How to Not Get Screwed Over When Hiring a Nanny
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
How To Not Get Screwed Over When Hiring A Nanny
1) Fix your attitude.
Your nanny is a professional, this is their job. They are not setting out to screw anyone over. If you go into things with the mindset of potentially getting screwed over, then you’re going to look for things to be unhappy about.
2) Experience is valuable.
If you’re truly looking for a nanny don’t hire anyone willing to make less than $15/hr. Again, this is their job. It is how they support themselves. If your nanny cannot afford basic necessitates and comforts that stress is going to trickle down to your child and home.
3) Hire someone you like enough to share a meal with.
My personal biggest non-negotiable: hire someone you would be willing to sit down to dinner with. This person is going to be caring for one of, if not the most important people in your life. If you don’t like them enough to eat a meal with them, then you’re likely going to have an issue sharing childrearing duties with them.
4) Ask for a CPR certification.
Your nanny should either be CPR certified, or be willing to get CPR certified by an agreed upon date. As an employer, I recommend that you offer to pay for the certification if they do not currently have it, or if it expires during their employment with your family. A CPR certification in my area costs about $45. I have been using Its Breathtaking* for years, and have been very happy with them. I personally always keep up my FirstAid certification too. Its an inexpensive add-on to the CPR class, the additional time commitment is minimal, and it gives me a refresher so my brain knows what to do should I be in an emergency medical situation.
*you can contact Searri (pronounced like Apple's virtual assistant Siri) directly at searri@ItsBreathtaking.com. I am not compensated by this company in any way. I have paid for their services for years, and have received above par instruction and communication every time.
5) Consider your expectations.
Know what you expect of your nanny before you start interviewing. Lay out a description of the duties and responsibilities so they know what they will be walking into if they accept your family’s position. Make sure the salary you are offering is reflective of the expectations you have for the role.
6) Be realistic.
If you would like to pay $15/hr you will not be hiring a college graduate specializing in early childhood education with 5+ years of experience. If you expect your nanny to do household duties, understand that the compromise will be them spending less time focused on your child.
7) Ask for references.
A career nanny should have multiple reference sources, but be understanding that their current family may not be aware that they are planning to leave. Ask the valuable questions when you contact their references. You already know they are in favor of the candidate so ask questions that will specifically benefit your home and family. Are they timely? Are they reliable in an emergency?
8) Make yourself easy to communicate with.
If you expect a high level of communication regarding the care of your child, make sure to mitigate any language or communication barriers. The person you are hiring is a professional, but they need open communication channels in order to let you know what is going on with your child. They will also have needs as a caregiver, please make them aware that they can respectfully communicate these needs to you without fear of losing their job.
9) Have a contract.
A contract lays out some of those awkward-to-confront topics so everyone knows expectations and procedures going into the agreement. Specifically, a signed and executed contract serves to protect both your family and your prospective new nanny. If you are hiring a longtime career nanny, understand that they may have a rather extensive contract. Don’t let this intimidate you, all it means is that they’ve seen some stuff. This is something I am happy to assist with when the time comes. Shoot me a quick email, and I can help make the process quick and relatively painless.
10) Ask for help.
Chances are you know someone who has been through the nanny hiring process so reach out to them for help. The best nanny candidates typically come from word-of-mouth referrals, and people who have hired a nanny know what questions they wish they had asked. Whether you search for candidates online, through word of mouth, or hire a reputable nanny placement agency the process can be overwhelming. Hiring a professional nanny screening consultant can make the process infinitely less stressful, and will increase your chances of hiring the right person the first time.
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