Childcare is an extremely sensitive and important topic for many parents, especially in households where both parents work. When returning to work after baby, there are three options for childcare – personal day care, commercial day care, or nanny. Nanny care is desirable for parents who want more personalized, long-term care for a child with only one care giver. Choosing a nanny, however, can be more difficult than some parents ever imagined.
Choosing the Right Nanny – Nanny 101
Once you have made the final decision to hire a nanny, you will need to find the right one. Remember, a nanny will become a part of the family, not just a babysitter who cares for your child once in a while. The nanny, in some cases, spends more waking hours with your child on a daily basis than either parent, so choose wisely.
- The Pre-Check: Before setting an initial appointment to interview the nanny candidate, ask for an application with references and permission to run a background check. Call all references and complete the background check before setting an interview time. If you find or hear anything during this part of the process that makes you question the candidate, move on to the next applicant.
- The First Interview: Prepare for the nanny interview with a long list of leading questions. Too many parents spend the majority of the interview explaining the duties that the nanny will be responsible for when hired. The interview is not about laying out job duties, it is about weeding out applicants; that requires learning as much about the nanny as possible on a professional and sometimes personal level. Ask leading questions about parenting, discipline, and any other topics of interest.
- The Second Interview: This is the interview reserved for nanny candidates that you connected well with on the first interview. The list should be narrowed considerably by this point. With the background check and reference check already completed and the first interview in the books, this is the time when you explain what you expect from the nanny. Give each applicant a chance to ask questions along the way.
- The Final Interview: After narrowing down the selection list once again, you should be left with less than five applicants by the time you reach the final interview. This interview is reserved for specific details of the job and the final impression/decision. The final interview should include a discussion about pay and hours required for the job. Ask the nanny at the conclusion of the final interview if he/she would consider taking the job.
- The Final Selection: Go through any notes you have taken during the three interviews and make your final decision.
When choosing a nanny it is important to be clear with the rules of the house, but allow freedom and flexibility. A nanny will best serve a family if he/she is regarded as part of the family with the ability to make decisions and choices about childcare and discipline.