How to Interview & Hire a GREAT Nanny!

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There are many factors in finding the best nanny for your family. What may be a great fit for a different family may not work for you. It is important to ask the right questions so you get the know the nanny and the nanny also gets to know your family and your values. We sometimes forget that the nanny is also interviewing the family and it really needs to work for both parties to be a good fit.Before you interview, think about what you are looking for in a nanny, what type of personality, compensation, the schedule and hours, will you be in or out of the house, do you feel comfortable with the nanny taking your children on outings, activities, etc.Once you have established these parameters, you will have a better of idea which nanny might be a good fit for you. Make sure you outline your parameters in your job description whether it be on a website, a flyer or through an agency. That way, you will only have qualified and interested candidates applying. You don't want to waste either party's time with a schedule that doesn't match up or pay rate that won't work. If you are not sure about pay rate, put what you think is a good range and say you are willing to negotiate. This will open up the job to more candidates who may not even apply if your rate is too low. Remember, you get what you pay for. If you want a flexible schedule, college graduate, have a young infant or more than one child, expect to pay more. Rates can vary greatly by your location and duties so make sure you check with friends or coworkers as well as have an honest conversation with the nanny. A nanny might take a lower rate for guaranteed/regular hours or a schedule that works around her school schedule, etc.What are some good questions to ask at an interview?Obviously it is important to ask about the nanny's experience and qualifications, whether she is CPR/First Aid Certified and if you can perform a background check, etc. However, a good interview will go more in depth than that. You need a chance to get to know the nanny, what her values are and if you feel comfortable with her. Hiring someone to work inside your home is an important decision and a good interview should last 20 minutes to an hour. It is important to ask about the nannies background/family life, what kind of school the nanny has gone through and if she plans on continuing and if so to study what. What type of family would be her ideal job and what would be her ideal schedule? Does she like working long hours and less days or more days with shorter hours? What has been her favorite nanny position or family and why? How does she handle emergency situations and has she ever had to?Once you have decide you have found the best nanny for your family, your job isn't quite done yet. After offering the nanny the position and she accepts it, it is important to set up a time to go over the duties and expectations. I always recommend that nannies and families form a casual contract that outlines both parties expectations including hours, schedule, compensation, vacations, time off, duties, etc. This way if anything comes up you can refer to the contract and figure it out. It is also important to talk about how often the nanny will be paid, how will overtime work and how flexible she will be if the hours vary slightly every week or you need extra date nights, etc.Are you ready to hire a nanny? Seems like a lot of work right? The hardest part is the initial screening to find the qualified candidates. You can use a variety of websites to find nannies, but most of these allow anyone to sign up and make a profile and offer very limited background checks. You can also contact an agency that specializes in placing high quality nannies. You will have to pay a placement fee but this covers all the tedious tasks that you don't want to do and allows you to skip right to the interview part where you will be speaking with qualified nannies who are interested in your specific position and ready to start right away.