Motherhood Today: Looking for a Nanny? Read this.

Trying to find a homely nanny these days is no joke at all, which is why we have put up these tips to help moms, especially, to avoid a stressful nanny hunting.

  1. You can find a nanny through a nanny agency that has a solid reputation.

Not only do most reputable agencies do all the leg work of vetting candidates for you and doing background checks, but they can also help you create a contract to govern the relationship and terms between you and your nanny which is very critical.

2  Interview the nannies introduced to you thoroughly.

Ask them specific questions that relate to their family first.  Find out what their past job duties were and if they are willing to do the tasks you are looking for help with. Talk about your parenting and discipline styles, and find out if the prospective nanny will agree to follow your lead.

 3  If possible, take time to investigate the family they have worked with .

Has this person actually been paid to care for a child before? A prospective nanny should have at least one year of cumulative prior experience as a paid childcare provider. Experience could be as a teacher, daycare provider, babysitter or nanny.

4. Get at least few related references from the nanny’s supervisor.

These references should not be from family or friends ; only from people who were your candidate’s supervisor, parents of children he/she previously cared for, or co-workers in a daycare center or similar position. If the candidate has no recent references, that’s a huge red flag. When checking references, be smart. Think like a detective, and do not give the reference any information up front. Ask the reference to give you the dates, duties, schedule, ages of the kids, etc the nanny has worked with. You want to make sure his/her story matches the prospective nanny’s resume.

5. Consider the candidate’s education and make sure it fits with your family’s needs.

Many agencies require a diploma in childcare or education, but a college degree or applicable professional certification is a plus. If it’s important that your nanny take on a teacher-like role, then the educational level of the person may be of consideration.

6. Test the nanny to find out how he/she will respond in an emergency.

This is very important as you are going to leave your child(ren) in his/her care most times. Find out if he/she has a knowledge of using First Aid kit.

7. Do a background check. This is also very key. A reputable agency will run a background check for you if you are using them but If you are not using an agency, then it is advisable to run your own check. In addition, if  the nanny will handle any money or credit card, a credit check is a good idea too. A drug test is also recommended as well. Also do a check on their legal status for safety purpose.

8. Trust your instinct.

 If you don’t have a good feeling about someone, regardless of how they appear on paper or what their former employers have said, don’t hire him/her. Likewise, if the candidate is inconsistent in communication, for example, not responding to texts or phone calls in a timely manner, consider that a red flag.

9. Arrange a test day.

If you’re not using a nanny agency, it may be a good idea to set up a one-on-one test with the prospective nanny or have him/her cover up for you for a day before you offer a position. It’s a good idea to see this person interact with your children to see if he or she is a good fit with your family.

Above all, pray about your search for a nanny before hand. This is also important too.

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