5 Ways to Narrow the Nanny Search

Finding a nanny that meshes well with your family and adopts your preferences for childcare may seem like a challenge; however, if you narrow the search by creating clear expectations and characteristics, you can simplify the process. Regardless of whether you plan to work from home, volunteer in the community, or just need some time to complete additional tasks while your children are cared for, it’s essential to find just the right, nurturing individual to help care for your little ones.

Learn how to narrow the search and save yourself some time screening applicants with these tips. You’ll soon see that when you enlist the help of qualified experts, you can simplify the process of selecting a nanny even more.

Create a Detailed Job Description

If you want to ensure you find a nanny who meets your expectations, start by creating a job description or a list of traits that are non-negotiable. For example, outline the days/times you will need assistance, detail your child-rearing philosophies and discipline policies, list the tasks needed on a daily basis and evaluate the type of personality you think would mesh well best with your family.

Although you may not need to post the actual job description, when you set your expectations from the start, you can easily narrow down candidates based on what your family needs and desires.

Identify Each Applicant’s Interests and Goals

It’s important to employ a nanny who has similar interests and goals of your family. When screening nanny candidates, ask about what each nanny does in his or her free time, have a conversation about future goals and evaluate whether or not you feel a connection with this individual. Even a quick phone call to screen applicants can save you time and help you to identify the final candidates who you would like to interview personally.

It’s also crucial to discuss specifics with a potential nanny. For example, if you have a screen-free household, make sure the nanny is willing to adopt this policy while caring for your children. Ask about transportation needs and the nanny’s ability to transport your own children when necessary. The last thing you want is to find the perfect fit, only to learn that he or she is unable to transport your children to school or after-school activities.

Evaluate Professionalism

Even though you may ultimately build a bond and a connection with a potential nanny while he or she is caring for your children, the initial discussions and meetings should remain professional. Assess whether or not each candidate responds to your messages or voice calls with a professional tone. Although you may have a laid-back, casual personality, the reality is that this is a job and each candidate should respond and communicate in a professional manner. Professionalism shows responsibility and respect, which is something you likely want in a potential nanny.

Assess Experience

Narrow down your nanny search by reviewing each applicant’s experience. For example, how long has he or she worked as a nanny? Can the candidate provide references? Contact previous employers and ask about the nanny’s performance, reliability and nurturing nature.

In addition, you’ll also want a candidate who can react quickly during emergencies. Explore whether or not each potential nanny has completed emergency training courses or is certified in CPR. Ensure your children have an individual in charge who can tend to their needs in both an emergency and non-emergency environment.

When assessing experience, you can also narrow your search by reviewing the types of families each nanny has worked for in the past. For example, if you have an only child, you may prefer a nanny who has worked solely with one-child families. Or, if you have multiple children ranging from infants to school-aged children, someone with experience juggling large families may be a better fit.

Conduct Thorough Interviews

Once you’ve narrowed your initial search to a few applicants, plan to meet with each nanny personally. You can arrange a time to meet face-to-face with or without the children – or even do both to make sure you have the right person for the job.

During the interview, take note of how the nanny fits into your environment. Does he or she appear to be comfortable? Do you find it easy to carry on a conversation with this person? Evaluate how he or she interacts with your children, too. Do your little ones seem comfortable playing with her? Use the interview time to truly assess her personality and her overall nurturing nature. If you’ve screened applicants thoroughly, you should already have a clear idea of your potential nanny’s experience and qualifications.

Make the Decision

Although it is a difficult decision to make when hiring a nanny, you don’t have to face this challenge alone. In fact, navigate the process by working with the professionals at Careworks. Our personalized screening process helps us to match just the right fit for you and your children. We can also assist with narrowing down your search to save you time and frustration.

In Closing

While parenting is both a reward and a challenge, narrowing the search for a qualified nanny doesn’t have to consume you. Make an informed decision after fully vetting each candidate, and work with professionals who can guide you along the way. You’ll soon see that finding someone to provide love and care for your children is an important decision, but also one that you don’t have to face alone.

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My name is Linda Stacey, and I'm the owner and founder of CareWorks, a Seattle-based nanny service. We at CareWorks have been helping families find nannies, family assistants and household managers since 1989. We've been recognized for exceptional personal service and long-term support. We were even voted Seattle's Best Nanny Service after being one of the oldest and most respected agencies in our area for over two decades.

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