Finding a nanny that will be a suitable fit for your family is a decision that echoes in time with your children. Whatever your search method, you can expect to be in the position of choosing one caretaker over another, and this can be a daunting task. There are many routine processes that should be followed such as criminal record and reference checks, but there are other things that parents tend to overlook when they are eager to find appropriate childcare. Making a checklist of your own priorities in a nanny, while keeping in mind the following points, could mean the difference between contentment and calamity.
It’s fairly standard to perform a criminal record check and ask for references when interviewing childcare providers, but there are extra things that can be done to ensure that you have the entire picture before making your decision. Psychologist Lindsay Heller explains that a prospective nanny should be willing to accommodate all of your requests for official records that include a driver's abstract, immunization records, as well as a sex offender screening. In addition, she addresses other simple yet effective ways to ensure you're able to make an informed decision about whom you trust to care for your children. These suggestions include:
- Performing an Internet search on the candidate's name
- Investigating a childcare provider's social media profiles
- Requiring a medical screening that includes tests for communicable diseases as well as drug abuse
You can leave out some of the tests above if you are certain that it is safe to do so, but it is ultimately your responsibility as a parent to determine who is a safe and appropriate fit for your family. Requesting the aforementioned records and conducting these quick searches will help to deter less than desirable individuals from gaining access to your home.
A logical and practical way to provide your children with the right caretaker is to conduct an interview. Dr. Heller goes on to provide ideas for questions that parents can ask when meeting with applicants. This interview with a prospective caretaker should be structured like a typical job interview where you provide several scenarios and carefully listen to the nanny's responses. Asking questions about their backgrounds and plans for catering to the needs of your child is also a good way to find out more about your interviewee. Another way to determine a childminder’s eligibility is to ask your children about the kinds of things that are important to them in a nanny. This way, you will be able to make sure that your children are being cared for by someone who aligns with their interests and personal needs. Furthermore, involving them in the process will help them feel more comfortable and open with their new caretaker.
Many parents dismiss their intuitions about people they are looking to leave with their children. This is possibly due to the serious nature of the decision to bring an outsider into their home. You may feel there is a lot of pressure to make the right choice, and because of this you might brush a nagging feeling off as paranoia. However, it is more prudent to trust these instincts as it can help you to avoid selecting a childcare worker that you may, in the long run, regret hiring. Gina Osher shares her experience with this and proves why these gut feelings cannot be ignored. It is always better to err on the side of caution and acknowledge your reservations about particular applicants. Otherwise, you will be leaving your children in the care of someone that you're not comfortable with when you need to feel secure that your family is safe from harm while you're at work.
The tips that have been shared should adequately prepare you to make a sound decision when hiring a nanny. Extensive background checks will provide peace of mind about the type of individual you are planning to bring into your home. Listening to your intuition helps you to feel at ease with the nanny you select, and asking a set of well-thought out questions will reveal how responsive and competent each candidate is. Above all else, these tools will make the process less tedious and help parents to feel confident in the care that is taken with their children during their absences.