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Choosing a Part Time Nanny

Parenting and Child Care

If you're considering employing a part time nanny, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Nannies can be a sizable investment and can have a big impact on the wellbeing of your child, your peace of mind, and the smooth running of your household:

Use a reputable agency and check references carefully. Pay particular attention to gaps in employment and try to find other parents who have used and are happy with the service. The best indication of a good agency or placement service is a word-of-mouth recommendation, so if you're contemplating hiring a part time nanny, ask other parents to share their experiences.

Prefer a nanny who is experienced and has some formal training. If money is an issue, more highly trained childcare professionals can get expensive, but the extra costs may be worth it, particularly if you expect your child to exhibit behavioral problems during the transition.

Insist on a background check.
There are a number of agencies that will do a background check on prospective employees that will uncover a criminal record or discrepancies in a resume. If the agency you're using hasn't done one, do it yourself. There are a number of online and community resources you can utilize for this.

Discuss your style of parenting.
You have a way of doing things and so will any prospective nanny. The closer the two of you are relative to your philosophy of child rearing, the more consistent your child's care will be. If you are a permissive or authoritarian parent, make it clear going in that you have certain expectations about discipline and other duties. Most nannies feel better when parents make their expectations understood anyway.

Ask good questions.
Factors like potential scheduling conflicts, in home care, first aid training, transportation, and any other expectations you may have, like tutoring or meal preparation, should be discussed in detail with any potential candidates and formalized in writing.

Get a feel for the person you choose.
Go beyond the standard child care questions and make an effort to know candidates on a more personal level. Ask about hobbies and other interests. The goal here is to establish a rapport. Regardless of childrearing style, everyone brings a personality to any job they do, and knowing your potential nanny's temperament and quirks will help you make a better choice.

Listen for red flags. If your questions reveal that a candidate has a long commute to your home, this is a red flag for potential problems later. If a candidate has allergies and you have pets, this could be a problem too. Conducting a thorough interview and paying close attention will help you choose the best candidate for your lifestyle and parenting style.

The right part time nanny can be a lifesaver for a busy parent. After you polish up your interviewing skills and prepare a list of useful questions, you'll have all the tools you need to choose the best nanny for your family's needs.

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