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Questions to ask potential nanny(9 Posts)
So, I think we'll be interviewing a few potential nannies soon. What do we ask?
Obviously we need to know if their availability suits us, and I assume it's normal to ask for qualifications and references? How many references?
Would it be normal to suggest child-related housework (washing, tidying)? I'm assuming yes? And cooking lunch/tea, should I ask if they want menu suggestions? DD will be weaning when they start so more tricky to cook for. But then I'm not sure what to say about e.g. if the dishwasher is full/adult wash needs hanging up and she needs a plate/to wash cot sheets.
I'm sure I've forgotten loads, my mind is a blank and things like nap areas aren't relevant really.
I guess things like sickness and if we're late should be addressed? And holidays? What's normal for nanny/family holidays? Our current CM doesn't charge if she's unavailable, and charges half if we are off. But it seems a bit easier with a CM that is running their own establishment.
Holidays - standard is 5.6 weeks pro-rata which includes bank holidays. Take off BH (assuming you don't need them covering) and then of what's left you choose half and she chooses half. Any holiday on top of that (e.g. if you go away more) she should also get paid.
I generally say that I don't need housework doing, but if the dishwasher is full please put it on and if it's clean please empty it. My nanny changes the kids sheets on a Monday so I tend to leave a bit of laundry in the machine and then she washes that with the sheets (waste to put a full load on just for the sheets). No other laundry duties. Mine irons our clothes in spare time (youngest goes to nursery 3h per day and oldest is at school) but I wouldn't expect it in holidays when she has both kids all day.
Standard sick pay is SSP after first 3d, which are unpaid.
Cooking I usually ask if there is anything particular she wants me to leave for her to cook.
Practicalities are important, but I'd also ask what e.g. a sunny day with a 9 month old, or a wet December day with an 18 month old would look like: gives you a bit more idea of the nanny's interests and energy! The other question we found v interesting (different answers from different nannies) was how they handle differences of approach with the parents, and how important they think consistency across nanny/parents is.
When I was being interviewed for positions, questions that were a regular occurrence were:
1) what kind of things do you cook
2) are you a tidy person (difficult, as this is relative)
3) do you consider yourself creative
4) how would you cope with a child who was choking
5) do you know the signs of concussion
6) what do you think "nursery duties entails"
With regards to holiday, it is commen for nannies to have 20 days plus the 8 bank holidays. However that isn't that much if you're working 12hr days so you might want to give a few extra? It is usually 10 their choice and 10 employers choice.
It is in my contract that I am ONLY to so the children's washing but that isn't what happens at all. The mum may out a wash in before leaving for work and I'll take it out, dry it etc, and vice versa. I don't mind at all as I can just get it all done at once!
Dishwasher of course I'll empty it if clean and load and put it on if needs be. The mum does it too. Much like the washing!
You can ask if they have ironed, you'd be surprised at how many haven't! It might be worthwhile asking if they'd be happy for you to leave a list for them for the first few weeks till they get in to a routine?
As LightTripper says, ask about their approach to behaviour and what they think is the most important factor in a nanny/parent relationship
Good stuff thanks... I am used to interviewing people in my work and I suppose the usual things about strengths and weaknesses, good and challenging situations, can be easily adapted.
My 2 year old has tantrums so I ask about that - I was looking for a nanny who took that in her stride.
Your questions sound more like details to thrash out in a contract rather than at interview where you are assessing suitability. I haven't interviewed for a nanny before, but I would want to ask:
- why do you / did you want to become a nanny?
- what do you enjoy about it?
- what do you find most challenging?
- what were your reasons for leaving previous jobs?
- what does a typical day look like?
- what kinds of food are you comfortable preparing?
- what does 'nursery duties' mean to you?
- how flexible are you prepared to be?
- what was the most difficult day you've had at work and how did you deal with it?
I would want, as with any interview, to use the questions as a way of getting to know the candidate and to understand his or her strengths, motivations, etc. So no right or wrong answers!
I think I kind of naively assumed we'd know if we liked her, and if the DCs did, but I can see it's important to ask.
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