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Looking for our first nanny for pfb(7 Posts)
We are currently looking for our first nanny. We have registered with an agency and I'm also following up a few personal recommendations.
We are interviewing a few nannies soon and I just wondered what, in your experience, is the most important thing to look for/ find out about other than good references.
For example , I think that for me it is really important that our nanny is fun. I want DS to have happy, busy days where he laughs a lot and enjoys life.
But then there must be practical considerations like someone who can cook or be organised or...
So what is important really? What do I need to get to the bottom of?
Someone you can get on with but feel you can tell what to do if you need to do so.
Someone DS likes - have DS present when interviewing, at least at 2nd interview stage.
If live out, consider practical things like travel distance. Whilst nanny may feel an hour commute is fine, do you feel it is reasonable?
Gut instincts - try to tune into your gut feelings. Your subconscious will pick things up, so trust it.
Follow up references, even if using an agency.
>for me it is really important that our nanny is fun
How do you define that? How can you tell is someone is fun or not?
Thanks, that's really helpful.
You are so right - it's hard to define what fun is or to know what to look for. I just know that's the outcome I want, just not how to interview for it!!
How old is DS?
Perhaps ask them about what places they would take DS, what activities they like doing with children in their care.
It's a very personal thing so it's really important to know what you want. Are you the sort of person who hates coming home to toys on the floor and crumbs on the side? If yes, then you need someone good at the tidying. Are you really concerned about nutrition and home cooking, but don't have time to cook? If yes, you need someone for whom cooking is a priority etc. etc.
No nanny is perfect (despite what some on mumsnet might say), so know what your priorities are. Once you know this you can question them on it at the interview and question their references too.
Do go with your gut instinct, it's important that you like your nanny.
Unless DS is at least 3, I wouldn't worry too much about finding someone he likes, because that will change day to day and from mood to mood. It's hard for an adult to judge someone based on an hour interview, it's a big ask for a toddler! Do have him present though so you can see how they interact with him.
I think the most important things are references. Some people are nervous at interviews, some overly confident, some are truthful to a fault, some lie through their teeth. The best picture you will get is from someone who has employed them, who knows them. Although do bear in mind that employers vary as well and some are more critical than others, some more effusive.
I ask lots of open questions and then reflect afterwards how I feel about the answers they gave. E.g. give them a scenario that DS is enjoying playing at the playground so much he doesn't want to go home - ask what the nanny would do or say to encourage him to leave and get back in time for lunch/nap? Then push by saying after they've tried that he still doesn't want to go home, what would they do then, etc. There isn't a correct answer to these types of scenarios but I guess I tend to choose nannies I feel more comfortable with and who act in the same way I would in difficult circumstances.
You could also ask them how they would fill the day if you didn't give them a timetable, i.e. what would they expect a typical day to comprise of in as much detail as they can give.
I would always look for someone someone I felt I could be friends with if we'd met under different circumstances. I'd want my child to be hanging out with someone I really liked.
Listen to the way the Nanny talks about past employers and charges, about their family and just have some general chit chat so you can get a feel for them as a person not just as a Nanny. And check as many references as you can.
Once you have a short list after first interviews I would go for a longer second interview maybe even paying them for a few hours and just hang out. You can't make such an important decision based on how someone behaves in a formal interview situation but will find out a lot more when they relax, chat and play with your child. Good luck.
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