. Your organization will set the tone for what she can expect throughout her employment.
- Arrange to have a flexible schedule on your nanny’s first day, so you can check on your nanny and be available to answer questions. This also allows you to see how your children adjust to the nanny.
- Show your nanny the house and make a list of where you keep certain items that she may need. You may want to leave a first-aid kit out.
- Make a weekly schedule of your child’s activities.
- Create a list of key contact numbers. This can include school numbers, cell phone numbers, your pediatrician, neighbors and any other relevant phone numbers.
- Make a copy of your insurance card or leave the original in a folder.
- Sign a statement authorizing your nanny to obtain medical care for your child if you cannot be reached.
- Make sure you have children’s car seats for your nanny’s vehicle.
- Show your nanny how to work any equipment that she will be using.
- Write out directions or leave addresses of local places your nanny may need to drive.
- Leave your nanny a list of job duties that are not child-related, if appropriate.
10 Reasons to Provide Continuous Feedback for Your Nanny
Providing your nanny with feedback promotes clear communication between you and your nanny. It also reinforces that your needs are met.
- Nannies like to feel appreciated. Reviewing your nanny’s work gives you an opportunity to praise her strengths.
- When you give your nanny feedback, you can make suggestions that will help her provide better care.
- A review is the perfect opportunity to welcome input from your nanny. For example, your nanny may be comfortable assisting with third grade homework, but she may feel you should hire a tutor for sixth grade math.
- You can modify the job during a review. For example, you and your nanny may agree that she takes on additional household chores when the children attend school full-time.
- You can give your nanny a raise during a review or discuss her salary.
- During a review, you can discuss any changes that affect her job. For example, if you are pregnant, an additional child will mean additional work for your nanny.
- A review also allows your nanny to express her concerns. For example, she may need to rearrange her hours around a school schedule or be thinking about having her own child. Decide what you will do to make the transition easy for your nanny and discuss it.
- Ask your nanny if there are any aspects about the job she does not like. You should work together to address these issues.
- When your nanny knows that she is going to receive feedback, it will motivate her to perform her job well and strive to improve.
- You now have the information to make it easy to find and keep the right nanny. Often a nanny becomes an indispensable part of your child’s life and an extension of your family. Thus, the right nanny may be an employee for years.
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