Top 3 Requirements for Nanny Hiring
How to choose the right nanny for your family
At Village Childcare, we believe that three things are absolute requirements for every great nanny. Communication, Experience, and Passion. We understand that selecting a caregiver for your child is a big decision, and so the prospect of interviewing candidates can be intimidating. The process should include at least one phone screen and one in-person interview to check off all the questions necessary to qualify your nanny. Use the overview below to understand how we evaluate our nannies, and leverage the nanny interview questions to make a more confident decision for yourself.
Communication is the key to trust, and there is no greater characteristic of a great nanny. From a discussion of the daily acitvities, the documentation of sleep and food cycles, or sharing funny photos throughout the day, a nanny should be an extension of your parenting and part of the family. Poor communication is an automatic disqualifier when we screen nannies for our families.
How do you tell if a nanny is a strong communicator? When we begin our phone screen nannies for families, we begin with basic questions about an individuals experience. The responses should share concrete examples about experiences they’ve had.
- What was the situation they were placed in?
- How did they respond?
- What was the result?
As the interview unfolds, you’ll begin to understand how a nanny would be able to communicate to you about your child. Another positive signal to look for is if the nanny begins to ask you questions. A strong communicator will look to understand your parenting style and your childs preferences. Finally, remember that the initial phone screen is just the first step. It should always be followed up with an in person interview where you can see the nanny interact with your child. Finding the right nanny is both about finding a good communicator and finding someone who you feel comfortable with in your.
When interviewing a Nanny for communication skills, try the following questions:
- Please tell us about a normal day watching children at your last job.
- Tell me about a challenging day and how you handled it
- What are your favorite ages to care for?
- What was important to the parents at your last job? How did you work to make sure that happened?
- What are you looking for in your next job?
We want to find nannies who have experienced the joys and challenges of watching children. The more a nanny has seen and experienced, the more they’ll be ready to take on any situation. The best nannies bring a wealth of knowledge to engage and expand your children’s mind.
Experience can come in many forms. Good work experience for a nanny job can be past roles as a nanny, daycare teacher, babysitter, instructor for infant art classes or swim classes, and more. Some parents that I speak to are looking only for educational degrees in early childhood education, but we’ve seen fantastic nannies come from degrees in art, theater, music, or english because they tend to have a love for those topics that they can translate to enriching your childs life. If you’re considering a nanny-share, look for nannies who have spent time caring for siblings or who have worked at daycares for multiple children of the same age.
When interviewing a Nanny for experience, try the following questions:
- What type of activities would be engaging for my child’s age group?
- Can you tell me more about the family and children that you worked for last?
- What growth milestones did the children hit as you were watching them?
- If our roles were reversed, what would you look for in hiring a nanny?
- Please share why you left your previous roles.
- If you are considering specific sleep or food training, feel free to ask:
- What sleep training methods have you used with children before?
- Would you feel comfortable learning about method XYZ and implementing?
- Have you ever dealt with food allergies?
- Do you feel comfortable following baby-lead-weaning for our childrens lunch time meals?
We are looking for nannies who love what they do. These nannies will be more punctual, more energetic, more loving, and happier with your little one! The top indicator of a nannies passion for the role is understanding their long term goals. When the nanny envisions herself as a lifelong caregiver for children as a nanny or teacher, it shows a love for the job. Similarly, if the nanny shows a history of childcare and tells stories about their experience with excitement and positivity,
Another way to understand passion is by calling a nanny’s references. This is a critical part of the process to identify any major red flags and to confirm softer skills and interests like passion. Most referrals are pleasant and don’t teach you too much, but if there are real issues or if the nanny is a real gem - parents will warn you, or gush about their past nanny.
When interviewing a Nanny for passion, try the following questions:
- What do you enjoy most about working with children?
- What do you find most difficult about the job?
- What do you see yourself doing in the future?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What are you looking for in your next position?
Nanny Reference Check
At Village Childcare, we call a nanny’s references for every single family that we work with. You should consider it simply too important of a step to skip. Here are some questions you can ask to give you the confidence to hire a nanny:
- How long did they work for you?
- Why did they leave?
- How did your nanny respond to feedback?
- What did an average day look like?
- Can you share a time when they frustrated you?
- Can you share a time when they went above and beyond?
- Would you hire them again?