Knowing that you will be hiring someone to take care of your kids can be a very stressful thought because you never know about the person you will be letting into your home. You do all the necessary things required-you have a background check done, you carefully check references and past work history, and you conduct in depth interviews. The first thing you will have to decide, however, is how you are going to go about finding that nanny. You may want to work through a nanny agency, and perhaps you may feel more secure doing it this way. A lot of families prefer to conduct the ‘nanny-search’ on their own though.
It really doesn’t matter which way you choose as long as you have a good idea of what characteristics and qualities you are looking for. There are also several other questions you must have answers to before you even start. For example: when will you be wanting the new nanny to start work? She is going to want to know this in case she is presently employed and has to give a notice. You must also ask yourself how much you are willing, or can afford to pay her. Do you want a daily employee, or would you like to find someone who is able to live-in? Think about these things way before you even start to try to find someone.
You will certainly want someone who has experience, of course, and then you have to decide what role you would like her to fill once she comes to work for you. Will she only be responsible for caring for the children in the home, or are there other things you are going to require her to do? Perhaps you need someone to take over some of the daily tasks you just don’t have time for. Do you want her to take over the housekeeping as well as providing childcare? There is also the subject of educating the children in some form that you might like her to do occasionally. Perhaps reading to them, or working with them on learning the alphabet or other basic forms of early childhood education.
Are you willing to hire someone who has no prior experience working with kids if she fits your idea of the perfect employee? Maybe she has a friendly, outgoing personality, and gets along great with your kids when they meet for the first time. Are you willing to overlook the lack of experience in favor of someone who has the ability to get along with your children and you are confident that they will be well-cared for? Perhaps she is willing to train with you before you actually need her to start, and you can show her what you need done, and how to do it. Many times a young nanny with less experience can end up being exactly what you are looking for.
Other families want someone who has plenty of experience caring for kids, or have had children of their own who are now grown. These women have been through every thing that can happen with their own kids, so taking care of yours poses no problem. Nothing bothers her, she is able to handle any emergency calmly, and she is dependable and responsible. If she is also open and friendly, you may want to consider her for the position. See how your kids act when they are around her, and take note of how well she interacts with them.
When you are interviewing, make sure that anything else you need to know is discussed at this time. Details like vacation time, days off, whether or not she has a car of her own in case she needs to take the kids to appointments, and of course, the all important question about whether she is able to live-in, or would prefer not to. You can find out a lot during an interview that should include more than your reference, job history, and personal detail questions. Make the most of the time you take to do this so you know everything there is to know about this potential employee.