Safety is of paramount importance when you’re looking for a nanny, so the process should begin with a background check of the top choices. Consider licensed and certified providers, and don’t overlook the critical step of screening.
If you’re hiring through a specialized service, don’t assume they’ll do the work for you. What’s more, “screening” is quite a general term.
This article provides actionable tips to find the best nanny in your area without compromising safety or breaking the bank.
Ask Other Parents
Someone who lives in the neighborhood and whose children are friends with yours might know a good nanny who’s available. Make what you want clear when you ask them for a recommendation. That begins with knowing what exactly that is. It’s not apparent and might take some time to figure out, which is perfectly OK.
This is an option worth trying, although you can never know whether you’ll be satisfied with the service provider they recommend. Friends and relatives who’ve had positive experiences with a childcare provider will make seeing if she’s a good fit for your child or children easier.
Another option is sharing a nanny. You need to agree on a sharing schedule. It might not work if she’s working full-time for another family, though.
Look at Online Ads in the Area
Your search should start locally. A nanny who lives nearby will come to your home quickly if needed. It’s far more convenient than someone who lives on the other end of town. Once you find some interesting candidates, you can proceed to schedule an interview. Don’t skip this step. Suggest a schedule, considering the hours per day and days per week you will need help.
Think about extra hours on weekends, evenings, or holidays and ask the nanny if this schedule will work. If not, there’s no point in proceeding.
Communicate Special Requirements
You must share essential details about your child or children, such as specific medication they are taking or other special requirements. To avoid mismatched expectations, share what you’re willing to pay. It’s best to give a range rather than a fixed rate per day or hour.
Any additional requirements, such as if your child needs help with homework or you’ll need help with the housework, must be shared.
Ask for Personal Data
Many parents perform background checks to ensure they’re making the right decision, but you can’t do this without the nanny’s personal data. You need a copy of her driver’s license or another official photo ID. Green cards, passports, alien registration cards, immigration cards, and DMV ID cards are other options. She needs a good, clean driving record if she’ll be driving your child.
You must inform her in advance that you would like to run a background check and ask for her permission.
Write the Data Down
Write down her full name, address, phone number, Social Security number, and date of birth. It might help to know a little bit about where she’s worked before.
If you don’t have time or can’t deal with this, get a third party to do it. It’s probably the better option as it takes a lot of time to screen all this data manually. The right screening includes a criminal record check. Typically, justice departments will not give just anyone access to such records. She must give the authority permission to release her data.
This type of screening applies to all care providers who work in nursing homes but not nurses.
COVID-19 has not disappeared. Ask your applicants how the pandemic has changed their approaches to work. You can do this during the interview, which is a crucial step. Ask them how they would discipline your child.
Meeting the Family
Once you decide on a candidate, introduce her to your family, expectations, and daily routine. Ideally, her schedule will be open. Without making the process too formal, ask her about her experience, background, and whether she can cope under pressure.
The surest way to know if she’s a good fit for your child is to do a brief test run. Talk to her and your child at the end to see how it went. If everything is fine, consider signing a contract even if you’ve agreed she’ll work for you part-time or on call. The contract lists the job requirements, tasks, and payment terms.