Finding the right Nanny for your Family

Leaving children with a caregiver is usually emotionally painful for parents for a number of reasons. Guilt about leaving a little one and the concern that the person they’ve selected is capable and trustworthy can be mind numbing. Once there is confidence in the nanny it’s easier to deal with the other issues.

Finding the right person for your family can be a daunting task if a trusted family member or friend isn’t available. You are not alone. There are steps you can take to make the selection process easier and give you a greater degree of confidence in your final decision.

Tell People

Let people know you’re in need of a nanny. Word of mouth can be effective and it can help when you receive the thumbs up about a prospect from individuals you personally know.  Make sure you feel comfortable and don’t be afraid to decline a recommended nanny if you’re uncertain.

Community resources

Take advantage of places in your community where you can post an ad. Often libraries or civic centers have a designated area. It’s a way of contacting local people without paying for advertising. Also, visit the local parks and you’ll probably run across several nannies out with their charges. Strike up a conversation and see if you can find an experienced person open to switching positions ,or if they can recommend someone in the profession.


There are sites available where you can scan through posted resumes of available nannies. Most of these come with a fee for prospective employers, so beware the cost. But it will allow you to look over many applicants and their qualifications. Usually you can contact those you’re interested in by email or phone.


This option can be expensive but the better ones do some screening for you. Make sure the business itself is trustworthy. You can check number of years in service, their reputation with the Better Business Bureau and if they are a member of a national organization. The last one is important, because organizations such as International Nanny Association have certain standards that are required of their members.

Once you’ve selected a group of candidates (between three and five is a manageable number), you’re ready to set up interviews. During your time with prospective employees, try to get a feel for the following.

Ask what if questions to avoid getting rehearsed responses “What if Darren fell and hit his head?” You want the person responsible for your child to be able to think in a crisis. Things happen even under the best watchful eye and it’s important that the responsible person is capable of effectively dealing with the situation.

Ask about the person’s discipline techniques. It’s important that they are compatible with your own. “What would you do if Lisa is intentionally rude to you?” Their answer will give you some idea of how they’ll handle a disobedient child – something’s that’s probably going to happen.

“What activities would you plan during the day?” This type of question gives you an idea of how the nanny will interact with your child. You probably want someone who’s willing to play with her rather than sit and watch.

Allow the perspective nanny to meet your child and interact with him. While the first meeting may be awkward, look to see if the caregiver feels comfortable and confident. Are they easy and natural or rather forced during the meeting? Watch your little one to get an idea if this is someone he’ll be comfortable around.

After the interview and before hiring, run a complete background check on all nannies you’ve kept on the prospect list. There are numerous sites on the Internet where a small fee will give you the desired information. Check their references and ask questions. Inquire about former employers’ comfort level with the prospect, how the person interacted with their child, responsibility and trustworthiness level and anything else you feel a need to know.

Once you’ve made a decision check on the going rate for nannies in your area before making an offer. You and your partner may want to draw up a contract where important issues such as discipline policies are outlined. Taking this extra step avoids possible confusion and lays things out in a straightforward manner.

Never be afraid to unexpectedly check up on things at home as it will help give you further piece of mind. If you’re uncomfortable for any reason let the person go and begin the process over or call another candidate. There are many qualified, confident and loving nannies available.  By taking the proper steps you’ll more than likely find the one right for you