Who Makes A Great Nanny and How to Hire One

Photo Credit: clairity

What type of person makes for a good nanny?  Not everyone that can be a nanny should be one.  As you look at various people for this job, consider who they are based on some basic standards.

Non Profit Support

One thing you should realize is that there are countless agencies and organizations that provide non profit services for those who are hiring nannies as well as nannies themselves.  These organizations are a treasure trove of information and details.  One of them is the International Nanny Association.  Here are their standard qualifications for a nanny.

  • The individual must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The individual must have at least a high school education or have the equivalent.
  • The nanny must be in good health themselves.  This including having all necessary immunizations for the area they are serving and have a negative TB test done.

Beyond this, though, there are other things you must consider.  For example, does the age of a nanny matter?  For most people, the age of a nanny is a consideration.  But, it differs from one person to the next.

You may be looking for someone that will be able to provide you with physical interaction with your child.  You may want someone that can keep up with the three young children you have.

Or, you may be looking for someone that has a great deal of experience and has a more “set in stone” outlook on rearing children.

Either of these examples, extreme as they are, is a fine qualification.  It is up to you to decide what the ideal age or other qualifications that your nanny should have.  In fact, a nanny can be anyone you wish, over 18 that you feel has the right qualifications you set forth.

One Rule That Can’t Be Surpassed

Most of the qualifications of a nanny center on your actual preferences for a nanny.  There is one rule, though, that should always be considered.

A nanny should always have a genuine interest and love in children. They should respect children and truly enjoy being around them.  A nanny that considers this a job is not someone to hire.  Rather, hire a nanny that considers this to be their career and even their calling. The difference will come forth in their dedication.

3 Types of Nannies

Nannies can be broken down into three basic types of people.  Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but you should consider where your preferences are in these basic types.

  • Younger. Nannies in this group are often single, young and are looking to work as a nanny for the next couple of years, perhaps to pay for college or their future training.  Some are taking a break from work or school, while others want to serve as a nanny part time.  They may not be getting the personal rewards from their current employment.  The benefit in these nannies are that they are more energetic, eager, active and often open to working with all types of people.
  • Older and Experienced. This group of nannies is generally older people that are experienced in raising children of their own.  Some are people that have raised their children and wish to help others do the same.  In this case, there are countless differences in the education, skills and background of the individuals.
  • Experts. In the final group of nannies you will find people that consider themselves professionals, experts and even child care specialists.  Here, you have people that are looking to make being a nanny a full time career.  They generally have gone through educational programs and may have an early childhood education or even an elementary education degree.  They may have a training certificate in nanny specialized fields.  Many will have years of experience working as a nanny, while others are just starting out.

How do you select?  Determine what it is that appeals to you. Education, experience, long term dedication, energy and more are things that you should consider here.  How important are these features to you?

Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of not considering people from all of these situations as your nanny.  Each offers something unique that may fit with what you are looking for better.

What Help Do You Need?

Finding a great person for the nanny job is great, but do you even realize what you would like them to provide for you?  What type of help do you need?  When do you need it?  All of these things are essential to consider when it comes to hiring a nanny.

You’re Unique

There is no special form to fill out to determine the best type of set up for you and your nanny.  Each family will have its own special and specific needs as well as child care requirements.  The first consideration to select is that of time.

Do you need a full time nanny?  A full time nanny will cost you more.  Since most full time nannies live in your home, you’ll have to have the space to accommodate them.  In addition, you’ll need to determine a working schedule, as even nannies will need time off.

A full time nanny does offer many perks, though.  For example, they may have longer hours and more time off during the middle of the day when the child is at school.  Or, they may be able to provide more complete child care since they are living at the location.  A full time nanny may have part of their pay come from room and boarding, if this is decided upon.

Do you want a nanny that works at your home but then leaves daily? In this case, the costs are going to be somewhat less because the nanny will not be there for bedtime or other such events.  Nevertheless, a full time nanny still provides full time care to your child, servicing their needs as you both define.

A part time nanny is great fit for those that are looking for someone to help after school and until bedtime, or during the day for younger kids.  These individuals will come into the home and provide child care as you define and will meet the child’s care needs during the time they are there.  Of course, the cost of a part time nanny is lower and they do not usually live in your home.

Cleaning House

One thing that many people assume is that if they have a nanny that the nanny will be providing in home cleaning services as well as child rearing.  If you feel that these things go together, you will need to talk about this with the nanny prior to hiring someone.  This is not something that comes with the package and may cost you more to find a nanny/housekeeper rolled into one.

Reality and Nannies

When you hire a nanny, have realistic expectations.  If you are hiring someone to come into your home and take care of your child’s every need, communicate this.  But, realize too that they are not magicians that have magical solutions for all problems that are going to come up.  What’s more is that they will provide services to you that are directed by you, not just off the cuff.

Another realistic expectation to have is that of the role that the nanny will play.  In most cases, a nanny is not someone that will be filling in for a parent. They don’t handle running a home either.  Things like cleaning, cooking, chores and doing your grocery shopping are not things that you are hiring a nanny to do.  Rather, their job is to take care of the child.

The job of a nanny is child care.  Some nannies will be okay with doing like housekeeping, especially when the child has been the one to make the mess.  But, it is rare to find a nanny that will agree to run your household for you.  If this is something that you are after in the nanny, finding someone that can accurately and completely handle each of these roles will be hard and must be sought carefully.  Often, one or the other roles will falter.

During the interview process, it is essential to take into consideration any and all of the requirements and interests that you have in your nanny.  The nanny is there to help you and provide for your child, but even things that you think are givens should be addressed.

Right from the beginning, you should have clear expectations and needs determined for your own sake.  You should know who you are looking for and have well defined criteria set up to provide for this during the interviewing process.

If and when you do this, you will find that the right person is easier to find as well as fills the role more accurately.  Since finding a new nanny to replace one that isn’t working out is so much more difficult than getting it right the first time, use communication as your tool to accomplish this.