Hiring a babysitter or nanny can be a daunting process, and—for many—the idea of bringing someone new into their home can be scary. We’ve partnered with Nashville Nanny Agency to share these 10 tips that will give you a better understanding of how to approach hiring a professional and loving childcare provider who is the right match for your family.
Determine your needs.
How many hours per week do you need a sitter/nanny? What qualities are most important to you (age, experience, education, training, etc.)? Does she share your childcare philosophies? Is she the role model you envision for your children? Will she respect your role as the parent?
Summarize those thoughts in a one-page summary as a job description.
Register with an agency or post your job.
You can post your job on nanny finder websites, but be prepared for hundreds of unqualified applications that you will have to weed through. Nashville Nanny Agency understands that time is a valuable asset, and that is why we spend our days sorting through resumes, interviewing top candidates, and checking references—so that your only job is to focus on chemistry.
Screen applicants/conduct phone interviews.
Screen applicants on the most important criteria for your family (those things you listed in step 1). Beyond having the right experience reflected on her resume, you want to have chemistry on the phone with the sitter or nanny in order to warrant an in-person meeting. A combination of experience and chemistry makes a perfect fit!
We encourage families to plan to meet their favorite candidates at a public place (such as a coffee shop) for the initial interview. A good nanny or sitter will ask lots of questions and will be interviewing you as well. If you would like to move forward with a candidate, invite them to your home to meet the children and observe how they interact. Nashville Nanny Agency can provide you with a thorough list of questions to ask a potential candidate.
Trial time/Working interview.
Observing someone with your children will give you the best indicator of future performance. Trial periods are typically 1-3 days. Try to duplicate the duties and hours closely so that the candidate can experience the job as accurately as possible. This time should serve as reinforcement for your decision or to bring up possible red flags to stop you from moving forward.
Reference calls, background checks, and CPR verification.
Background checks are essential for peace of mind and the security of your family. Sadly, most online nanny-finding websites’ background checks are insufficient. An experienced agency like Nashville Nanny Agency uses a private investigator to search criminal databases, sex offender registries, SSN validation, motor vehicle reports, and more. If you are not using an agency, you should speak directly to each reference and have a list of questions prepared. If you are using an agency, the agency should be able to give you a detailed report from references. Finally, always require that a nanny/sitter/childcare provider can confidently perform CPR and First Aid.
Job offer/employment agreement.
A written agreement in which expectations are clearly defined is the key to a successful long-term relationship. Nashville Nanny Agency provides a template for our clients that comprehensively addresses the most typical scenarios, and we are available and excited to assist you throughout the process of hiring a childcare provider.
This is when the employment agreement is signed and a start date is set. Prepare for a simplified life!
Post-hire relationship maintenance/job satisfaction.
The best way to ensure a successful placement is to plan for monthly meetings with your nanny/childcare provider to discuss any struggles, obstacles, and accomplishments. This is also a good time to talk about the children’s upcoming activities or milestones. Semi-annual or annual reviews and opportunities for bonuses and raises will also demonstrate that you value your nanny.