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10 Tips for Hiring the best Nanny for your family

  1. Define your requirements - ie how many hours a week and on how many days. What you expect the Nanny to do during the course of a typical working day. Decide on your budget.
  2. Decide on how and where you are going to search for your Nanny. A good place to start would be asking friends, neighbours, colleagues etc for referrels. You can also advertise in newspapers, websites or hire an agency.
  3. Short list a number of candidates that matches your requirements for an in depth telephone interview. Have a standard list of questions to ask each candidate and make a record of it to make a comparison to decide whom to meet for a in person interview.
  4. Schedule up to three candidates to have a play date for around 2 hours in your home to meet the children. Make notes on how the Nanny interacts with the children and you.
  5. Choose one candidate to come and spend a trial day. The trial day should reflect a typical working day for the Nanny in your home. She/he should be around at the crankiest time of the day, for your children to see how she responds and handles the situation.
  6. Start checking references. Although written references are ok, be able to speak to all previous employers and meet one or two referees in person. Have a list of questions to ask all the referees and ask if they would hire the same Nanny again.
  7. Conduct a full and thorough background investigation. In order to do this, you would need to have the full name, date of birth, social security number, any aliases or AKAs, and details of her employment in the last 7 years. As an absolute minimum, you should check for criminal records across all states, check the sex offenders registry, and run a check on her driving license if she has one.
  8. Get permission to run a medical check on the Nanny and to ensure she has got a clean bill of health physically and mentally. The medical check can include a check for narcotics or alcohol abuse. A perfectly sane looking Nanny can have conditions which could affect her work which cannot be 'observed' in the initial stages.
  9. Write a work agreement WITH input and discussion with the Nanny. This should be detailed with her work conditions, benefits, vacation, responsibilities etc.
  10. Allocate a FULL working week to transition the Nanny into your family. This should be a full working week as it takes time for children to adapt and the Nanny to adapt to your 'style' of parenting. 



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