The Fundamentals of Hiring the Perfect Nanny

By Maggie Broadrick, Owner of Kiddie Up Nannies

There is a lot that goes into the perfect nanny. You might be clueless about your perfect nanny. Or even worse, you might know exactly what you are looking for in a nanny but how do you turn your thoughts into reality?! I am going to discuss five essential tips parents need to know to hire their perfect nanny!

1.) Detailed job description. Just like any job, you need to have a detailed job description for potential applicants. It is important to be as clear as possible when writing a job description. This will not only be helpful for nannies to read, but also helpful to weed out any candidates that would not be a good fit for your family. The job description needs to include the days and times you need a nanny, a little about your family and the ages of your child or children, where the position is located, expectations of the nanny, and the salary- including if you are or are not going to withhold taxes. The more specific, the better! It’s a great idea to bring up the commitment length, if they need to have a vehicle to use on the job, and if there are any responsibilities related to family pets.

2.) The right questions to ask during an interview. I would recommend asking three types of interview questions. First, specific questions about themselves. You can ask about their experience, previous positions, education level, and salary expectations. Second, for instance type questions. Think back on a rough day you had. Maybe the baby was crying and you were trying to make dinner. Or you needed to get your toddler and infant in the car and it’s snowing. You had to carry both of them at the same time without slipping yourself. Ask the nanny how they would handle these types of situations. There isn’t a right or wrong answer but you can gage their response and determine if it is similar to your parenting style.

Last, underlining questions. These types of questions would help you recognize if they would be a good fit for your family. What are the nanny’s hobbies? If the nanny likes to travel maybe the nanny would take a lot of vacations throughout the year. What are the nanny’s future goals? Is the nanny doing this long-term or is this a fill in position. You can better understand their commitment level as well. How would their friends describe their personality? What is the nanny like outside of the work place.

3.) Speaking to references. It is important to speak to at least 3 references. Previous employers, co-workers, and character references are ideal. It is not helpful to speak to family members or close friends. Even if a particular nanny was referred to you by a friend, it is very important to speak to other references.

4.) Running a background check. This is pretty self explanatory. Run a background check! The cost is between $30 to $100, depending on the kind of background check. A comprehensive background check needs to include a national (or international if the nanny has resided outside of the US) criminal background check, social security trace, checking the sex offender registry, and motor vehicle report. Side note: I have a TON of families that say the driving record is not important to them. Even if it isn’t important, I highly suggest reviewing a MVR to establish patterns of behavior. A motor vehicle report is going to be the most telling about the nanny, more than any other items.

5.) All-inclusive contract. When I get a call from a parent and they are having issues with their current nanny, the first thing I ask is if they have a contract. The contract is not meant to be legal or scary; the contract is there so everyone is on the same page. It’s important to outline the expectations from the nanny but also from you as the employer. A nanny contract should include the basics—names of all the parties, the duration of the contract, work hours and dates, compensation, indemnification, job responsibilities, notice to end, holidays, vacation and sick days, confidentiality, and clauses for immediate termination. You can be more detailed and include snow days, reviews, raises, and other items important to you. The contract needs to be detailed but easy to read. If you ask the nanny to sign a 12 page contract, the nanny might show some hesitation.

Now you’re ready! You have all the information you need to know to hire your perfect nanny! Follow these five tips and remember, your parent intuition will help guide you through this!

Happy hiring!

To learn more about hiring the perfect nanny, please contact Kiddie Up Nannies at (720) 583-5148.