If you have been considering the option of hiring a nanny, then some points below may be of assistance, and help you to secure your own "Super Nanny":
Always use a trusted source to find your nanny, whether that is a friend, neighbor or a nanny agency. Finding your nanny on the internet is not to be recommended.
Always check their references, and the best way to do this is to call their previous employers.
The interview process is key - don't rush it, do it when your children are not around (you can ask the nanny to come back for a 2nd interview to give her and the children a chance to interact together).
You should be looking for a nanny who can demonstrate the following:
- Relatively confident in an interview situation although shyness is not necessarily a bad thing. Shy with adults does not necessarily mean shy with your children!
- Who listens well, and can take instructions - after all you are the parent, and so will want them to follow your method and principles when caring for the children
- Goes without saying, but a good knowledge of child development is key, and they must be able to demonstrate age appropriate activities to promote this. Ask them for examples of activities they would do with your children
- Safety and security for your children - again, ask for examples
- Shows initiative so that when they are left on their own they can get on with the childcare and look after the house without your instructions.
Shortlist those who you have interviewed and ask them to come back to spend time with the children whilst you are there.
Have a very full (but not too off putting) job description to go through with anyone you are thinking of hiring.
Hiring a nanny is a big step
You need to be able to fully trust that person, so a key thing is for you to be ready to take that step. It is perfectly normal for a parent to feel guilt about leaving their child, but that can easily fade when you come home to find your child laughing and happy in the care of your own Super Nanny.
If you are thinking of hiring a nanny, please contact your local Tinies childcare branch who will be more than happy to talk through any of your fears, and help you find the perfect nanny.
Katy Hayden, Professional Nanny of the Year 2009-2010