All parents want what’s best for their kids, that’s a given. But sometimes knowing which is the best way forward can be daunting. Anything that involves your offspring tends to be accompanied with an awful lot of emotional baggage – and that is exactly how it should be. However, when emotions are running high, making the best childcare decisions, such as ‘Which nanny should I pick?’ can be tough. Here are some sensible tips to help parents navigate the bumpy road ahead…
Do you know what you need?
Okay, so you know you need childcare, but are you clear about the best set up for your family? If there are two working parents on different schedules, is it possible to devise a timetable that increases contact with your child and reduces reliance on childcare? Does either parent work from home? Do you need full time or part time help? Are school drop offs a must? What about after school care? Would a live in nanny be more practical? If so, is there room to accommodate them? Or do you just need someone to pop in for a couple of hours a day to lend a hand on a more flexible basis? Whatever it is you need, it can be arranged – the key to success is in being able to identify exactly the extent of cover you require.
Have you considered the age of the nanny you want? The benefits of a more mature nanny include greater childcare experience, confidence and a good knowledge of the general issues that are likely to crop up on any given day. Alternatively, a younger nanny may have higher energy levels to run in the park with boisterous toddlers. If you are a family that enjoys active hobbies for example, a fit nanny with plenty of stamina would be a plus.
Other questions you need to consider: Is it important for a nanny to live close by? Nearby nannies can offer extra support, are more punctual and usually offer greater flexibility. Can you afford it? Does it matter if the nanny is male or female? Do they need a driving licence? Speak other languages?
Get to grips with how you feel about these important aspects first, before taking the next step of actually finding a nanny.
Where to look
Selecting the right nanny is an important decision which should never be rushed. Start off by putting your feelers out with family and friends in the local area – they may be able to recommend great nannies they have heard about through the grapevine.
One of the most time-efficient and convenient ways to find the right childcare in the city is to approach nanny agencies in London. When you try nanny agencies in London you get a comprehensive service that covers all aspects of the process from identifying and vetting candidates to collecting references and negotiating pay and hours. An experienced and trustworthy agency will take time to find a nanny that perfectly fits your needs. Families requiring unconventional or unusual cover are well served by agencies as they carry a wide range of candidates on their rosters.
Nobody hires a nanny without meeting them first. Know beforehand what you want to say, write a list of questions if you want. Here are some ideas and pointers for areas you need to cover…
Ask them to describe their childcare style. Be curious about things such as how they would tend a sick child, soothe a sad toddler, feed a baby, discipline a naughty child. Ask them how they would amuse and play with children of various ages. Question them about their first aid experience. Take note of how they appear in the interview – do they make eye contact with you, are they aloof or cool? And most importantly, how are they with your kids?
Nobody hires a nanny without having a trial run first. It makes sense for both sides to gauge the situation on the ground and see how things go. It won’t take long to see which way the wind is blowing. When the relationship between nanny and children is positive, warm and relaxed, that’s when you know you’ve found ‘the one.’
Getting the best childcare for your kids can be a challenge, so take our advice and go slowly, know what you want and ask a lot of questions…