What to consider when hiring a nanny

Hiring a nanny is a huge decision. It may not seem like it at first, but when you face the fact that you are opening your family to another person, you are handing the care (whether partially or fully) of your children to another person, and adding another persons values, opinions and emotions into your household. It is realized that this is a huge consideration for you and your spouse (or partner) to make.

Can you afford a nanny

Deciding if you can afford a nanny is a very important first step. If you are asking someone to make a living helping with your children, then you have to realize that they must be paid enough to do just that. You cannot expect them to work for little compensation, because they have bills and needs just the same as anyone else. If you cannot afford a nanny, look into a good day care, they are often less expensive and there are some good ones out there. If you can afford a nanny then consider the following:

What values do you wish the nanny to have?

If values are important to you then it is important to know if your nanny shares values that you wish your children to come in contact with. The interview process can include questions that have to do with scenarios or other value related questions. It is a good idea to keep a record of interview questions you wish to ask. This will allow you to give a thorough interview and help you to know what you want out of your nanny.

What is the job description?

It is important that you know what you want your nanny to do. Is he or she to just take care of the children? Cook? Clean? Run errands? Take the kids here or there? This is very important because to be satisfied you need to know what you expect and they need to know what is expected of them.

Run a background check and check references

Getting to know your potential nanny is important. If you think you have found someone who will do the work you want, for the money you are paying, and has values you are looking for, run a background check and talk with all of their references. This will give you a better knowledge of who they are and what they have done (be it bad things on their background check or information from their references.)

Do a dry run

It is best to have the nanny spend some time with the kids while you are there. This lets the kids get used to them, and it gives you a little knowledge of how they will interact. Do be aware that they will feel like they are under a microscope and have a hard time interacting naturally (at least at first). Next try a night out, or a shopping trip where you leave the child with the nanny to see how it goes. If your children are old enough, it is perfectly okay to ask how it went. Usually if it went well they will be excited to tell you.

Keep a contract

This lets it be known what is expected of them. When they are to show up for work. If they are living in your house it can include household rules, as well as a description of how time off will work. If it is all laid out, it helps everyone meet their expectations.

Remember that a nanny really becomes part of your family. They must be trusted, and must be someone you want your kids to love and look up to. If you choose carefully you can find a life long friend for you and for your children.