Tips on Hiring Nannies
The search for a nanny can be daunting, but these tips can make hiring a nanny easier.
Unfortunately, it's not likely Mary Poppins, Supernanny Jo
Frost, or even Nanny McPhee is going to show up at your door the morning
you're ready to return to work from maternity leave. The search for a nanny can
be daunting and the thought of leaving your newborn or toddler with a virtual
stranger can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. WebMD now makes hiring
a nanny easier with tried-and-true tips from those in-the-know.
While many reputable agencies are willing to do the work for you, you can
also recruit, interview and hire potential nannies on your own, starting
Seek referrals when hiring nannies. "Ask everyone you have ever
met and tell everybody you know that you are looking for a nanny," suggests
Barbara Marcus, a founder of Parents in a Pinch, a child care placement agency
in Boston. "The best way to find someone is through word of mouth,"
agrees Guy Maddalone, CEO of GTM Household Employment, an upstate New
York-based consulting group for household employers and the author of How to
Hire a Nanny.
Know what/who you are looking for. Before you even start the
interview process, develop a written description of your nanny position,
Maddalone says. "Is it child care? The house and cleanliness?
Tutoring or education-focused?" From there, develop a list of skills you
would like your nanny to have. "Think about what attributes would prove
they can do the things that the position requires," Maddalone
Solicit resumes from candidates.Remember that "many fabulous
nannies don't have professional resumes, but a resume is important to see how
long they stayed at their previous position(s)," Marcus says. That said,
"make sure the candidate has child care experience, as you don't want her
learning on your child."
Interview all nanny candidates you consider hiring. No ifs, ands, or
buts, "every nanny should be interviewed face to face," Marcus says.
"Some people, especially professional women, run an interview like they
would in the corporate world, which is a mistake because nannies are a
different breed," she explains. "People should go through an extensive
process because it's really worth it," she says. "Do not go on
Here are some tips:
Don't ask a potential nanny about her life goals for the next five years.
"This is not a question that will tell you anything about her," she
Instead, devise scenarios to see how she would handle things that may come
up on the job. Ask the nanny candidate what she would do if she made lunch for
your 3-year-old and he or she refused to eat it, or what he would do if your
child refuses to share with another child at the park.