Guide to hiring a nanny

Your Step-By-Step Guide To Hiring A Nanny

Here's your 10 step, must-read guide to hiring a nanny. Making the process of hiring a nanny much easier!

Understandably, every family wants the hiring process to be thorough and careful, and they want to hire the perfect nanny at the end of it. And there’s no reason why families shouldn’t have such expectations!

Follow these 10 steps, and the hiring process will feel more manageable and enjoyable.

1. Set your requirements

Do you need a live-in nanny? Is a night nanny the right choice for you? Before you get into the hiring process, decide what kind of caregiver will best suit your family. Write a list of all the qualities you want your nanny to have: a sense of fun, a perfect driving record, first-aid training, a nursing degree, etc. Make a list of deal breakers: smokers, speeding tickets, etc. This will help you craft a precise job description that will attract nannies with the qualities you want most.

2. Know your price

What can you afford to pay your new nanny? Don’t forget to factor in things like expenses for activities, annual raises and bonuses. And make sure you include taxes as well. Use our nanny pay calculator to figure out what the going rate is for nannies in your area.

3. Posting a job

When you’re ready with your super-detailed and upbeat job description, post your job on

4. Start interviewing

When applicants begin to answer your job post, consider their professionalism and experience. How well do they convey why they want this job? Do their qualifications match your needs? Start to narrow down your choices. For definite mismatches, send an immediate “no thank you” note as a courtesy. Pick the best five to ten candidates and arrange a phone interview or meeting at a neutral location, like a coffee shop.

Then when you cut the list down to your top three candidates, invite them to your home for an in-person interview. Discuss how your household runs and ask detailed questions about their background and childcare philosophies. See how they interact with your kids. Try not to watch like a hawk (tough as that will be!), so you get a real sense of how they will naturally interact.

5. Ensure they have a background check

Have you found a nanny you really like and you know she would be a perfect fit? Great! But don’t forget to obtain a criminal record background check. Ask to see her social insurance number, so you can make sure they are legally able to work in this country. Read this advice from Service Canada’s advice on your responsibility as an employer with regards to your employee’s SIN.

6. Reference checking

Don’t forget to check references. Did other families have a good experience with this nanny? Are there any red flags to watch out for? Also double-check the actual references. You want to make sure you’re not talking to a candidate’s relative or friend.

7. Sort out taxes

Now that you’re an employer, you’re responsible for paying employer taxes. Familiarize yourself with how nanny taxes work and register your nanny as an employee with Revenue Canada. Make use of the Revenue Canada payroll calculator to then determine how much to deduct from your nanny’s gross pay. Follow the steps outlined under ‘How do taxes work?’ in our Top 7 Childcare FAQs.

8. Be insured

Now that you have a nanny, you need to check that your insurance coverage is adequate. Consult with your insurance broker to make sure you have enough umbrella insurance now that you have someone working for you in your home.

9. Write a contract

Everyone who hires a nanny should have a nanny contract. The contract protects your family and the nanny as well. This is the place to spell out everything: salary, job requirements, hours, expectations, etc. The more detailed your contract, the better. Discuss it with your nanny and let them weigh in.

10. Offer of employment

Once you’ve found the perfect candidate, make sure you let the other applicants know the position has been filled. It’s a good idea to include a trial period of a week or two in your contract in case the situation just doesn’t pan out. You can follow this checklist for their first day of work to make sure you have everything you need. Talk about safety and any issues that may crop up. And prepare your children for the arrival of the new nanny, to help the process go smoothly.

Your Next Steps:

* The tax information contained in this article should not be used for any actual nanny relationship without the advice and guidance of a professional tax advisor who is familiar with all the relevant facts. The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended as legal, tax or investment advice. Furthermore, the information contained herein may not be applicable to or suitable for your specific circumstances and may require consideration of other matters.

Comment on this article