8 Common mistakes to avoid when hiring a nanny

We take a look at common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when hiring a nanny. You want to find the best nanny for you and your family, but the pressure to find someone in a hurry can often cloud your judgement.
We take a look at common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when hiring a nanny.

You want to find the best nanny for you and your family, but the pressure to find someone in a hurry can often cloud your judgement.

It could also make the final decision and hiring process a messy affair if you don’t consider the full picture.

Whether you’re using one of the many popular online sites that allows anyone to list themselves as a nanny or a reputable nanny recruitment agency, there are a number of mistakes you’ll want to avoid and questions you should ask during the hiring process.

Have a look at these useful tips

8 Common mistakes to avoid when hiring a nanny


1. Insufficient reference checking & police checks

Taking the time to contact previous employers and families that have been nominated as referees is essential.

Failing to contact referees and speaking honestly about your needs and their experiences with the nanny is a common mistake.

Identifying a common thread of ideas and values that have been shared and experienced by previous families is the key to a stress-free working relationship with a nanny.

Not carrying out a police check and verifying that it belongs to the nanny is putting your children at risk and not worth the omission.

Police checks and driving record checks can avoid hiring a nanny with a history of unsafe driving or worse still, a previous police record of theft, fraud or worse.


2. Offering a lower than standard rate of pay

Hiring a nanny can be expensive, but offering a low rate of pay will undervalue their worth and commitment to you and your family.

The old adage, 'you get what you pay for' holds true for this attitude towards the worth of a nanny.

If your nanny is paid poorly they may find it easier to take a day off or to head to a better paying job, leaving you stranded and in need of emergency childcare.


3. Expectations for housekeeping & cleaning

Hiring a nanny is not synonymous with hiring a cleaner.

Being unrealistic and inflexible when considering what the nanny will be doing while your children have a nap does not mean you need to fill every minute of their day with housekeeping duties.

Light housework IS expected and keeping areas clean tidy and safe are necessary.

The kitchen benches and food preparation areas need to be kept tidy and clean. And yes a toilet may need to be cleaned if the children have an accident.

But expecting the nanny to hang out the family washing, mop floors, vacuum and dust the house all in a day is both unrealistic and an unfair working condition.

Most nannies work independently, without assistance or regular breaks. Their working days can be 8 to 10 hours in length.

The chance to take a break, have a coffee or make a necessary private phone call will not lead to bad habits or a lazy nanny!

Making an effort to understand their day is an important factor in building mutual respect and a committed employee.


4. Not providing a contract with a list of duties & remuneration details

Offering your nanny a contract could be considered overly efficient and even over the top, but you are not making a new friend.

You are paying the nanny to perform duties and tasks that require a level of skill, and competence that are appropriate to your requirements.

A contract of employment outlining expected duties and remuneration for any extra duties, such as use of their own vehicle etc is a simple way to avoid misunderstandings.

Review the contract regularly and discuss any changes with the nanny. Allow them to also make changes and suggestions.

Remember to agree on the type of employment and payment schedule i.e. daily, weekly, monthly etc and add this into the contract.

It’s important that the nanny understands the terms of engagement and the take home pay after deductions etc.

Signing and dating the contract will seal the deal.


5. Not explaining your style of parenting

This can be an afterthought by many parents when interviewing a prospective nanny.

The differences in childcare styles can be immense and if not discussed, can be the cause of the end of the placement.

Remember to always ask what the nanny's view is on discipline and play.

Ensure your philosophy on both these areas is clear and understood. Your children deserve consistency.


6. Inadequate orientation & training

If possible have the nanny spend time with you and the family before they officially start.

This is a great way to orientate and welcome them to your home and routine.

Most importantly it allows your children to get to know and develop a relationship with their new nanny.


7. Demanding detailed diaries & work lists

Asking the nanny to keep a diary of the day’s events is perfectly ok so long as it doesn’t become your check list to complain and find things they haven’t done.

Micromanaging in this way will create tension and frustration on all levels.

Allow the nanny to manage their own day and if some days you receive art work and iced cakes instead of a detailed written account of the day’s activities it speaks for itself.


8. Failure to compensate or make arrangements when you're on holiday

This can be an issue if your family is away for long periods of time and the nanny is not required. You may return to find the nanny has taken work elsewhere.

An agreement for when she is not needed is a good way to avoid this problem and advanced warning is a courtesy that will be appreciated and reciprocated.

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Source: This article was written by RockMyBaby - one of the largest Nanny Agencies and leading childcare recruitment experts providing families with professional, high quality babysitters, nannies, Karitane nurses, infant maternity services and postnatal home help

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