Tips on Hiring Nannies
The search for a nanny can be daunting, but these tips can make hiring a nanny easier.
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.
You also want to get at what their child-care style is, she says. "You
want someone who will listen to you," she says. "Some nannies are very
professional and have a way of doing things and you need to psych that
out," she says. For example, "if you are an active family that loves to
get outdoors and -- no matter what the weather -- you want your baby in the
park, you need to make sure the nanny is on the same page."
Tip: Give your nanny candidate a trial run: Find an excuse to leave the
candidate alone with your child for three or four minutes and see what they
Check references when hiring nannies. Just do it, experts
stress." You want verifiable, objective references" Marcus says.
Remember that "being a mother is great, except it's not objective or
verifiable." Call all written references.
When checking references, "bring up all the things that percolated
during the interview," Maddalone says. For example, ask a nanny's past
employer how the nanny juggled stress and multiple priorities. "You really
want to get the reference to open up and be focused around your
Run background checks when hiring nannies. While many agencies run
fairly extensive background checks, parents can do this as well, experts say.
"Check Social Security numbers and verify their educational
references," Marcus says. Some people may feel it's important to get
a credit report since nannies will be in the home unsupervised. It's also
important to run a background check to make sure a nanny candidate doesn't have
a criminal history. Some companies, including Marcus', can do all this for
Maddalone suggests conducting a drug test on potential nannies. "Go to a
drug store and buy a self-testing kit," he says. Also check the sexual
offender child registry. The state of California makes all of this relatively
simple for parents with www.trustline.org, a database of nannies and
babysitters that have cleared criminal background checks.