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When is normal to give a reference for a nanny?

(9 Posts)
JinxyCat Thu 08-Sep-11 20:45:12

Hi all,
Quick question - my nanny has given notice, and has asked for a reference as she's applying for jobs. Is it normal practice to give a reference for a nanny before they've finished working for you?

I've never gotten a reference from anywhere I've worked before I've finished, but maybe it's different for nannies?

ChitChattingaway Thu 08-Sep-11 20:51:15

Well you know she's finishing, so why not? Most people don't ask for references from current employers because the employer usually doesn't know that they are leaving!

nannynick Thu 08-Sep-11 22:51:57

Yes I feel that it is usual, especially given they have handed in their notice. They need the reference so they can register with agencies, provide to parents.

I take it you are referring to a written reference. The nanny will also be wanting the ability for agencies & parents to be able to speak with you I expect. As their last employer, a verbal reference from you is very useful. When you hired your nanny did you speak with her previous employer?

References in nannying are very important as it is how parents are able to find out from other people who have known the nanny about what they are like.

Are you happy to provide a reference? Are you parting on reasonably good terms?

JinxyCat Fri 09-Sep-11 14:00:32

Thanks for the responses - nannynick, I'm happy to write a reference and to be contacted for a verbal reference as well.

We are parting on good terms, I think my only concern was around if having her reference caused her to mentally check out from our family - but I'm sure it'll be ok.

mranchovy Fri 09-Sep-11 15:45:52

I'd be happy to give a specific reference, then you could follow up with a retraction if she walked off the job tomorrow, but I don't think a 'to whom it may concern' reference is appropriate at this stage.

nannynick Fri 09-Sep-11 21:27:55

As they have handed in their notice they probably have another job to go to, which is probably conditional on a reference from their current employer. So at the moment, are they asking for a reference from you for a specific next employer?

pearlym Fri 09-Sep-11 21:39:38

I think it shows she has a good relationship with you and is a responsible person that she has shared with you her job search and that she is leaving before presenting you with a fait accompli! Normal to give verbal ref

JinxyCat Sat 10-Sep-11 07:20:46

Thanks again, I don't think she's got another job to go to next - she's been very open about the fact she's just started interviewing (we were chatting about a skype interview she'd had with a family in Monaco yesterday).

TBH I like the idea of giving a verbal/targeted reference before she leaves, and then a written one after she finishes. Maybe I'll try and talk to her again and see if she's happy with that...

On a related note, what do nannies/parents like to have mentioned in a reference? I've talked about her helping with toilet training, the fact she kept my kitchen cupboards organised (a blessing for two working parents), cooking.

No development points really as I hadn't discussed them with her, although might give some constructive feedback at the end of our time (nothing huge, just like - it was unpleasant to have to empty potties when we got home despite having raised it with you a few times, and how her stuff would be left out all night, e.g. Handbag on floor at bottom of stairs, which drives DH crazy).

ChippingIn Sat 10-Sep-11 07:31:47

Jinxy - I think as she's given you notice before she has a job to go to, it's highly unlikely that having a written reference is going to make any difference to whether she 'mentally checks out' of the job before she leaves or not.

It seems that you have been really happy with her - I wouldn't give her 'constructive feedback' on things like the potty & her handbag - it really will just leave a sour note. If her new family are bothered by small things like that then they can let her know.

[I'm not saying 'small' as in, it's petty, because both of those would drive me mad, but I would tell her - quite clearly! grin - I meant small as in not things that would stop someone employing her (ie leaving kids alone in the bath for example)]

How are you doing finding a replacement nanny?

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