When a return to work is imminent after maternity leave and grandparents are unwilling to take on the care of a grandchild, hiring a nanny is inevitable. And while there is no shortage of those willing to work in this field, finding a nanny who will provide security and support in the development of the child proves to be quite a challenge. The Internet does not help – young parents mainly scare and share bad experiences. Learn how to choose a nanny and see if she meets your expectations.
Casting for a nanny, or how to choose a babysitter
Separation is difficult for both parties. The child has to cope with the absence of the parent, who until now has accompanied him at every step. In turn, mom or dad faces fear for the safety of the toddler under the care of a stranger. After all, the first years are crucial for his development. Your several-year-old is just absorbing the world and you don’t want him to develop traumas.
Determine your requirements
Before you start recruiting, consider that you have clarified expectations and know what qualities in a caregiver you are looking for. Determine:
- the place of care – whether it will be your home or the nanny’s,
- working hours – how many hours per week, on what days and at what times the candidate must be available,
- salary – what form of employment you offer,
- responsibilities – care alone, or perhaps also cooking meals for the child, daily walks, picking him up from school, teaching him a foreign language, etc.
Meet the candidates
At the very beginning of the interview, familiarize the potential nanny with your requirements, the rules of the house and how to raise a child. Ask her about such aspects as:
- education, experience, courses and references,
- addictions, punctuality, patience,
- knowledge of the child’s illnesses and first aid,
- parenting methods, favorite games.
Check the information obtained
During the conversation, you can verify the nanny’s knowledge, for example, by asking her how she would behave in specific situations (a child falling from ladders in the playground, choking or lack of appetite). Pay attention to the vocabulary she uses, as well as her gestures – body language is very telling.
Don’t be afraid to arrange a paid trial week, during which you will observe the sitter’s work style. By the way, you will be able to familiarize her with your child’s schedule or his favorite places, and your child will have time to get used to the presence of a new person in his life.
Use the services of a private investigator
If you want to be 100% sure that you are hiring the right person, contact a private investigator. He will verify for you the identity of the candidate and the reliability of references. What’s more, it will conduct a community interview to confirm that she has no addictions and is a trustworthy person.
5 ways to control a babysitter
On thematic blogs, forums and social media, parents describe all the annoyances from nannies they have encountered. Candidates who excelled at the recruitment interview, over time disregarded duties, stole, were unempathic and even aggressive. Want to know if the caregiver you hire is honest? Here are 5 ways recommended by Detective Store specialists.
- Get home faster
The easiest way to check out a nanny is to surprise her. Come home a few times faster from work (by “accident,” of course), preferably at different times, to see what she is doing at the moment and what mood your kid is in.
- Neighborhood monitoring
A small child won’t tell you directly that something is wrong, but an alert neighbor will. Although in everyday life her nosiness can be a nuisance, in this case it can come in handy. She will certainly draw your attention to incessant crying or noises coming from behind your door. What’s more, if you maintain a good relationship with her, you can ask her to go to the playground at the same time as the sitter to observe how the nanny behaves.
- Discreet eavesdropping in a toy or stroller
A wiretap mounted in your object (stroller, toy or plush) works like an electronic nanny. It is discreet, yet effective. From the recordings you will learn how the nanny speaks to the child, such as whether she uses vulgarities or shouts, and how often your baby cries.
- Hidden camera in the baby’s room
A more functional option than eavesdropping is to mount a mini-camera in any object in the child’s room. A model with a built-in WiFi module streams live video to a free mobile app, and you can keep tabs on the care even while at work. This gadget is also useful when you are at home. You can check at any time if the baby is still sleeping or what he is doing.
- Detective observation
A private detective will discreetly document the sitter with the child on the way home from school or while playing on the playground, as well as check where she takes the child (store, cinema). If she detects a threat to the child’s safety, she will respond immediately.
Reasons to control your nanny - don't ignore these signals!
If you have confidence in the person hired, you want to ensure the nanny’s space with the child, and your conscience does not allow you to violate the nanny’s privacy, relinquish control. However, be vigilant and don’t ignore signs that may indicate that something wrong is going on.
Look into the nanny’s work when:
- she is notoriously late,
- the child cries before meeting her or is frightened,
- you smell cigarette smoke from her, and she said she doesn’t smoke,
- your belongings start to go missing,
- you notice bruises on your child’s body.
Selection and control of the nanny - FAQ
Learn the answers to the most frequently asked questions!
How to choose a good nanny for your child?
- Determine what you require and expect from a nanny so that you have a reference point when evaluating candidates.
- Pay attention to the nanny’s manner of speech, communication skills, creativity and gentle disposition, among other things.
- Before deciding on a permanent cooperation, see if she likes your child and proves herself in her role, for example, by organizing a paid trial week.
What qualities should a babysitter have?
Look for qualities in babysitter candidates such as patience, responsibility, creativity, positive attitude, divided attention and perceptiveness.
What questions to ask a babysitter?
During the interview, ask the nanny questions about her experience, knowledge of first aid and children’s illnesses, parenting methods, addictions, reasons for ending previous jobs, preferred types of fun and active leisure activities.
What to establish with the nanny?
To avoid misunderstandings, before you start working with a nanny, clearly specify your expectations of her, the way you raise your child and the rules of your home.
How to check the nanny’s references?
To check the nanny’s references, contact her previous employers or use a private investigator.
How to control a nanny?
There are various ways to control a nanny. You can install discreet cameras or wiretaps in the house, hire a detective or ask a neighbor/friend for help.
Is it legal to record the sitter at home?
According to UK law, it is legal to install cameras inside your home, but you must inform your babysitter that they are under surveillance.