Remember the good old days when you could do whatever you want when you wanted like hitting the snooze button at least 3 times before getting up to go to work?
And then remember all those simple luxuries vanish before your eyes when you had a child?
Gone are the days when you can enjoy a coffee and a good long shower before you leave for work. Now it’s rushing to stuff your child’s mouth and into clothes and into a car seat. Perhaps you might even have enough time to get a splash of water on your face. And then you race your way to “little Johnny’s” daycare while listening to the ear piercing tunes of Yo Gabba Gabba on the DVD player and praying to baby Jesus that your manager doesn’t notice you strolling in 15 minutes late for the 45th day in a row.
Oh good times.
I’m sure that most of you have had to consider childcare options when you returned to work. But have you ever considered a Nanny?
I am super excited that Martha Scully, founder of CanadianNanny.ca, was gracious enough to give us all some tips on how to hire a nanny.
Please welcome Martha.
Hiring a nanny for your children can be a stressful time, especially for the first time. However, you can make the process less stressful by planning out the process, and sticking to your plan.
Before you start your search, establish what kind of nanny you need. Sit down and decide if you want or need a “live-in” or “live-out” nanny; a live-in nanny lives in your home, so you will need to consider space and privacy issues relative to your home and family. You will also need to decide on the qualifications and/or education you require the nanny to have, and the duties the nanny will be doing on a daily basis.
Taking these things into consideration, think about the wage you will offer. At first, you can get an idea of the going rate in your area by contacting neighbors, friends and coworkers that also have hired nannies. You can then set a wage, $12 per hour for example, or a range that you’ll pay within, such as $10-14 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications. Remember – a live-in nanny is living in your home, so you can deduct room and board expenses from their pay; this means that a live-in nanny may have less take-home pay than a live-out.
After you’ve decided on all of this, write a job description for your position. This explains to the applicants what the job is that they’re applying for, so you’ll want to be descriptive, but fairly brief. You’ll need this description when you are advertising for your nanny and after hiring.
Now that you have this done, you are prepared to begin your search. Here are some tips that I believe all parents need to keep in mind when they are searching for a nanny.
- Give yourself enough time to search for and interview a nanny. Try to interview more than one nanny to allow for comparison – don’t cram too many interviews into one day.
- Personally interview the nanny. Create a relaxed atmosphere that shows that you are well-organized. Ask specific and scenario-type questions and be sure to describe your position in detail. Avoid asking the nanny to provide child care during the first interview.
- Perform screening and reference checks for each nanny. Consider asking each for a Police Record check. Any nanny that is caring for an infant and/or toddler should have current First Aid and CPR training. Ask for references and call them; they can either confirm what the nanny has said, or contradict it. If you use a placement agency, you should still do this.
- Be honest and realistic about your expectations of the nanny before hiring. Provide your nanny with the detailed job description that you have prepared. Include your child’s temperament and development.
- Before hiring the nanny, have her come to your home for a paid trial day. You can observe how the nanny interacts with your children, and can ensure that she is the right match for your family. This gives your child time to become comfortable with the nanny.
- When you choose a nanny, ensure that you and your nanny agree upon all responsibilities, duties, wage, hours and terms of employment before the nanny starts work in your home – this should be in writing and signed by both nanny and parent.
- On the first day, take the nanny for a tour of your home before they start. Provide them with the location of the First Aid kit and fire extinguisher, as well as any emergency plans you have made with your children. Make them aware of any rooms that the children are not allowed to go in or play in.
- Take time to prepare your child(ren). If your child(ren) is old enough, talk to them about what to expect and encourage them to ask question and express fears.
- Leave your nanny with all emergency information. This should include all emergency services, a phone number for where you will be and an immediate adult backup number.
- Write out instructions – including warming bottles and food, routines, special conditions or medications.
- When it is time to leave for the first time, say good-bye to the children and the nanny and leave. Don’t sneak out – this makes your children think there is something wrong.
Remember – when you hire a nanny to work in your home, you become an employer. To ensure that you are a good employer you need to receive regular feedback for your nanny and the children. Keep the lines of communication open and provide her wither regular feedback on her performance.
Founder of CanadianNanny.ca, Martha Scully and her team have helped thousands of parents find childcare across Canada for over 10 years. In 2011 she added Adult/Senior/Elder Care, Housekeeping and Pet Care services to Canadiannanny.ca, giving families one place to find all their care needs. Just like other moms, in her spare time she is a taxi driver, teacher, cook and housekeeper to her two daughters, Sophie and Charlotte. She has been featured on CanadaAM, in Today’s Parent, the Globe & Mail, as well as being selected as the 2008 SavvyMom Entrepreneur of the Year. For more information, please visit www.canadiannanny.ca. To contact Martha, please email email@example.com or phone 1-866-221-7918.
Thank you so much Martha for sharing these wonderful tips with my readers!!
Did you hire a Nanny? Can you offer any additional thoughts?
Have you considered hiring a Nanny?