Think carefully about the specific needs of your household and, importantly, your child or children. Record these for reference during the hiring process. Get specific where necessary. If your child has specific health issues such as severe allergic reactions, it may be crucial your nanny have the anaphylaxis training and experience using an EpiPen.
What makes a great babysitter? Aptitude and experience! Being nanny is a vocation. A great nanny will have experience, relevant qualifications in a child-related field (there is currently no specific certification for nannies), and a genuine love for spending time with children.
To help find a great nanny, follow these 5 key steps:
1. Personally interview at least 3 different candidates.
During the interview, check all relevant qualifications and certifications – e.g. Certificate in Childcare, previous kindergarten teacher, Teachers Aid, Working With Children / Police Checks, First Aid certificate.
2. Check References and personally contact Referees.
Obtain at least 3 written references if possible. Contact the referees yourself and ask some specific questions:
- Had the nanny ever gone above and beyond the normal call of duty?
- Did she (or he) deal with any emergencies? How well did they cope?
- How did their children react when the nanny arrived?
- Would they confidently hire the babysitter again?
- Is there anything they found helped the nanny settle into their home that may be of help to you?
- Is there anything you need to specifically be aware of or need to look out for?
3. Get your children and a prospective nanny together before you employ them.
- Observe how they interact without any prompting or direction from you
- Watch to see if they engage with each other quickly and easily – do they seem at ease?
- See if the nanny appears genuinely interested in your children.
4. Don’t hesitate to go with your gut when it comes to your final decision.
- Follow your maternal or paternal instincts
- Do not settle for second best – if a candidate is right, you will know. If not, keep looking.
5. Don’t rush the process!
Always allow yourself plenty of uninterrupted time to review candidate applications, arrange interviews and make time to observe how your child or children interact with them. The successful candidate will have a profound influence on your children. Let yourself find the right one for the job.