Finding a nanny isn’t difficult in that there are lots of different ways for you to a find a person who wants to look after your child. The difficulty is in finding the right person for your particular family. Finding a person who is qualified, available, suits your family parenting style, and who your children and you like. There are lots of ways for you to find a nanny including:
- Speaking to friends and family who have used nannies before. They may have an agency they prefer to use, or a nanny they would recommend to you. Word of mouth is a really good way to find out about excellent childcare providers – your friends and family wouldn’t recommend anyone to you unless they thought they were great.
- Use a London Nanny Agency or agency based where you are. Depending on the agency they will charge you an upfront amount, or standard fee if you find a suitable candidate. Nanny agencies are great because they do all the research for you, so they will have checked their candidates references, childcare style and history before putting them on their books.
- Advertise Directly. You could hire someone directly if you feel confident enough in your interviewing skills. Just make sure you are vigilant with references and checks before you hire a person, and make sure the contract created is legally sound.
- Hire a learner – Lots of childcare courses have learners looking to gain relevant childcare experience and some even offer free childcare from learners in exchange for the learners gaining experience and getting a reference from you.
Interviewing A Nanny
If you choose a nanny agency to provide you with a nanny, or you choose to hire one yourself, you will more than likely need to interview several potential nannies. A carefully thought out interview is important to ensure you get the right person for the job. If possible you should also let your kids meet the potential nanny to see how they interact. The children should only know that the person visiting is a friend, not a potential nanny so no attachment is made. Here are some tips for interviewing a potential nanny:
- Try not to go into the interview with your guard up. You will be wary and wanting to get as much information as possible so that you find the perfect candidate, but simply throwing question after question at your nanny without any warmth won’t bring out their best side, so won’t benefit either of you. Remember that the potential nanny is a person and cares about children – hence their profession, don’t be too hard on them, this might be their first interview!
- Enable the nanny to ask you questions. The best interviews work like conversations rather than question and answer sessions. You could gain more information from what the nanny asks you than the questions you ask him or her.
Here are some potential questions for you to ask the nanny you are interviewing:
- How long have you been in childcare?
- What are the ages of children you have worked with in the past?
- Why are you in the childcare profession?
- What are your qualifications in childcare?
- Do you have any additional training relevant to the job role?
- Can you tell me how you would handle a scenario where… then give them a high pressured scenario they might encounter, perhaps something that happens regularly in your household that they will need to be able to handle well
- What sort of activities would you fill the day with when caring for my children?
- Can you tell me any issues or problems you have encountered during your career as a nanny and what you did to overcome them?
Remember to be as creative as you want to be when interviewing your nanny, but try not to be intrusive or offensive. It can be difficult to not overstep the mark when people are working with your children, so it’s worth checking what other parents or nanny agencies would advise you ask. Alternatively if you hire a nanny agency they will know what to ask the nanny and will usually make any additional enquiries requested by you if you need them to.
Remember that no one finds it easy to hire the perfect nanny, which is why so many people use nanny agencies. If you feel it’s simply too much time and effort for you to find the perfect nanny for your family, why not work with a great nanny agency so you know you’re in safe and experience hands.