Finding a Baby Sitter might seem scary to you but by just following some simple steps and methods, you can save time, protect your child and make sure it is in good hands.
So far, what most mothers do in order to find a nanny is either trust the recommendations of friends or ask a relative who often is an inexperienced teenager, mainly for reasons of trust and cost, respectively. If the above solutions are not an option, you have to publish ads and after a series of interviews, hire the most suitable candidate, but who rarely proves such.
What goes wrong? How can you better judge a totally unknown person? What are the main points you should look for in a nanny? Where should you start from? Take it from the beginning, follow the simple steps below and you will soon see that your decision for a nanny will be better and safer.
Qualifications and Values
Apart the typical skills and values, it may seem strange but all else that counts for you, might not count for all mothers. Skills that you consider important and especially their priority in your list, might not even exist in the list of another mother. For example, looking for a nanny with party entertainer skills or educated in music or even more, who knows to play the piano, will probably be indifferent to other mothers.
So are your values. For example, cleanliness. For one mother, this is the number one value for her kids while for another, it is irrelevant if her kids are playing in the mud, the only thing that matters to her is that they are having a good time.
Place your ad in targeted spots and not just anywhere. For instance, if online, try websites that are dedicated to mothers, child development and education. Even better, publish your ad in online communities that share content only to members or subscribers. Also, if you want to publish your ad in print, go for a big and respected newspaper or magazine, even better if it is specialized in motherhood, education, children and why not, perhaps a more expensive one.
All this, because the people you wish to attract are not random unemployed women who won’t say no to some extra money but professionals who take their job very seriously, they love what they are doing and are registered, identifiable and active members of such a community with a great profile. Even better, if they pay for that and in cases, pay a bit more to learn everything new about it.
Important: do not forget to mention in your ad that you will also need a criminal record certificate from all candidates.
According to your list as to the skills and values of your nanny, gather all the CVs you received and start rejecting, especially if you got a lot.
Also, do not only take into account the candidate’s obvious skills. Beyond the known mistakes that can “kill” a resume such as spelling for example, look for the ones that look bad, careless and ugly to your own eyes. Even if she has everything you want, the more likely you won’t be compatible with that person.
If in your ad, you also asked for a photo never, never judge by it. If the candidate has everything you asked for, it is at least unfair not to give an opportunity to such a professional to win you.
References are a separate paragraph in this guide so that you realize how important they are. Without them you shouldn’t accept a nanny. Even if all babysitting professionals will have from now on, to babysit for free in order to get them, you will still have a good list of people to call and ask everything about this unknown person in which you plan to trust your kids with.
Yes, you understood correctly, references are not enough. Unless they are at least over three and you personally contact each and every one of the former employers until you are left with no doubt at all about your future caregiver. Oh, and since you are about to do this, ask a few more helpful questions, such as if their family is as big as yours (ages and number of kids), if they share any interests etc.
Do not hesitate to do all this, have in mind that in the other end of the line there are also parents who will understand and usually, who will tell you much more and with great pleasure!
This is the big day. It is a crucial stage to pass from a simple piece of paper to actually meeting a candidate. Their appearance, body language, perhaps some elements of the character like confidence but also their presence in general, can be something really powerful and sometimes can even lead to hiring them, much more than any skill or degree.
Just think of how often we all make the question “where are you from?” and how positively you see someone right afterwards you find out that he comes from the same place as you! So imagine now, if the nanny interviewed reminds you of your grandmother; all others will have no luck! So, accept that such things can happen and control yourself! :)
Try not to let the interview go anywhere. Prepare your own questionnaire according to your candidate’s skills and the details of the job. Beyond the basic questions on availability, rates, extra responsibilities such as cooking or bathing the kids and any other information not written in the resume, here are some good questions to ask:
Ask if she has children of her own or any kids in her family. If yes, ask their gender and ages.
Ask for the activities she usually uses to entertain and/or keep the kids busy.
Ask the occasions in which she has faced difficulties in the past and what was her most difficult moment when doing this job.
Ask how she reacts in the following occasions: when a child cries, when a child refuses to listen and when a child hits or talks back to her or to other kids.
Ask of her feelings for animals and if she has problems with any pets.
Ask if she knows First Aid, how to swim and if she knows all the Emergency telephone numbers.
Ask if she knows how to drive and if yes, for how long she is a driver and if she ever had any accidents or fines. Also, if she owns a car and in what condition.
Ask of her philosophy on raising kids and see if it fits yours. If not, ask her if she is ok to strictly follow your instructions and rules and put aside her own philosophy.
Questions are not enough because you might get the answers you want but from the wrong type of person. Here are some tests that might help you learn a bit more about the candidate:
Ask the candidate to keep your child for 15 minutes as a test, during the interview.
The suitable Baby Sitter: Will gladly do it since 15 minutes is too short and won’t delay her at all.
During those 15 minutes observe the candidate at her first meeting with your child.
The suitable Baby Sitter: Will be kind, calm and instead of touching, kissing, hugging or lifting it, she will give your child the time to choose for itself the pacing and limits of this first meeting.
Ask the candidate for an appointment to babysit for a few hours as a trial. She will be paid of course, but you will also be present.
The suitable Baby Sitter: Will gladly say yes and during that day she will keep your kids busy with very interesting activities. You will have the right chemistry, you won’t have to talk too much or give instructions about everything while the kids will like her instantly and in a strange way, they will forget about you for a good while!
Finally, it's time to take the big decision.
Take a step back and ask your instincts, does this person make you feel comfortable enough to trust her with your children?