When moving to a new area the first thing you do is find a place to live. The next thing you do, if you are a parent, is look for good reliable childcare.
In my opinion, having been in the childcare business for over 22 years, the best option, especially for a child under three, is a nanny.
The Nanny Advantage
A nanny can make your life easier. Instead of making your child conform to an adult-centered world by getting them up early in the morning, the nanny can arrive and greet your child upon waking, beginning a day that is centered on your child’s 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.
Finding A Nanny
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. Some parents and nannies may get lucky and find the perfect fit, however, given all the horror stories we’ve all heard about meeting someone on the internet, this would not be my choice.
Advertising also has its drawbacks. You have to wade through all the people who respond to your ad in order to find someone you like well enough 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 Association of Premier Nanny Agencies website at www.theapna.org for the best agency in your area.
Using A Nanny Placement Agency
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 quickly assess which applicants you would want to meet. Agencies consider the personality and lifestyle of the nanny and family 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 but the agency will continue to provide you with candidates until you find the one you like. You and the nanny meet and see if you like each other. If you do, request the agency to arrange a trial day with the nanny. 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.
The Cost of A Nanny
Full time nanny salaries are $2400 to $3200 per month depending on experience. However, more and more people are using temporary nannies to help when daycare or school is closed or for an ill child. Temporary nannies make between $13 and $17 per hour. Part time nannies make between $15 and $20 per hour.
The Perfect Fit
However you choose a nanny, be sure 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. A good nanny is a nurturer, born, not made and truly loves working with children. When you find that special person, your life and your child’s will be blessed.