Many parents today have no choice but to hire a nanny. And quite a few of them are extremely anxious about this because they’ve read horror stories like this or this. The truth of the matter is that leaving your child in someone else’s care is always a risk. But if you choose the nanny wisely, and run a thorough background check on her, both you and your child can benefit greatly. Your baby will get the constant care and support they need and you’ll have your peace of mind. However, to get to that, you have to choose the best nanny first, and this is how you do this.
How to Choose the Best Nanny for Your Child in 3 Steps
1. Start with a thorough background check
You should use every tool available to you when running a background check of your prospective nanny. Recommendations from friends or colleagues aren’t enough for this as you have to be perfectly sure this person can be trusted.
When running this background check you should look for:
- Confirmation of identity.
The nanny should provide her full name, driver’s license, and social security number upon request. If applicable, have your nanny fill out the I-9 form and verify it with the relevant government body.
- Driving and criminal records.
As it’s hard to access this kind of data, you might need to hire a professional agency to run a background check on your nanny. If they lived abroad, make sure the agency knows to inquire about criminal records from the relevant countries. Same for the driving records in every state where your nanny held a driver’s license. Pay close attention to checking the prospective nanny’s past for child abuse and neglect records as well as look for their name on the sex offender registry.
Even if your nanny passes the background check with flying colors, be sure to keep an eye on her and your baby. Today you can use specialized nanny cams to do that. Gadgets Spy provides more detailed information about these and similar surveillance devices. They also explain the legal points of using hidden cameras at home. As using spying equipment is legal in the majority of states, especially inside one’s home, you shouldn’t have any issues with the nanny cam.
2. Check her references
Don’t simply look at the list of references the nanny candidate provides during the interview. You have to be proactive and use it. Contact the people on the list and ask some important questions:
- Is the nanny always on time?
- How does she handle stressful situations?
- Do you have any personal concerns to share about her?
- How well does she get along with children?
- If there are any complaints about her, what are they?
You should get at least four references that you can contact and actually talk with.
3. Have a test run to see if this nanny is a good fit for your family
Hiring a nanny isn’t a ‘last minute’ kind of deal. You should start looking for candidates well before going back to work. This is essential not only to run all the checks but also to give the applicant a chance to work with you.
At first, the nanny should spend a few hours at home with you so you can see how she works while she learns about your child’s habits and needs. During this time you’ll see if she truly is a good fit for your family.