You love your kids unconditionally, but now that they’re no longer babies in need of constant care and attention, it’s time to take the next step. You’re ready to go back to work, but you’re not sure who to trust to take care of your kids.
You don’t live near family, or you don’t trust them to maintain your kids’ routines and habits throughout the day.
What you need to do is hire a nanny. But it’s a daunting task to begin the process of finding someone who will fit into your kids’ lives in the right way. Where do you even begin?
Here’s your guide on how to hire a nanny for your family that everyone will love.
What are Your Nanny Needs
The first step to finding the perfect nanny is to establish what kind of nanny you’re looking for.
You need to decide what kind of hours they will need to be with your kids, what kind of experience you want them to have, and what responsibilities they will have throughout the day.
You could need a nanny for your standard 9 to 5 work hours, or you might have frequent meetings or date nights after work. Or maybe you only work half-days and don’t need a full-time nanny.
Another question to ask is in regards to their experience as a nanny. Is the neighborhood high school-aged girl responsible enough to spend more consistent time with your kids? Is introducing a near-stranger to your kids too much of a risk?
Nanny experience can vary greatly from person to person. More experienced nannies may also be significantly older if they’ve spent a decade or two nannying so far.
Would your kids like being around someone closer to your own age, like another parent? Or would they get along better with someone a little younger, who is more in-tune with the current trends of their generation?
Further, what kind of responsibilities would you like your nanny to complete throughout their day-to-day routine? Would you like them to wash dishes or fold laundry? Will they be transporting your kids to sports practices or playdates?
If your nanny will be facilitating transport or tutoring, they will need additional resources (i.e. a car) or education (i.e. a teaching degree or training) to fulfill these tasks.
Whether you choose to provide these extra needs or you only hire a nanny with these requirements is up to you.
The resources and conditions you’ll be providing and requiring of your nanny will factor into the salary you choose to pay them. Nannies with more expertise and additional skills will cost more than less experienced nannies with fewer supplementary abilities.
You may not require all of the extra experience that you list on a job offer, but it’s important to be realistic about what you’re willing and able to pay for.
Depending on if you are hiring a full-time or part-time nanny can affect how they prefer to be paid, as well. Full-time nannies may want to be on biweekly salaries, while part-time nannies may prefer to be paid hourly.
Further, especially as you will likely be contributing a significant part of your nanny’s income, they will be including the pay they receive from you when filing their taxes.
You’ll want to learn more about filing taxes as their employer and look into the benefits that it might provide.
In addition, your budget may not have room for the perfect experienced nanny of your dreams. Or you may not be able to find the best nanny in your area before you have to go back to work.
Don’t worry, you can make sure everything is going well by checking in on your kids through home surveillance cameras.
Do a Background Check
If you don’t already somewhat know the nanny you’re going to hire, plan on running some kind of background check prior to letting the nanny meet your kids.
This background check can be personalized to whatever lingering questions or concerns you may have before officially hiring a nanny. Maybe your background check consists of calling all their references and asking a few critical questions.
You can always run an actual professional background check to make sure your nanny doesn’t have a significant criminal record that may affect their ability to care for your children.
Get to Know Your Nanny
When you’ve found a nanny that can fill all your needs, will work within your budget and has passed your background check, your nanny is ready to meet your kids.
This initial introduction can be as simple as inviting your nanny to a family dinner so they can talk and interact with everyone in the family.
However, it’s especially important that there be mutual chemistry between the nanny and your kids. If your kids don’t like the nanny or vice versa, it may not be a good fit going forward.
If you’re convinced that this nanny will get along great with your kids and that they’re ready to learn about their new responsibilities, schedule a trial day of work.
They can shadow you through the everyday tasks you’ll want them to complete, and they can spend some more casual time playing with and getting to know your kids.
You can extend this trial day into a trial week if it feels right. If you have to be back at the office sooner than you expected and want to be able to keep an eye on your kids during the day, consider installing a nanny cam.
Make a Contract
One of the final steps to hiring a nanny is creating a contract. If your nanny has been in the childcare business for a long time, they may have a contract of their own.
Either way, you and your nanny should review or build a contract that fits the job. This way, they will know what they are signing on to, and you will know what responsibilities your nanny will be able to cover for you while you are at work.
A contract is also a good time to discuss and negotiate your nanny’s salary. Be respectful of their expertise and time while keeping your budget in mind.
Welcome Your Nanny Home
After the contract is signed by your nanny and yourself, you’re ready to get back to work. You’ll be able to return to your job with the peace of mind that your kids and your home are in good hands of a quality nanny.
For more tips for hiring a nanny and ideas on how to keep your kids safe and sound while you’re away, check out our page.