Two-income families face a challenge when it comes to raising children and maintaining two careers. Some couples rely on grandparents or daycare, but those options may not be available or advisable for everyone. Another way to get qualified help with childcare is to hire a nanny, a childcare professional who is dedicated to assisting parents in raising a child. Unlike a babysitter, who is usually hired only on occasion, a nanny is more like a family member and must be chosen with great care. When hiring a nanny from a nanny website, parents should consider the following things.
Before hiring a nanny, parents should determine the schedule they need. If both parents have busy schedules with hard-to-predict after-hours commitments, they may want to consider hiring a live-in nanny or an au pair. However, most families hire nannies that work a fixed weekly schedule. It’s important to find out if a prospective nanny is always available during the hours needed and how much flexibility the nanny has.
Children’s needs change dramatically as they age. Parents with newborns, for example, will want to find a nanny who has extensive experience with newborns and young children. A good nanny should be able to recognize and deal with any problems that might come up with an infant or toddler. Parents may need assistance with meal preparation and cleaning as well and will want to find a nanny who has experience providing those services.
Parents often narrow down a list of prospective nannies by looking for additional skills that might be a benefit to their child. For example, some parents choose a nanny who is fluent in another language and ask the nanny to use that language exclusively with their child. Parents may also want to look for a nanny with arts and crafts skills who can plan fun activities that will stimulate their child’s creativity.
Parents should never consider hiring a nanny without checking their references. The prospective nanny should provide a list of several former employers, but the parents need to verify that the people they speak to are real, not just friends and family members of the job candidate. When interviewing references, it’s a good idea to ask about the nanny’s performance, reason for leaving, and any problems that came up.