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Reference Checks

(3 Posts)
mishw Fri 29-Apr-05 12:40:25

I have a request for all Mums (and Dads). When an agency calls you asking for a reference check on a former nanny, please could you take the time to talk to them and give a detailed reference - (or at least get their number so that you can call back at your earlies convenience). I know that lots of you do, but often when I am trying to do my job I come up against Mums who are extremely unhelpful.

For instance, one Mum I tried to call this morning - her nanny had been with her for 7 years, but she was far too busy to talk to me, when asked if there were any problems, the Mum replied "Oh no, she was brilliant" but wouldn't say any more. This is not unusual.

As an agency, we are unable to place any nanny until her references have been checked, the most recent of course being the most important, however references from several years ago are still relevant. I am often amazed when talking to parents about a former nanny when they say "I can't remember that much it was such a long time ago" and they are referring to 2002! This was the person who you entrusted the care of your child to - is that all you can say?

A complaint that is often heard about agencies is the about the fees that they charge and how references aren't checked properly, but some parents make it so difficult for us to do our job.

I do realise that there are some nannies out there where for whatever reason things haven't worked out and you would rather not give a reference, but by not doing so, there is the possibility that your former nanny will be able to find a position in childcare (not necessarily through an agency) and do what she did to you to another family.

I know that you all have busy lives, but please do think before you brush agencies off, especially if you had a good nanny. After all if you ever need another nanny and use an agency, you would want the references checked.

Thank you.

uwila Fri 29-Apr-05 12:59:08

I find this request to be a bit... well.. bold. Do you as an agency offer parents free advice? Or do you ask them for a fee? Did you offer to pay this parent for her services? Perhaps she would have been more willing to offer more detail if you were a parent considering hiring this nanny candidate.

I wonder because I have never gotten this kind of response from a former employer, though I haven't hired a huge number of nannies as my oldest child is only just 2 years old.

mishw Fri 29-Apr-05 13:14:04

Uwila - I can kind of understand what you're saying.

Yes we do give free advice to parents whether they use our services to find a nanny or not.

We are an introductory agency, a fee is charged if we place a nanny with family and not before.

No we do not pay referees to give a reference on their former nanny - we kind of hope that if their nanny was good they would want to do everything they could to help her find a new job and that if they were bad that they would do all they could to prevent another family having to go through what they did!

Another point I realise that giving references does take up a lot of time, however by giving your reference to an agency reduces the amount of phone calls that you have. Based on references we take, we then put forward a nanny to a family giving details of all references checked without giving any of your contact details, the next phone call that you recieve will be from a family who have offered the nanny a position. This is opposed to a nanny who randomly gives out your number to many parents at many interviews when you can be called several times unnecessarily.

Parents come to us with their own specifications on a nanny that they are looking to hire, part of the service we provide is reference checking nannies to ensure that we are sending good quality candidates - so in a way they are giving a reference to a parent, indirectly.

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