For many who need some kind of full-time care for their children whilst they are at work, hiring nanny can be the ideal solution. But there are also many issues associated with this and it can take time to find just the right person so a certain amount of patience is required. Things like ensuring the person has a bond with your children, that they can work the hours required and your own role in the process are all aspects to be considered.
Given the above, it’s probably a good idea to go through a nanny agency rather than attempt to hire a nanny privately. For one thing, this gives you more protection, but it also means they can help you with some of the legwork. Finding a nanny agency shouldn’t be too much of a challenge as most will be listed online. For example, if you live in London simply type something like London nanny agency into a search engine and you will come up with plenty of names. Then all you have to do is choose one or two that have good reviews and serve your local area. It is also helpful if you know somebody who has previously used the agency and is able to give you a personal recommendation.
One of the benefits of going through a nanny agency is that they will already have vetted all the nannies on their roster and ensured they have gone through all the necessary checks. Even so, when it comes to deciding on which nanny to choose you should never just assume that the one they have suggested is right for you: always arrange to meet and interview them first. There are two main reason for this: first, if gives both you and them the opportunity to ask any questions about the role and voice your expectations; secondly, you can get a feel for whether they are going to be the right ‘fit’ for your family. It can help if they meet your child at this point to see if they click.
When you think you’ve chosen someone suitable, you should still always consider asking the nanny (or the agency, if you are going through one) to complete a trial period before any long-term contracts are signed. This is best for both parties, as differences of opinion or approaches to childcare are not always obvious right away. The trial period can run for a few days or even a month if you want. After all, there are many reasons why a child might reject a nanny and sometimes the situation cannot be resolved. Your child’s wellbeing is the most important thing which is why you need to make sure you get it right.
When you’ve found the right nanny and they’ve settled in, remember that some parents can find it difficult when they see their child forming a close bond with another caregiver. You have to be prepared for this and accept it, because it’s important that your child is able to establish a bond of trust with the person they are spending so much time with. If you find that you are unable to overcome these feelings of regret, guilt or jealousy then it may be that you have to seriously re-consider your decision to go back to work.
The best thing to do, to counteract these feelings, is to make sure that you spend as much one-on-one time with your children as you can during your free time. Think up fun activities to do together and try to outsource things such as housework and other chores so this doesn’t get in the way with your family time. Your nanny will also appreciate the time off and come back to their job refreshed and ready to cope with whatever the day throws at them (and with a small child, this could be any number of things!).
Finally, as an employer it is now up to you to keep an organised personnel file on your nanny. This will include things such as their contract, copies of driving licence and qualifications, their references and any background checks that have been carried out. This is also where you should keep payment records for accountancy purposes.