How to choose a nanny?

As mothers, we sometime needs the extra pair of hands to help us with the children at home and outside the home. Today’s contributing article is by experts in their filled Pocket Nannies. They share with us their top tips and advice on how to choose the perfect nanny.

All 3 of us at pocketnannies are professional nannies, we now have 21 years of combined experience looking after children and working with parents.

We know how important for families choosing the right nanny is, so we’ve written a list of our top tips to help you when choosing a nanny. Hiring a nanny is a big deal – not only are you letting somebody look after your children but you are also letting someone into your family home and private space. You need to be able to communicate with your nanny effectively and also trust them, and vice versa. In order for this to happen we would recommend that you:

Go through an agency. It is advisable to use an agency when looking for a nanny. You will find more professional nannies using an agency and they will have already had background checks done etc. They will need up to date first aid certificates, training and / or experience and will have had to be checked using the DBS system.

When you get a list of potential CV’s from the agency, read through them and their references and quickly make a pile of the nannies you’d like to meet and organise first interviews with them. Once you’ve met the nannies you should get a good gut feeling whether or not they would be right for your family. For the nannies you think would be a good match ask them back for a second interview where they can meet your children and partner if they didn’t already at the first interview. Even if they met everyone we still recommend you all meet again. Before their second interview try and follow up on some of their most recent references. Call and speak to a few of their previous employers, you’ll quickly get a feeling of the nannies relationship with them and their families.

Think of your top priorities that you need from your nanny – do you need flexibility in your nanny? A live in or live out nanny? Someone who can also tutor your child/ren? Do you need somebody who will proxy parent? Would you prefer a nanny with years of experience who is older or a younger candidate, who’s eager to jump in and hit the ground running. Perhaps you need somebody who speaks another language because there are multiple languages spoken at home? The list of high priorities will be personal to your family and your families needs, but we think it’s vital that you really think about what you need from your Nanny, so that you can discuss this at interview.

Prepare a set of questions for the perspective nannies that you interview. But also expect the nanny to ask you questions as well. The fit between a nanny and a family needs to be explored from both sides. Think along the lines of discipline / routines. Will the role be sole charge, or shared care? Who will be ‘in charge’ when both the nanny and parent(s) are around? Also what are the nanny’s thoughts on discipline, routine, what the nanny likes to do with children, what the nanny believes are her strengths and weaknesses within nannying.

We wish you all the best in finding the very best nanny for your family!