What to Look Out For When Hiring a Nanny


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Article by Stephanie Fornaro

Photography by Stephanie Fornaro

What to Look Out for When Hiring a Nanny 

The word nanny takes its root from the Russian word Nyánya which means Nursemaid when translated to English. A nanny may also be referred to as a full-time babysitter. 

Nannies are care providers that work within the conference of the family setting. They provide assistance to parents who may not have the luxury of time and need support on the home front. 

Nannies are responsible for caring for children of any age, including babies, in the home. Generally, their duties include:

  • Preparing meals for the children, bathing, and dressing them.
  • Arranging playdates and outings.
  • Taking care of children's laundry.
  • Transporting them to school.
  • Transporting to extra-curricular activities.


The duties of a nanny are to create a safe and enabling environment for children, but the specific tasks of a nanny may vary based on the needs of the parents. The primary role of the nanny is first to the children and then extends to the rest of the home.

 However, keep in mind that housekeeping is not the primary duty of a nanny, but it is often negotiated in their work agreement to do light housekeeping as it pertains to the general play areas, children's dishes, children's laundry & bed sheets, among other children related tasks. General disinfecting of the home so that the children will not take in germs which can lead to illness.


Some families are fortunate to have help with the children from grandparents or other extended family members. However, for some, this is not the case. In those scenarios, parents often seek help outside of the home through a nanny. 

There are several different types of nannies to consider when embarking on your search which include:


• Nanny-Household Manager

The nanny-household manager handles both children and non-children-specific duties. Their services are mostly targeted at the whole family. They carry out domestic tasks and also take care of the children.


Maternity Nanny

They specialize in providing care to babies, nursing mothers, and toddlers. They assist nursing mothers and perform baby-centric domestic duties.


Live-in Nannies

The live-in nannies live with the family that they are providing their services to. They should be provided with a bedroom or accommodation as part of the contract. Their employers are also responsible for their meals.


Live-Out Nannies

The live-out nannies don't live with their employers; instead, they commute daily to work. Live-out nannies are the best options for parents that love and enjoy their privacy at night but need childcare assistance during the day.


Whether it is a newborn care specialist nanny or a general nanny you are hiring, you need to define the exact qualities that you desire. If your needs are undefined, it makes it difficult to create a harmonious partnership and can result in your needs not being met. Therefore, prior to hiring a nanny, it is most important to decide on the type of nanny you desire, and exactly what your needs are.


Just as corporations extend formal job descriptions for vacant job positions, the same goes for families in sourcing a nanny candidate. Parents should view themselves as the hiring manager. Now, take a careful look at the needs you want your nanny to meet.


To help you demystify that, you could ask yourself questions like:

  • Do my kids have special needs?
  • Are there any added duties I want the nanny to do aside from childcare?
  • Do I want the nanny to live with me?
  • How much am I willing to spend?
  • Can I trust the nanny to drive my kids to school?


You must answer these questions honestly to know what you need. When you identify your need, it will be easy to know whom you should employ.


After identifying the qualities that suit your needs, it is necessary to do a thorough background check on the person. You should also know the person's medical history, education records, criminal history, driving record (if they will need to drive your kids to school), and social security number. All this information should be provided during screening. Every state has local rules as it pertains to hiring, so do your research prior to exercising any questions throughout an interview, screening, or hiring process.


When all the necessary boxes have been checked, the following are the qualities that should be considered when choosing a nanny:


1. Attentiveness 

Children are so fragile at heart, and they need someone who would lend them listening ears and show that they genuinely care for them. An attentive nanny will catch all necessary details about the child and foster a bond with them.


2. Attention To Details 

A nanny who does not pay attention to the instructions tends to mess up the kids' medical prescriptions, leave a mess on the floor unattended, or cook without adding all necessary ingredients. A meticulous nanny will see that she does not leave any stone untouched just so the kids can be safe because carelessness may lead to accidents.


3. Patience 

 A quote by a Japanese philosopher says, "With love and patience, nothing is impossible." Patience is a virtue every nanny must possess. A patient nanny will speak calmly to your kids and not use curse words at them even when they are angry or frustrated.


During the screening, you can identify a patient person by how they compose themselves or by any experience they have had.


 4. Excellent Communication Skills 

Children are naturally curious beings. They always want to know a lot about everything. A nanny must be able to give appropriate responses without doing it grudgingly or shouting at them when they try to start a conversation. Excellent communication skills will also come in handy as they are important for smooth interaction between the parents and the nanny.


5. Culinary Skills 

One of the responsibilities of a nanny is to cook for the children. Children need to consume healthy foods that contain the six classes of food. When that need is not met, they are liable to develop illnesses. To avoid this, a nanny must be able to prepare healthy meals for your children. A person without substantial cooking knowledge could be a bad fit for your family.


6. Someone That Enjoys The Company Of Children 

Children can be a handful. Sometimes they whine, cry over silly reasons and sometimes laugh when they shouldn't.


Nannies spend most hours of the day with children. If they don't enjoy having children around them, they may get frustrated and resent the child. A good nanny must be friendly with children and must be able to handle their mood swings.


7. Trustworthiness 

Parents count on nannies to care for their children and ensure they are safe. If the nanny causes harm to the child, then they are not worthy of trust. A trustworthy nanny will always have a reference. Having a reference shows that someone is vouching for them so that they can be trusted with your kids.


8. Someone With A Clean Criminal Record 

Children learn quickly by imitating the activities of people close to them. A nanny who is not a law-abiding citizen will negatively influence the children. Due to the degree of intimacy of the job, it is necessary that a nanny is not a criminal and must not encourage criminal activities. 


 9. Aligned Morals and Discipline 

Nobody can give what they do not have. A good nanny must be of good behavior and demonstrate that they know right from wrong. This quality is essential because nannies help shape how the child views the world and how they should react in certain situations. A nanny that has strong morals will be able to guide the child on what is right and what's not. It is important that families ask questions that ensure ideologies are aligned.


10. Someone That Does Not Panic When There Is An Emergency 

Natural disasters are occurrences beyond human control. In cases where a natural disaster or an accident occurs, a good nanny must be bold enough to ensure that the children are brought to safety.


11. Accountability

At the end of the day, parents will need full details of the activities that occurred during the day. Giving full details as necessary shows accountability and shows that the nanny can be trusted.


12. Reliability 

No one would trust an unreliable person. The duties of a nanny generally from morning and stretch into evening or night. As a nanny that commutes, it is important to show up at the expected time of the day.


13. Ability To Manage Any Situation 

Living with children is certainly not easy, and it is really unpredictable. Nannies should be flexible enough to cope with changes in circumstances.


14. Someone That Is A Natural At Nurturing 

Nurturing is at the core of the job of a nanny. To nurture means to care for a child. A nanny with a nurturing spirit will not see caring for your kids as a job but as a hobby and will be passionate about seeing your children grow.


Nannies are the best bet for parents that cannot add childcare to the many duties they have at hand. Although choosing a nanny can be difficult and requires you to be thorough and careful, it is worth it, and doing so will give you enough time to manage your time effectively.


At Hello, Nanny!™ we ease you of the difficult task of finding the perfect nanny that is a good fit for your family's needs. Our nannies are professionals that possess all the above qualities. Contact us now so that we will matchmake a nanny for your family. At Hello, Nanny!™ your satisfaction is our priority. 


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