Let's face it — finding the perfect childcare solution can seem stressful, and a lot of parents don't even know where to begin. Hiring a nanny could be your dream solution!
But how do you begin to evaluate someone who’s going to manage both your household and your children? It’s hard to know what to look for — especially if you need a live-in nanny.
While finding and hiring a nanny may sound like an undertaking, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Here are a few key considerations when getting the process started...
How much time does the nanny need to spend in your home?
The first thing to decide when hiring a nanny is what you need in terms of hourly commitment. Live-out nannies typically spend 40 hours a week in your home — a typical full-time schedule. This ensures that your children have full-day coverage, which can be a lifesaver when both parents are working full-time.
Alternatively, live-in nannies, reside at your home round' the clock. This makes them available for more flexible hours and responsibilities. This typically requires that you have a dedicated space for another person to live with you —such as an au pair or in law suite.
Learn more about the benefits of hiring a live-in nanny here!
Ultimately, your decision between a live-in or live-out nanny comes down to your family's needs, and the type of relationship you want the nanny to have with your family. Are you looking for a daytime caregiver and educator who can help manage chores and errands? Or someone who can essentially run the household and be a constant presence for your children?
Take some time to iron out your ideal scenario, and you'll be on track to finding the right fit, sooner.
What type of support do you need?
Nannies can seem superhuman as they juggle everything, but even the most versatile nannies have different specialties.
Do you need someone to provide childcare for pre-K children? Someone who can tutor your older kids? Does your nanny need to have nursing or special needs experience?
In many cases, nannies are able to do even more than care for children, acting as a household manager. If you already have someone to help with cleaning or shopping, you may not need your nanny to do those tasks. However, keep in mind that offloading some of these tasks may give you even more one-on-one time with your kids. Could one great nanny help you get more organized and efficient?
Before hiring a nanny, make a list of the responsibilities you most need help with, and plan to tailor your job listing with those details in mind. Prep some specific questions that relate to your family, and plan to do a background check as part of your process to understand what your candidate's previous experiences were.
What do you want in your nanny’s personality?
Pop culture typically portrays nannies as stern, eccentric, and even witchy. But real-world nannies come in all styles. Do you want someone to be an authority figure for your children? Or someone who’s more warm and playful? There’s no right or wrong answer.
Take note of each candidate’s background, experience, and testimonials. A CPR-certified nanny with a nursing degree is a safe bet for young children and babies. But can they help your older children with their math homework? Are they skilled at meal planning and chores management?
When hiring a nanny, be sure to cover all these questions in the interview.
Evaluate each candidate’s experience with their overall work ethic and training. You may meet some nannies who are qualified but simply don’t have the specialty you need.
What are your deal-breakers?
Hiring a nanny can be an anxiety-inducing process, especially if you plan to have the nanny live with you. All things considered, this person is going to be part of your day-to-day life, and a major player in your family dynamic.
Is their lifestyle going to mesh with yours? Will they have any habits that might make you uncomfortable?
And hey- it’s totally okay if you’d prefer not hiring a nanny who smokes, or who has different views on discipline and education. Not everyone is going to be a perfect fit! Focus on finding someone who has the right skillset for your kids, and whose values align with yours.
What’s your budget?
As with anything, with childcare you typically get what you pay for.
Inexperienced nannies and childcare providers are typically less expensive, but may have limited skills or capabilities.
This said, live-in nannies may be overall a bit less expensive than live-out ones, because they accept room and board as part of their compensation.
Check out how hiring a nanny can get you a bigger tax refund!
Sit down and determine your budget before you begin the process of hiring a nanny. Keep in mind the money you may save (e.g. daycare, tutors, household help), assuming that you find someone who can offer those services. It’s often helpful to set a range. Don’t forget to account for raises, bonuses, and taxes! In some areas, live-in domestic helpers are considered employees and you must pay tax accordingly.
Hiring a nanny is a unique process for every family. The right choice for someone else may be the wrong choice for you, and vice versa. You must consider your needs, comfort level, and overall compatibility with each candidate. Ultimately, the best arrangement is one in which both you and the nanny agree on all expectations and responsibilities- wait for that perfect fit!
To find your best match faster, visit happiestnanny.com, where you can enter your family profile and browse a your ideal nanny matches!