Once a family has decided that hiring a nanny is the right childcare choice for their lifestyle, parents must set out to find the ideal caretaker to fit their needs and parenting style. While some mamas count on agencies, friends and relatives to provide them with leads, others visit the local playground to speak with other nannies about friends looking for jobs, or take to the web in search of the ideal candidate.
With a list of names in hand, it is time to start interviewing them to see just how well the candidate meshes with your family. To see my checklist of must-ask questions that should help narrow down the process,
- How long have you been a nanny?
- Why did you choose this profession?
- What do you like least about your job?
- Why did you/or do you want to leave your last/current job?
- How old were the children you last cared for?
- What philosophies/rules have you witnessed in previous jobs that you would replicate?
- Do you have any formal childcare training?
- Are you willing to follow our lead, even if you disagree?
- Do you like to stay at home or do you like to play at other's homes?
- How would you describe a typical day with a child the same age is mine?
- How do you discipline children?
- Are you willing to do light housework/cleaning while my child is sleeping?
- Do you cook? Will you be willing to cook for my child?
- Are you trained in CPR and first aid and are your certifications up-to-date? If not, are you willing to take the class on your own time?
- Do you smoke?
- What would you do if my child were sick or had an accident?
- Do you have children of your own? If so, what are your backup care plans should he get sick?
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
- Do you have school or professional plans beyond being a nanny?
- Where do you live and how will you get to work?
- (If nanny will be transporting your child in a car) How is your driving record? Is your car maintenance up-to-date?
- How flexible is your schedule? Would you be available nights and weekends? Could you accompany us on family vacations?
In addition to these questions, parents should be prepared to ask specific questions about any concerns they have regarding their child's own needs, as well as their own. Parents also usually have a gut reaction to the person sitting before them, and can feel if she is going to fit in with them.
If you have any additional must ask questions, tell us in the comments below!