As a parent, hiring qualified and trustworthy childcare can often be a cumbersome process. From filtering through applications to interviewing candidates, finding the perfect nanny for your family is a lengthy process but an important one in order to find a responsible addition to care for your children.
This article outlines the 5 key steps to take when hiring a nanny, including pre-employment background checks through a service site like CheckPeople.com and important questions to ask in your interview process.
1. Clearly Outline Your Needs and Expectations
Whether you are beginning your job search through an agency, an online job board, or word of mouth referrals, it is important to have clear and defined expectations for your future nanny. These expectations should include your nanny’s role and responsibilities, the schedule and budget, and the qualifications or experience you expect your nanny to have.
When setting your expectations and budget, we recommend doing your research on the local rates to ensure you are setting reasonable perimeters for your nanny search. If you have a budget under the standard rate, you may need to evaluate your schedule, expectations, or whether you can reasonably afford a safe and qualified nanny.
Some important factors to consider when establishing your expectations for your future nanny should include:
• Do they have a car, a clean driving record, and a valid driver’s license?
• Do they have up to date CPR or first aid certifications?
• Do they have experience with multiple children, children with disabilities, or children with similar needs to your family?
• Do they have education or training related to child care such as a diploma, certificate, or university degree?
• Are they fluent in your children’s native language? Or do they speak a language you would like your children to learn?
• What is their availability including last-minute availability?
• Are they able to care for your children in your home or theirs?
2. Find Qualified Candidates
When searching for the perfect nanny for your family, parents can take a number of avenues to reach potential candidates. As a first step, families can use personal and local recommendations to find nanny candidates in their area.
By asking friends, families, and trusted acquaintances, you can often find local, high-quality nanny candidates with experience and references in your area. This is particularly valuable for parents looking for a nanny for the first time as these trusted recommendations can shed some light on realistic budget expectations and responsibilities.
Another option for finding a nanny is by using an online job forum specializing in child care providers or an agency that focuses on nannies or au pairs. There are a wide variety of online job search boards specifically designed for child care providers and nannies such as Care.com, UrbanSitter.com, and the International Nanny Association.
3. Conduct a Thorough Interview
Once you have narrowed down the pool of qualified candidates that meet your budget and expectations, it is time to start conducting interviews. An interview is an excellent opportunity for you and your family to meet these potential candidates to access their experience, qualifications, and personality.
Consider this interview as an opportunity to see if this person interacts well with your children and fits in well with your family dynamic. We recommend keeping the tone of this interview light and conversational while simultaneously discussing professional qualifications, schedule, budget, and expectations.
Some great questions to include in your interview with potential nanny candidates include:
• Qualifications including education, training, first aid, and other certifications.
• Do you have any schedule conflicts or limitations?
• How do you discipline a child? What forms of discipline do you feel is appropriate?
• How do you deal with inappropriate behavior like crying, disobedience, and temper tantrums?
• Are you willing to complete a background check?
4. Check References
This is an easy step to pass through unchecked. However, you can still garner important information from these discussions, including verifying employment history and qualifications, experience with families similar (and different!) to your own, and the reasons for the candidate or employer to terminate the previous employment. We recommend reviewing the labor legislation in your area to ensure you are following all the proper hiring practices.
5. Run a Background Check
Finally, once you have found a promising candidate, we recommend taking things one step further with a comprehensive online background check.
Through a secure and verifiable service such as CheckPeople.com, you can uncover important information about a potential nanny candidate like criminal reports, civil reports, financial records, lawsuits, traffic reports, and sex offender status. This type of online records check is easy to use and reports can often be generated using only a candidate’s first and last name.
By following these five simple steps, you can set yourself up for success on your nanny search.