Being in the childcare business for over 20 years, I know busy parents need reliable and available childcare options. In my opinion, the best option, especially for a child under three, is a nanny.
A nanny can make your life easier. Instead of your getting your child up early in the morning and conforming him or her to an adult-centered world, the nanny can arrive and greet your child upon his waking, beginning a day that is centered on his needs. The nanny plans outings and play dates. The nanny teaches and nurtures. The nanny may help with laundry, cooking and light housekeeping. Nannies are truly household partners, and the really great thing is that your child has another person in his or her life to love.
Choosing a nanny is a very important decision. There are several ways of finding a nanny: the internet, personal advertising, or a nanny placement agency. Least expensive is the internet. However, given all the horror stories we’ve all heard about meeting someone on the internet, this would not be my choice. This is not to say that parents and nannies don’t get lucky and find the perfect fit.
Advertising has its own drawbacks because of the amount of people you have to wade through to even find someone you like over the phone and would like to meet in person. I have heard many people say that out of 30 responses, three of them sound decent. Out of those three, two are no-shows and the one who does show up for the appointment turns out wrong for the job anyway.
The nanny placement agency, while the most expensive is also the most convenient and safest option. Choosing the best agency to help you find the right nanny is as important as hiring the nanny. Please check out the National Alliance of Professional Nanny Agencies website for the best agency in your area at www.theapna.org.
The agency’s job is to find the right person for your child. Expect the agency to begin the process by asking you many questions about your needs, your expectations and the child-rearing values most important to you. Next, the agency begins pre-screening applicants for you. This is where their expertise really kicks in. They talk to prospective nannies everyday and can almost tell over the phone if that person is someone you would want to meet. Agencies take the personality and lifestyle of the nanny and family into consideration when making a referral. They complete thorough background and reference checks on the prospective nannies and present them to you.
You should expect to interview between one to three people. You and the nanny meet and see if you like each other. If you do, then you have a trial date. At that time you let the agency know that you are having the nanny over for another interview. If it all works out well, then you will be ready to make an offer to the nanny. This can be an exciting yet nerve-wracking time, and again, the nanny placement agency will help you negotiate a compensation package that is fair and reasonable to both parties. Remember, the nanny is your employee and you are responsible for payroll taxes.
Nannies love children but they also need to make a living and be paid in a proper and timely manner. Presents and compliments are nice too.
However you choose your nanny, be sure that she/he is the right person for your child. It is so important that it is a good fit. Your child may be spending more time with the nanny than with you. He should absolutely adore his nanny. I believe that a good nanny is a giver, is born, not made and truly loves children. When you find that special person, your child’s life will be blessed.