Everything You Need to Ask Before You Hire a Nanny
By Stephen Gross
Finding a nanny is one of those nerve-racking things a new parent may have to do. The thought of leaving your baby with someone else is, let’s face it, stressful. Having a good set of questions ready to ask potential candidates will help reduce that anxiety.
Before interviewing the nanny, however, you should ask for references. Once you have them, follow up on them—I know, this is one of the things that most people hate doing but it really is essential. From this, you may get additional questions for your nanny interview.
Questions for references:
- How long did they work with you?
- Why did they leave?
- Was the nanny dependable, any examples?
- How old were your kids when they worked with you, and how were the kids with them?
- What are they like, personality-wise?
- Did they get along with all the family?
- What were their daily duties, and were they good at them?
- Did they follow directions well?
- Did they ever have to handle an emergency—and how did they do?
- If you don’t mind sharing, what was their compensation?
- Would you hire them again?
- Did they have any negatives?
- Did they transport your kids anywhere?
Questions for the nanny interview:
- How long have you been a nanny?
- How old were the other children you cared for?
- Do you have any formal childhood development or childcare training?
- Do you have emergency training? CPR? First aid?
- If not, are you willing to take CPR classes and first aid training?
- What would you do if my child were sick or had an accident?
- Can I run a background check on you?
- Are you up to date on your vaccines (tetanus- diphtheria-pertussis/whooping cough)?
BEING A NANNY:
- Why are you a nanny?
- Why are you looking for a new position?
- What do you like about the job?
- Describe your ideal family/employer.
- What do you like least about being a nanny?
- Do you have any problems with pets?
DEALING WITH CHILDREN:
- What are your beliefs about child-rearing?
- What do children like best about you?
- How do you comfort children?
- How do you deal with separation anxiety?
- How do you discipline children?
- Give an example of a previous discipline problem you handled.
- What are some rules you’ve followed in other households that you think worked well?
- Which rules haven’t worked for you?
- Would you be willing to follow my rules and discipline/comforting even if they’re different from yours?
LOGISTICS AND SALARY:
- Do you want a live-in arrangement?
- If not a live-in arrangement, where do you live and how will you get to work?
- If it’s not a live-in arrangement, will you bring your own food or make something using what we have?
- Do you have a well-functioning car, with room for car seats?
- Have you had any accidents?
- Is your car insurance current?
- Do you smoke or vape?
- Are you willing to do light chores while the baby is sleeping? Which ones?
- Do you have any personal responsibilities or health issues that could interfere with work?
- When would you be able to start working?
- Do you have an issue with the days and hours we need?
- Would you ever be available to work evenings or weekends?
- Would you be available to travel with our family for weekends/vacations?
- Do you expect to take a vacation of your own? When?
Depending on your situation and needs you will want to adjust the questions above, but this list will go a long way to address most of your major topics,
Good luck. You got this!
Stephen Gross is an award-winning designer who has received numerous honors for his work in advertising, branding, and retail. He is the author of The Simplest Baby Book in the World.
His creative vision and design talent has impacted some of the most creative and innovative companies in the world, including Estee Lauder, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Brothers, Universal, Fox, Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Mattel, Lionsgate, and A+E, among many others.
From his experience as a creative executive for Disney and Mattel, Stephen has acquired a sensibility that understands what parents want for their children and learned how to talk to them in words, visuals, and graphics in an easy, compelling way.
He lives with his husband, Vincent, in Los Angeles with their two adorable children, who are now ages two and three.
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