She's our expert in all things childcare. She's the owner of The Nanny Company here in Winnipeg and has years of experience caring for young children herself. Shes our in house Nanny 911 so e-mail us with all of your nanny and childcare questions and we'll be sure to answer them.
Today we're talking all about hiring a nanny. Where to find one, what to look for and how to keep one.
written by: Danica Charriere
Where do I start? Can I find someone only part-time? What can I expect them to do? I need help!
We hear these questions all the time and as daunting as this experience sounds, if you can dedicate some time to this search and be patient, it can be quite a smooth transition. Here are few tips to help you get started.
What are you looking for?
Often times, parents get caught up in the exciting idea of getting help and finding the perfect Nanny (we don’t blame them – they’re amazing!) that they start their search before knowing what they truly need. Before you hop onto job sites or send out a mass text to all your friends that have Nannies, take some time to sit down and figure out your needs. What type of schedule do you think you need and would be most helpful to you? If you need a bit of flexibility, consider offering the Nanny guaranteed hours with advance notice of schedule. What exactly do you need help with? Is it mainly childcare or would helping with light housekeeping or meal prep be beneficial to you? What can you afford to pay your Nanny? How long do you want to keep your Nanny; long-term or short-term?
Once you have these questions answered, you’ll be better prepared to narrow your search for someone that is willing and able to meet those needs rather than the overwhelming feeling of looking through many Nannies that all “seem great”!
Where do you begin?
It can be quiet overwhelming to begin the search. There are so many sites and so many Nannies on them that combing through to find a few good options can take days. We suggest choosing 2 avenues that you feel comfortable that you could commit to until you feel you have a few great options. Ideas such as texting your friends that have Nannies to see if they have referrals, posting on Nanny job sites, Kijiji, Instagram and Facebook or using an agency. We’re a bit biased, but we’re here to help you in this too! With only an hour or so of your time spent, we then do all this work for you!
What do I look for?
Many parents consider experience and education to be the most important things to look for (besides the vetting process) but education and experience don’t always mean the best. Think of a Nanny that’s been in the field for over 20 years – she may be totally amazing on paper, but she may be nearing burn out and not have the same passion as someone who has less experience and is still in the “prime” of their career. On the other hand, finding someone who is young doesn’t always mean they are choosing this as their career and may not be able to commit to your family long-term. I always encourage families to consider experience but also to consider the passion. Someone who is just starting out may bring more excitement, be willing to adapt to different techniques and explore new ways.
Though there isn’t much for “Nanny University” here, there are some programs that those interested in childcare can take. Most often, if a Nanny has her education, it will be in Early Childhood Education and they’re typically pursuing that to work in a daycare or preschool setting. So, if you’re looking for someone with an education, you can expect that they may not have as much Nanny experience and be pursuing a career in a classroom setting. This also means that it will likely be a bit of a long search for someone with this specific education as they usually seek to Nanny once they’ve worked in the field for some time but are looking for a more personal, one-on-one experience.
Other things that are very important to ask for are a recent Criminal Record Check, Child Abuse Check, updated CPR/First Aid for the childcare level, a Drivers Abstract and quality references that you can personally call and speak to.
Interview & Hire
Once you feel you have a few great candidates to meet you can consider interviewing them. Deciding to meet up at a local coffee shop before coming to your home and meeting your children is generally a good first interview, especially if you’re interviewing a few. Once you’ve narrowed it down to the top 1 or 2, a second interview at your home with your children is ideal. It’s neat to see how easily children can become comfortable with someone and it’ll also be great to see how they interact with your children. Once you’ve made your decision as to which Nanny you feel is best, and they accept the position, it’s time to write up an agreement with them. This is very important in ensuring proper expectations are met and no surprises come up later on for either of you. Things to include in the agreement are things such as; tasks expected, work schedule or guaranteed hours, vacation time, benefits, wage and payroll schedule, duration of the agreement, confidentiality clause and anything else that you feel necessary. Consider drafting this up with your Nanny to get her input too.
Paying your Nanny
Last step to finalize your Nanny! Pay her legally. This is one of the things that will set you apart from other families. Many people think they are fine to simply pay their Nanny cash. It’s not. A new Nanny may think this is awesome, but it can greatly affect her down the road. Do everyone a favor and set yourself up as an employer with a payroll company (it’s very easy!) and set her up as your employee! This will help both of you feel confident and is the first way you can show her that you truly care about her. Remember, Nannies like to feel valued and part of the family. Treat her well and she’ll be the most valuable help!
Now you’re set – your Nanny begins with you and you can go make that much-needed appointment for a spa day!
The Nanny Company Inc.