Since I had planned on staying home after Baby C arrived, but changed my mind mid-“maternity” leave due to financial apprehensions, we had to find a nanny rather quickly and based mostly on a gut feeling, a reference and a good background check. Totally did not know what I was doing! It all worked out, but more research sure would have been helpful. Today, Houston parenting author and nanny-training extraordinaire Michelle LaRowe, executive director of Morningside Nannies, shares a few things to consider during a search for the caregiver of your most precious cargo …
When it comes to finding the right nanny for your family, being in complete control of your nanny search may seem like the most affordable and viable option. However, if you’re not careful, you could end up hiring Scary Poppins, instead of Mary Poppins. If you’re considering doing a nanny search on your own, it’s important to consider these three things:
1. Are You Seeing the Real Deal?
Whether on Facebook or a nanny recruiting website, it’s human nature for us to share the narrative we want people to follow, and that applies to nannies, as well. You need more than a profile image and a few crafty comments to determine if a nanny would be a good hire. If you’re connecting with a nanny online, it’s essential to dig deep and learn more about the motivation, experience and background of a nanny before leaving her with your kids or making her a job offer.
2. What Are You Basing Your Nanny Decision On?
The best nanny for your friend or colleague may not be the best nanny for you. Word-of-mouth referrals are a great way to connect with potential nannies, however, it’s essential to remember that a nanny who is the right fit for someone else may not be the right fit for you. When it comes to a successful nanny and family match, personality, expectations and family style must be compatible. While a strong recommendation can certainly build confidence in a potential provider, it can’t replace getting to know a nanny on your own.
3. Do You Have What You Need to Make an Informed Nanny Hiring Decision?
Maybe you have a trusted recommendation and a clean background check, but consider factors beyond these basics. Before agreeing to represent a nanny to families, reputable agencies gather as much information as possible so clients can make an educated and informed hiring decision. This might include childcare knowledge assessments, written applications, in-person interviews, reference checks, background checks, employment verifications and more. As an example of how selective the process should ideally be, at Morningside Nannies, only two or three out every 10 nannies who apply are selected for representation to clients. Before offering a nanny a position with your family, ask yourself, “Do I really know who will be caring for my kids?”
There are many ways to find a nanny for your children. Whatever way you use, it’s essential that before leaving your children in the care of a nanny, you are confident that she is the right and best choice for your family.
Making Nanny Care Easy. Michelle LaRowe is an award-winning nanny, parenting author, lead educator at NannyTraining.com and executive director of Morningside Nannies, Houston’s award-winning agency. For a complimentary nanny care consultation, call 713.526.3989 or visit www.MorningsideNannies.com.