A Beginner’s Guide to Hiring a Nanny

Finding and hiring the perfect nanny for your family’s unique needs can be a big undertaking. That’s why we’ve compiled ...

Finding and hiring the perfect nanny for your family’s unique needs can be a big undertaking. That’s why we’ve compiled this quick-start guide to hiring a nanny to help you through the process and make it as painless as possible!

Happy family preparing food in kitchen


Step 1: Define Your Family’s Needs

What you need out of a nanny will differ from family to family and even from season to season. Sit down with your partner and figure out which needs are most important to your family.  For example, do you need live-in care? Or will live-out suffice? Next, make a list of qualities you are looking for. If you want your kids to learn Spanish or French, you might want to consider a nanny who majored in Spanish or French in college. Do you want your nanny to be first aid certified? If you have a child with special needs, you may want to look at much more specific certifications and experience.

Check out the top 5 considerations when hiring a nanny


Step 2: Calculate Your Budget

Your budget will be a big determining factor as to whether you should seek live-in or live-out care. Don’t forget to factor in things like travel if you are hiring a part-time or out-of-state nanny, taxes, legal, annual bonuses and raises, meals if you are providing them and more. 

Learn how Happiest Nanny can take all of the admin work for you!


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Step 3: Post Your Job and Start Interviewing

Be as specific as possible in your job description, providing as many pertinent details as you can. When you've compiled the listing, it's time to start your interview process. We recommend picking the top ten candidates and scheduling your interviews in that order. Be sure to protect your personal contact information- you can't be too careful these days! From there, narrow your list down to five and have meet with you in-person or via Zoom/FaceTime interview. This is a good time to introduce them to the kids and see how they interact.

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Step 4: Conduct a Background and References

Once you’ve narrowed your list down to one or two candidates, background checks and references can be the deciding factor if you're grappling between choices. If you're down to one ideal candidate, this step can help to solidify your choice, and help you sleep better at night knowing you did your due diligence. Checking references is a vital step to ensure the nanny actually is who they say they are, and able to perform at the level they claim to be able to.

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Step 5: Make the Offer and Set Up Taxes

Once the background check clears and the references leave rave reviews, it’s time to present your future nanny with the employment offer. If you’d like to propose a trial period for a couple of weeks before presenting a long-term contract, work that into your initial offer. Next, it’s important to set up taxes and have your nanny fill out a W-4 Form to avoid any trouble with the IRS. While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to set up a Federal Employer Identification Number. Ensuring you're following the proper tax procedure is key- make sure you carve out the time need to get this step done properly!

Learn how hiring a nanny can get you a bigger tax refund

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Step 6: Finalize the Contract

You nanny's employment contract is an extremely important step to protect your family and the nanny, too. In the contract, you will need to spell out all of the pertinent details from salary to benefits, hours, expectations, holidays, and so forth. Discuss it with your nanny and let her make her voice heard as well. Once all of the details are ironed out, have both parties sign, and begin your new working relationship!

If you're ready to find the perfect nanny for your family, and want to offload all of the admin work needed-  click below!

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