How to Hire a Nanny You Can Trust to Be Caring and Competent

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how to hire a nanny, i need to hire a nanny, where to hire a nanny
Credit: Flickr, Pedro Reyna

For many parents, knowing how to hire a nanny is an important step.

Whatever your situation is, you have probably felt the need for some help. Raising children is tough, and you still have to earn a living. That's where a nanny can provide some crucial relief. But you probably already know that your decision here is critical. When you're not around, your nanny will have authority over your kids. This is a big responsibility and one you shouldn't take lightly. Fortunately, there are some time honored steps that will put you on the right track. We hope our step by step guide will give you the confidence to learn how to hire a nanny that's right for your family.

how to hire a nanny, i need to hire a nanny, where to hire a nanny



A Bit About Hiring a Nanny

While a nanny can provide you with excellent childcare, it can be difficult to take the plunge. If you're unsure of how a nanny could benefit you and your family, we'll explore all of this and more.

how to hire a nanny

What are reasons to hire a nanny?

There are countless situations for which you might find a nanny helpful. But in virtually all cases, you choose someone to help lighten a load. Maybe you need an extra pair of hands after the birth of your latest child. Or work schedules could leave some gaps where you just need reliable child care. Some of you might want someone who can live in the house to help out in some household tasks.

The good news is that wherever you find yourself on that spectrum, there are great options. And the digital age has made it easier than ever to find the right candidate.

Why is choosing the right person important?

The safety of your kids is probably the answer that immediately jumps out. And of course that is the primary consideration when leaving anyone in charge. But there are plenty of other reasons you want to ensure your nanny is a good fit. First of all, there are practical considerations like the cost of maintaining services. Then there is the personal side, which includes making sure you get along with the candidate.

Every case is different. So whatever you consider most important, keep it in mind during the interview. That will come in handy when you learn how to hire a nanny.

What qualities should you look for in a nanny?

When you're considering the person who will be caring for your kids, no detail is too small. But at the same time, there are some things to which you probably want to give more weight. Then, if a prospective nanny meets those requirements, you can compromise from there.

We think that strong recommendations from previous employers is an important quality. But there are many things you'll want to find out on your own. If you can trust your nanny to provide impeccable care, he or she will aim to please. Therefore, if you like a lot about a candidate, you can work to cover any other traits. The main thing we recommend looking for is a genuine love for the job and interest in caring for your kids. 


What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

You'll probably make much of the decision during a one on one interview. But before you get to that point, there are lots of ways to narrow down your search. And prior to taking that first step, here are a few simple tools to have handy.
  1. A smartphone or laptop. It might come as no surprise that the internet will help you learn how to hire a nanny. After all, we rely on online review for many of our decisions. And there are some great resources on the web to help you pick the right nanny.
  2. A clear list of requirements. This could include details like your budget and the number of hours you need covered. From there, your requests might become more specific. For example, you could focus on nannies who help with chores or specialize in education.
  3. An open mind. We get it -- there are things you won't compromise on. And we wouldn't want you to. But realize that the perfect nanny might not come in the package you're picturing. Whatever attributes you believe make the perfect nanny might not be so important. When you meet the right one, everything else can go out the window.

A Step-by-Step Guide for How to Hire a Nanny

The process can start as early as you like. But we recommend not waiting too long after you realize you're going to need one. At least begin the preliminary search and find some trusted resources for providing your nanny. Then, get started with the tips below and you should soon find your perfect match.

1. Be Realistic

how to hire a nanny, i need to hire a nanny, where to hire a nanny


This is where you start off with your list of must have items. Don't add anything that you don't absolutely need. As you'll probably find, your perfect nanny will have qualities you couldn't even think of requesting.

So stick to the basics and be realistic about what you want your nanny to provide. Also keep a close eye on your budget. We recommend setting a maximum price a bit lower than you actually expect to spend. There could be associated costs that you haven't yet considered. Plus, if you have a little wiggle room you might be able to negotiate for an even better candidate.

The bottom line is that you know best what you are looking for in a nanny. So hold firm to the things that really matter. When you've got that settled, start considering candidates.

2. Get The Word Out

how to hire a nanny, i need to hire a nanny, where to hire a nanny


Treat this like a job search -- because in the truest sense that's exactly what it is. You're looking for the best candidate out there in your price range. And the stakes are probably a lot higher than most jobs out there.

So in addition to making sure you properly vet every candidate, check out the places you post. You can try traditional methods or go through online services like Care.com. Whichever way you go, this posting will be your opportunity to describe exactly what you need. And from there, you'll be able to select the applicants to seem to have the right stuff.

But you don't necessarily have to post a job listing at all if you've got some trusted references. Maybe you love the stories you coworker told about a nanny service or particular employee. Wherever your prospective nanny comes from, it'll be up to you to make the final decision. 

3. Let The Interviews Begin

how to hire a nanny, i need to hire a nanny, where to hire a nanny

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This is perhaps the most important part of the process in learning how to hire a nanny. Because it is here that you will get to know the real people behind those applications.

Maybe you've already gotten an idea of some promising candidates through the responses you've received. Pick a few of your favorites and begin scheduling appointments to chat. You can handle the interview on the phone or online if you prefer. But we recommend an in person discussion when possible. Pick a place you both will feel comfortable, like a centrally located diner or cafe. You'll want to focus on intangible qualities to feel out each candidate. Make sure you can have a professional and personal relationship with this person.

After the first round, you might want to schedule a second interview for your top picks. This is where you can get into more detailed questions to make sure it's a great fit. You'll also be able to see how your kids get along with their possible nanny during this step.

4. Wrap Up The Loose Ends

how to hire a nanny, i need to hire a nanny, where to hire a nanny


By now you've found the person you think will make your family's perfect nanny. From there, you'll probably want to do a bit of extra digging. This should probably include a background check. And you'll definitely want to check the applicant's references.

There are several steps you can take to help ensure you're hiring an honest nanny. After checking ID and other documents, the next step would be to advance an offer. As part of this process, be sure to talk with an accountant or expert about taxes. After all, you'll be a type of employer so you'll need to worry about these details. Plus, it pays to check with your insurance provider. Make sure you have the right coverage for such a contract worker.

Finally, make sure you have the contract itself. It should cover specifics like requirements of the job and hours. Plus, you'll want to include details about the pay and expectations you'll have of you new nanny. Make sure the document works for everybody involved before signing it.


Figuring out how to hire a nanny doesn't have to be complicated.

But it does require you to do your homework. Because this is an employee who will be more involved in your personal life than any other. You should take extra care when anyone takes temporary supervision of your children. And it's crucial that you can trust those regularly in and out of your house.


We hope our guide offered some help in your quest to learn how to hire a nanny. If so, share this article with the picky parents in your life. And leave us a comment below if you have any final thoughts or questions.

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