One of the biggest challenges facing parents is finding the right childcare. Children learn so much up to the age of three that the wrong person could hinder their development, and affect them emotionally. Picking the first person that comes along is not the answer. It needs time and effort put into finding the perfect nanny for your kids.
Decide On Your Needs First
The first thing to do is decide on what you need. Do you want someone for just a few hours each day or are you after a full-time nanny? You also need to formulate your perfect vision of the person that will be caring for your children. Do you want them to be able to drive, for instance? What personality type are you after and what approach do you want to discipline?
You need to make a list of traits that are a must, and ones that would stop you from employing a particular person. This will let you very quickly disregard any applicants that do not fit your criteria, and cut down on the number of people that get to the interview stage.
Check Them Out Thoroughly
Before you actually interview anyone you should do some checking. Anyone can give you a name but an identity verification service can check that they are who they say they are and that is a good start. You should also look to see if they have any social media pages as these can be very revealing about a person’s true personality. People tend to be more open on social media when it is their friends they are chatting to, and by looking at this you can find out all sorts of information that they might not tell you.
Unfortunately, humans are not the best judges of character as we are too emotional. Looking into their background will show up anything from their past that might put you off employing them, and then you will not waste time meeting with them.
Ask them to give you some referees names for you to contact. Never assume that because they have come from an agency that this has already been done. Particularly important are the views of past employers, but all references should be checked before you meet with them.
Have Your Questions Ready
Hopefully, you are now at the stage of interviewing some of the applicants. You will have whittled out the ones who did not have the qualifications you wanted or any whose background history you were not happy with. You are going to meet the prospective candidates for the first time and you must be prepared.
Ask questions that require a full answer, not ones where a simple yes or no will suffice. Keeping personal feeling out of the equation is not always easy, but it is best if you can. This is your chance to see if their views on childcare agree with yours, and if not why not.
Meet The Kids
Children have great intuition; let them meet the nanny to see how they feel about them, not just you parents. It is after all the kids that will be spending the most time with them, so it is important that they all get on well.
Have a Trial Period
Perhaps when you are down to the last couple, arrange for them to work for two days for which you will have to pay them of course. Two days are needed because the first one will be spent learning about you as a family, how you like things done and where everything is. Really it is only on the second day that you will have a better idea if they will work out.
You cannot expect them to know your children’s routines and preferences. Even an experienced nanny will need time to get to know these things and which child-rearing practices you prefer.
If you do this with what you think are the best two applicants, it will enable you to see them both at work before you make your final decision.
Have An Agreement In Place
When you have decided on the nanny for your children you need to have an agreement in place that specifies salary, hours to be worked, duties, benefits, rules and things that you would consider to be a firing offense. With all this in writing and signed by both of you, then it can be put somewhere safe and the nanny and the children start to get to know each other a lot better.