We’re all guilty of making that long wish list of everything we could possibly want in a nanny. Even when the job description is posted, we are still getting applicants who don’t quite fit the bill. So how do you find the best nanny faster?
List Traits & Qualifications
The first thing you need to do is write down the qualities you are looking for in a caregiver.
- Does she need to have specific nanny experience or is it okay that her experience comes from teaching at a day nursery?
- Does she need to have brought up children of her own?
- Does she have experience with certain age groups?
- Does she need to have a First Aid certificate?
- Do you need her to be educated to a certain level?
- Personality traits: Is she tidy? Is she organised? Energetic or introverted? Does she need to have a similar cultural background?
- Does she have any useful special skills such as cooking, driving, sports, or language abilities?
Write down anything that comes to mind, even the specifics, such as having a car. Once you have the list, circle the ones you must have and others you feel you can be flexible on. Communicating your “must haves” helps narrow down your search and encourages qualified applicants to apply.
Write a Specific Job Description
Take the time to write a job description that will give you a better chance of finding the right fit for your family. Here’s what to include:
Start with a summary: Write one or two sentences outlining your nanny requirements.
Childcare responsibilities: List the duties that the nanny must perform such as feeding, bathing, driving to after school activities, homework, setting up play dates, etc. Also, note other expectations that are important on the job, like if it’s necessary to communicate verbally each day, whether you would prefer her to have a sit down check in at the end of the week, or maybe you’d like her to keep a small diary. Want to go a step further? Include what a typical day might look like.
Related housekeeping responsibilities: Clarify if the nanny should be assisting with other tasks, such as doing the laundry and any cleaning. These can also be tasks that may come up during the job, but don’t occur daily, such as a quick run to the local shop to grab a forgotten item.
The house rules: Often overlooked, the house rules should be covered in a job description. It helps nannies understand what type of behaviour the family adheres to. You should also include rules you expect only the nanny to follow. Clearly stating that you aren’t comfortable with the nanny having visitors over at the house will give her an idea of boundaries ahead of time.
If the nanny is a live-in, these rules are more likely to change. For example, are overnight guests allowed? Are there certain areas of the house which are off-limits or is she free to use everything?
The minimum knowledge, skills & requirements: Want a nanny with a degree in Early Years? Lifeguard training? A clean driving license? Make sure to add these items to the description. Include minimum qualifications, such as graduating high school or a certain age requirement for all applicants.
How to Search
Posting a job is the best way to go when you use Care.com since caregivers understand exactly what you are looking for and are responding to your specific requirements. But there are useful search options available to families as well.
When you log into Care.com, you will notice a pull down option along the top of the page next to the words ‘search for’. Use that pull down menu to select the type of care provider you are looking for and enter your post code to find care providers in your area.
You can also use the pull down option entitled ‘childcare’ at the very top of the page, under the Care.com logo. This is a great option if you would like to refine your search by selecting the type of child care provider you are looking for. The options include babysitters, nannies, daycare or au pairs.
Responding to Applicants
Just like any other job application process, take time to request their resume, review profiles, research and interview thoroughly. For those candidates who do not qualify for the position, still make sure to follow up. It’s polite to send a courtesy email, they deserve to know where they stand and will appreciate not being left in the dark.