Questions to ask before you use a nanny referral service

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Now that you’ve decided that your child needs the personal attention that only a nanny can provide, you need to determine how to find a nanny. Of course, a nanny search is not always the easiest process. Indeed, you may see ads everyday for neighborhood babysitters and nanny agencies or a nanny referral service. But to come to a decision, you need more. You need to feel the confidence of knowing that you have all the information possible, and that the nanny you select will be the right one to care for your children.

And to understand how to find a nanny, you have to be familiar with your own needs. One of the first things to consider is what you are really expecting from a nanny-before you begin your nanny search. Remember that a nanny is a family decision, so take the time to sit down with your spouse, older children, or other family members throughout your nanny search. This is not only a great way to reach a happy consensus, but also a way to gather supportive, comprehensive advice. One helpful approach to how to find a nanny is to grab a pen and paper to jot down a list of what you will be expecting.

What to Look for Before you Begin Your Nanny Search

When you need to know how to select an au pair or nanny, you can consider the following questions as a part of your nanny search:

  • How many days a week you need nanny care?
  • How many hours a day will your nanny work?
  • Do you need other nanny services, such as cooking or a nanny housekeeper?
  • How much childcare will you need during vacations and holidays?
  • Do you require a live-in or a live-out nanny?
  • How much time will I need to find and hire the nanny?
  • What kind of transportation you expect your nanny to have?
  • How much can we afford to pay a nanny and what is the going rate in our area?
  • What are the local rules and regulations regarding nanny taxes?
  • Do you see this job as full-time or part-time nanny, and will you want to allow him or her to have another job or other jobs?
  • What kind of education you want your nanny to have?
  • What amount of experience do you require? More experience means a higher nanny salary.
  • What kind of medical experience do you require your nanny to have? (This is especially important if your child is asthmatic, has special needs, is prone to accidents, etc.)

Indeed, knowing how to find a nanny will help you narrow down your nanny search. It’s also important to know where to search. There are nanny agencies, newspapers and online nanny referral service such as will help you understand how to select a nanny by giving you a comprehensive snapshot of potential nannies’ qualifications, so that you can then narrow down your search.

Of course, you understanding how to find a nanny should not be completely limited to pointing and clicking. Once you find a select group of nannies whose qualifications and availability suit your family’s needs, you will be ready to start the personal interview and selection part of your nanny search.

If you’re an member, use the Nanny Success Kit to begin your nanny search. Call your nanny candidates and ask them the interview questions on the Telephone Interview form, plus any that you want to add. If you’re not a member ask each a few questions-just to see how well you are able to communicate with each other. It’s important to know how to find a nanny who you can talk to and feel comfortable with to ensure a successful hiring.

How long will it take to complete your nanny search? This depends to a large extent on the type of nanny position (and a little luck never hurts). Because a live-in nanny doesn’t have to live nearby, they typically will be the quickest to fill since there may be a number of candidates for your job if you have good living arrangements for the nanny and don’t live in an isolated area. Once you know how to find a nanny, four to six weeks should be sufficient to complete the process.

For a nanny search for a live-out full-time position, it’s largely a matter of whether you live in a densely populated urban area or a more rural area. The more population, the more potential nannies there will be. Four to eight weeks is a reasonable amount of time when you know how to find a nanny.

When learning how to select an au pair or nanny, you’ll discover that the most difficult position to fill is the part-time job. The reason is that they’re not as many candidates and both your schedule and hers need to match, so your nanny search may take four to ten weeks.

In the end, when you understand how to find a nanny, you will learn that you can only really know what your potential nanny is like by having a one-on-one conversation in person with him or her. Also, it is highly recommended that you invite your children along during your nanny search to see how they well they interact with the candidates. After all, this new person will be highly influential during your children’s formative years, and finding the right nanny is crucial to providing you with a positive experience.

Knowing what you want from the beginning – and narrowing your nanny search selectively-will give you the opportunity to invite only the most qualified individuals to your home for a private interview. You will then be much closer to finding the right nanny for your family’s needs.

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