We would all love to be able to devote our lives to caring for our children but the logistics of that in this modern rush are pretty difficult to work out. Even those of us lucky enough to have the time need a break once in a while. That’s when you need someone you can trust. But how do you find them and what do you look for? Here are some things to consider.
Are you looking for a live in or live out nanny? It really depends on your needs. Are you going to just need someone a few times a week to pick up the kids from school and sit with them for a few hours or are you going to be away on a business trip for a week at a time and need someone who knows how to work an oven as well as they can handle quality strollers? Be up front about your needs and don’t try to pull a fast one over on them to get them to work extra hours they didn’t agree to. These are professionals who will be taking care of your children. You want them to be happy about it.
Set up an interview so that you can spend a good amount of time learning about whom they are, their lives, their philosophy on child raising and their background. You don’t need to pull out the drug sniffing dogs but you should take time to make sure that they seem like reasonable people. If something seems off or there are big discrepancies in their stories you should just move on and try someone else.
Should you go with an independent nanny or an agency? I would go with a trusted agency for a few different reasons. They do background checks and many of them do drug tests. I’m not here to get on a band stand about drug use but it’s not something we want around our kids and screening like that can help avoid that. An agency will also be able to help you in case of a schedule change or conflict. What if your nanny needs to fly home for a family emergency and you are leaving in three days for that big trade show that may make or break the next quarter? Talk to the agency and see if they have anyone free that could take the slot. It may cost you some extra money but it’s better than being dead on the water with no options, scrambling to find a friend who can help you.
Do you have tweens, toddlers or babies? Each level of development is going to require different levels of attention and different activity levels. An older nanny might have no issue pushing double strollers down the sidewalk but she might not be able to chase down your 5 year old soccer star in the park. You’ll want someone that matches the activity level of your kids and can outrun them if necessary. Some very active nannies may even have their own jogiing strollers if they plan on taking your baby outside regularly or on jogs and runs. Make sure to ask what kind of model they use so you can check out their safety ratings.
These are just a few things to consider and I hope you find your perfect nanny soon.