Finding the ideal nanny is no easy feat. So we get it if you are scratching your head unsure where to find one and then what to do when interviewing a nanny. You just want to breeze through all the hard in-between steps and jump to the part where you feel good about leaving your baby or child with someone else.
Maybe this is your first time exploring the idea of a nanny and you are left feeling puzzled about where to even begin? Or perhaps you’ve been down this path before, and the system has failed you. But before you panic and feel overwhelmed. We want to share with you our top tips on what to do when interviewing a Nanny.
What To Look For In A Nanny - First Point of Contact
Once you’ve compiled a list of suitable candidates, grab your phone, and begin with an initial phone call. This will be an informal call and will likely catch the nanny off guard with it being unexpected. This is less about getting into the nitty-gritty of their experience and more about filtering for your basic criteria.
Keep it short and to the point and we suggest these initial questions:
- Do they have full working rights in Australia or do they have any restrictions? (i.e. if the nanny is on a visa, check if it aligns to your timeframe)
- Are they able to work full time?
- Can they work flexible hours such as evenings and nights?
- Do they have any physical limitations which could impact their ability to do physical work both in the home and outside with children?
- Do they have the capacity to do any background checks that may be required
- When are they able to start?
- What is their salary or hourly wage expectations?
This is also the time to bring up anything material you think would be important in their decision to take on this job- i.e. if your child has any identified physical or mental limitations, religious beliefs, or lifestyle choices that need to be strictly adhered to. Also, make it clear if there are any requirements outside of general care such as helping with driving, running errands, or meal preparation.
Questions to Ask When Interviewing A Nanny
Okay, you’ve been able to narrow down your list, so now is the time to move beyond your criteria to get a fit for experience and suitability. To ensure you cover your bases, we suggest preparing a list of open-ended questions for an in-person interview. This will allow you to capture those vital pieces of information without coming off as too direct or intrusive. Instead, it will allow the nanny to drive the conversation and you will likely be able to pick up on the answers you need plus more in a subtle way including their personality and background.
Try out the following questions and you can always add-on or cut out depending on how the conversation goes:
- Tell me about your journey from your first job to your last job?
- What inspired you to apply for this role and why?
- How do you envision your day-to-day to be in this role?
- Tell me about your most stressful moment in your previous role and how you managed to overcome it?
- Tell me about an experience with a child you found difficult to connect with and what was the outcome?
- What are your favourite activities to do with kids and why?
- Tell me about your caretaking style in terms of boundaries, rules, and structured/unstructured design?
Background checking your Nanny - it takes time
So, things are looking bright after an impressive in-person interview, but this doesn’t mean you’ve completed your due diligence. Now, is the time to do your final checks to ensure what has been put forward as correct can be verified as such. The first step is to request permission for the items you want to verify. This could range from confirming identification, working/visa status, proof of Working with Children or the equivalent to it depending on your state, confirming first aid training, and letters of reference.
While first aid certification and Working with Children checks are certainly nice in providing you greater security in leaving your child in the capable hands of another carer. Do keep in mind these items can take a while to obtain if the candidate doesn't hold them. Plus, when conducting reference checks, you may not be able to connect with the contact on the first attempt, so this could lead to multiple follow-up attempts. You will need to allow time for these checks to be completed.
Set Up An Informal Meeting With Your Child
Okay, you’ve done the legwork, and now is the moment of truth. If your kid isn’t a fan of the nanny, you are back to starting the process all over again. So, while you may be aching for some consistent time alone with your partner or some time strictly alone, unless there is some level of trust and bonding sparked, you will need to keep your patience at bay. Our recommendation is to perhaps meet somewhere familiar for your child.
You could do a trial for 1-2 hours at your home, where your child feels safe in their own environment. Plus, this will help to establish for the nanny what they can expect going forward. Many parents can feel nervous about this first interaction. We recommend being there for a while, then explaining to your child you will be going out for a while. Use this time to go somewhere close by, because this first trial may be just as hard for you as the parent (more so if this is your first time leaving your child). Why not pick up some groceries or get your nails done, something that allows you to be close but still make use of this time. This trial will likely provide you with a good indication if the fit is right or not.
If all of this is too long and too hard, then...
Find a Nanny easily with Kiddo App
Finding a nanny can be time-consuming, expensive and exhausting! So, if you don’t have the capacity or time to work through all the above steps. Then we recommend exploring the Kiddo app!
You can download the Kiddo app instantly from the app stores. It’s free to download and has no joining or subscription fees! Kiddo app allows you to collate a shortlist of Nanny candidates in 3 easy steps:
- Input the start date of the job;
- Times and days required;
- Your location & requirements.
Their time-saving search does all the work for you and comes back with a shortlist of candidates for you. All Kiddo nannies are ID verified, working with children-checked. You can also read reviews and ratings left by other parents - saving the need to make formal reference calls!
This process is super simple and you remain in control. You contact the candidate you prefer, so you are not overwhelmed or bombarded with applications. You can make a time to meet, then once selected, your bookings are all made in Kiddo App. Kiddo keeps you super organized and everything in one place for you. The Kiddo team then prioritizes your ongoing requirements and in the event, your Nanny is sick or cannot make a booking, they will be there to support you along the way!
Download Kiddo from the app stores today.