Wise Nanny share their tips on how to start the process of choosing a nanny.
Nannies are not just professionals, but multi skilled, multi talented professionals, and employing one is a
serious business. The right nanny can transform a family’s life; the wrong nanny can be a disaster. Very
often when things go wrong it’s not that there is something wrong with the nanny, or the family, but the
family and the nanny are the wrong fit. The relationship with your nanny will probably be the most intimate
you will have outside of partners and family, so choosing the right person is crucial. Parents planning to
employ a nanny often spend a lot of time thinking about what the nanny will have to do, and what they
should be like, but Wise Nanny’s advice? Before you think about the nanny, get to know what you are like
Knowing yourselves and your family
- Wise Nanny have supported many parents through the hiring
process; some have had a disastrous experience already and are feeling terrified about starting again,
others are totally new to parenthood and feel completely in the dark. When parents decide to hire a nanny
they often start by thinking about what type of person they want or what jobs they want the nanny to do;
they might have written a list along the lines of - someone who is friendly, calm and organised who will be
great with the children, they will need to get them up and dressed in the morning, give them breakfast,
take them to nursery/school, do some shopping, tidy the house, pick them up, make their tea, help with
homework etc etc. ...This all sounds great, but to get the right nanny, parents have to know what they
rather than what they think they want; to do this they have to take a step back.
We recommend parents to look at themselves, their family and their lifestyle. - Are they people whose life
is structured and organised whether work or social? Do they have a clear plan for each day and do they
want their children to have the same? Is their house tidy and organised and do they like it to stay that way?
Are they more freelance in their work and life style; taking things as they come; being spontaneous and
wanting the children to have the freedom to explore and develop their own interests and choose their own
path? Are they private people or great sharers? Do the family have a strong extended family links or are
they a small unit? Do they have strong philosophies or beliefs that influence how they want to raise their
children? There are no right or wrong answers, but the more parents can know themselves, the more easily
they can understand the type of person they need.
The second thing that parents should think about hard is - (honestly) how much their work or lifestyle will
impact the kind of nanny they need. Will they be home every night at six or is their work demanding and
unpredictable? Do they travel regularly for work and want to leave the children at home/take the children
with them? Will they sometimes work from home and want to be involved/undisturbed? Sometimes
parents are desperate or keen not to put off a nanny and will gloss over these things, but
miscommunication at the beginning can often lead to frustration on both sides.
Having these discussions will not only help establish the kind of nanny a family are looking for, but will
ensure that parents are singing from the same hymn sheet when they do come to interview.
The last and essential recommendation is to research for and use a good quality nanny agency; once
families know what they want, a good agency will help screen and steer suitable candidates towards
families looking after their needs and the needs of the nanny; they support both sides through the
interview process; with employment advice and offer additional ongoing support.