Baby Hints & Tips

What to look for in a nanny

what to look for in a nannyHow to win the nanny lottery ie how to get a good one

A nanny looks after your nearest and dearest, gets up close and personal with lots of your precious belongings and can often become like one of the family. There’s also terrible tales of nightmare nanny’s who’s shortcomings we don’t even want to explore.

So how do you win the nanny lotto and avoid the duds?

Here’s what to look for when choosing your family’s nanny: 

Past experience – not all nannies will have past experience but it is good to look for one who has worked with children in at least some capacity before. Like any job, experience counts. If you can afford someone with extensive experience they are worth their weight in gold. Don’t take their word for their experience, ask to ring their previous employer families.

Qualifications – Ideally a nanny should have or be working towards a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. This is now the nationally regulated entry level qualification to be able to work in centre-based care or family day care.

How they interact with your child/children – this is one of the most important! Watch the interaction and try to get a feel for if your child could forge a bond with this person. Remember it always takes a little time especially as older and more understanding children may be upset mum is going back to work (or taking time away from them). The right nanny will be interested in your child and able to capture their attention with chat and play.

Current First Aid certificate is non-negotiable!  Up to date knowledge of what to do in a number of common accidents that can occur with children is imperative.

Police check – Most agencies will send nannies to you with a police check already in place or you can easily ask your applicant to apply at your local police station or online.

Go with you gut – Instinct is a powerful tool that guides us in many important decisions.
If a person feels wrong for your family they are not the right hire for you. Sometimes a person call also immediately feel right. Bingo! This is wonderful however still ensure you undertake the suggested checks.

Having the right Nanny in your home can be a fabulous, joy-filled experience. Your children will thrive with an extra adult to love and care for them and you can relax as a parent that your child is in safe hands. Be sure to interview plenty of candidates and ask for recommendations where you can. A good nanny is a true asset, good luck in finding the right one! 

Chantal Cohen

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