Working Moms

Searching for nanny

My DS is 3 and has only ever been in a daycare center, but DH and I are looking into getting a part time nanny so he's not there all day. Im a little clueless on this area and am curious what types of questions I should ask? Also if you have a part time nanny, what tasks do you ask your nanny to handle? TIA

Re: Searching for nanny

  • We used care.com.  Our first nanny we found off of there was a bust, but the last two have been great.  Our nanny works at least 30 hours a week.  We have her do light housework and laundry.  We also have a housekeeper every other week who is supposed to handle the heavy cleaning, but she hasn't been doing a good job so I'm going to look for someone new.

    There are numerous question suggestions online.  Off the top of my head, I would ask how they deal with discipline (i.e. time out, etc.); how they would handle an emergency situation; if they are CPR certified; how they would handle it if they got sick and could not come; ask about their experience; ask about what their expectations for you/the job are; what housework they are willing to do; pay expectations; if they smoke; vacation/sick days (if you plan to do those) and expectations for if they need time off; and ideas for entertaining your LO or age appropriate activities.  I think it is also very important to set out your expectations in the interview. 

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  • I also used care.com to find a PT nanny when my mom was watching my kids FT.  I was mainly interested in how confident they seemed with handling 2 under 2.  I found a great college student who had experience with twins.  She was only responsible for taking care of the kids, no other household chores.

    My SIL also found a PT nanny when she was traveling a lot for work.  Her son was in a DC center.  She found a middle school teacher who was able to pick him up from DC at 5pm.  She would take him home and handle dinner and playing until the dad came home.  She also used care.com and was very happy.

    If you plan to have the nanny pick your child up from DC, you will want to check her driving record and make sure she has a reliable car.  You will also need to provide a carseat.

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  • Ha! See my posts about bruises. :( Anyway, despite our issues lately we love having a nanny and when you find a good one, it's awesome. Finding one, though, can be a mess. We've had good and bad. Here's what I have learned. 

    First--what PP said.

     Next, 

    Be VERY CLEAR when they first start about expectations. Tell them things that you'd think would be obvious--make a written list of "safety rules," i.e. "Child should be strapped in when in the stroller," Kids should only eat at the table, kids should not climb on the counter, you must hold hands at all times in parking lots, grapes must be cut in half, etc. You'd be surprised what you may need to spell out. 

    Be more strict than you think is needed with nanny's own behaviour, i.e. how much phone use is OK; if you don't want tv on while kids are up, whether or not she can use your computer, etc.  

    Make sure they are okay with light housekeeping, like sweeping, kid laundry, washing towels, cleaning up after all meals, helping keep toys neat, etc.  

    Look for someone with nanny experience and even child care center experience if possible (definitely not always possible). Being a nanny everyday is a lot different from babysitting now and then. 

    I usually do phone screen, in person interview, check at least 3 references, check them on our state circuit court website, and have added having a "test day" if at all possible. I.e. a weekend when you're around have them over for a few hours. It is amazing how different people can be in a "test day" and the issues it can bring to light. I did NOT have  test day with this last nanny due to timing issues and I sure wish I had. I would not have hired her.

    Ask references what they liked best, what the kids liked best, and what they would have changed about the nanny. 

    Look for someone who seems to have a stable social network. I ask about hobbies, family, friends a bit just to see how that sounds. 

    Good luck! 

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