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Child Safety – How to Choose a Nanny

How to Choose a Nanny

This post is originally authored at the home security blog at family + home security.

If you’re a parent, your child’s safety is of the utmost importance. If you are a working parent, chances are that you won’t be able to stay at home to take care of your child as much as you would like. If you can afford it, hiring a nanny can be a great way to make sure that your child receives proper care in your absence.

Why Hire a Nanny?

If you have several children, you may need help in order to give them all the care and attention that they need. Even if you are a stay-at-home parent, you still may need an extra pair of hands to help with making lunches, doing laundry, and driving your children to after-school activities. If you’re a working parent, you may think that enrolling your child in day-care (or hiring a babysitter) isn’t enough. To give your children the direct attention that they need, hiring a professional nanny can be a great way to care for your children in your absence.

Drawbacks of Hiring a Nanny

Most child behavioral experts agree that there is no substitute for a stay-at-home parent. Though hiring a nanny can help your children receive care while you’re away, nothing can replace a parent’s attention. You should never use a nanny as an excuse to pay less attention to your children. Another drawback of hiring a nanny is that not all nannies are cut out for working with children. Finding a highly rated, experienced and reputable nanny can be a bit difficult. However, by knowing which questions to ask, and how to go about the interview process, you can help to improve your chances of hiring a nanny that will have your children’s best interests in mind.

Nanny Agencies

You may want to begin by checking out “Nanny Agencies” in your area. A nanny agency will usually pre-screen nannies, and will take care of placing them in homes that will benefit most from their care. However, not all nanny agencies are created equal. Some agencies don’t have the resources to properly screen potential nannies, or are lacking on the funding to do background research on the nannies in their department. To choose a reputable and effective nanny agency, you may want to consider asking the following questions:

  • How high is your success rate with the placement of nannies with homes?
  • How long has your nanny agency been in business?
  • What fees do you charge for placing a nanny?
  • For your nanny interviews, do you do them in person?
  • How extensively do you check the backgrounds of a nanny in your agency?
  • How many nannies do you place in homes each year?
  • Do you offer any type of training for your nannies?
  • Are your nannies certified in first aid or CPR?

Depending on their answers to these questions, you can usually decide if a nanny agency is established and experienced enough to help you find a nanny.

Hiring a Nanny Yourself

If you plan to hire a nanny yourself, you will need to also pre-screen any potential applicants for this job. You need to remember that hiring a nanny can be an extensive process, and may take a few weeks before you find a good nanny. Here are some tips that you can follow to make the screening process much easier.

Do At Least Two Interviews
In order to ensure that you can really get to know a potential nanny applicant, it’s highly recommended that you do at least two personal interviews. You may want to have your children present for the second interview, in order to see how the applicant reacts to having the children present.

Do a Background Check
No matter how positive a nanny’s references may seem, you will usually want to do a background check. Remember, you are entrusting this person to take care of your children, and need to make sure that they don’t have a criminal history.

Check All References
It’s important that you do a follow-up on any references provided by a nanny applicant. Be wary of any provided references that don’t also have a phone number.

Ask Personal Questions
It’s important not to shy away from asking personal questions of your nanny applicant. Remember, a nanny will be spending time alone with your children, and you need to be able to get to know them personally. Ask them if they’re married or seeing anyone, and clearly outline your rules about visitors when you’re not at home.

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Category: Home Security