You've decided you need a nanny, now it's time to find the perfect one. Regardless if you are looking for a perfect nanny London based, or willing to look at the global nanny market, the search to find a nanny can be both exciting and daunting. What steps should you take to find the perfect nanny? Every family is unique and has a unique set of requirements. The ages of the children, the cultural and religious approach, the environment in which the children are growing up, all will affect how your search for the perfect nanny.
The founder of Polo & Tweed, Lucy Challenger, wrote about her personal search for finding a Nanny as a mother herself. In her search for the perfect nanny she devised a clever mnemonic to help guide other families find the perfect nanny.
S = Safety
P = Package
L = Live in/Live out?
A = Attitude
S = Special Skills
H = Housekeeping
When we look at how to find the perfect nanny, let's look at safety first. You'll be leaving your child(ren) in the care of another person, and although accidents can happen (as we are all human), you would never want to doubt the integrity of the nanny or allow negligence on their behalf to bring your children into harms way.
Families can approach this in a number of ways. Requesting DBS (criminal checks) will ensure that the Nanny can prove they do not have a criminal background or are (god forbid) on the sex offenders list. The next option can be to consider only Ofsted registered nannies (you can read more about being Ofsted registered here), as these will have a number of additional certifications including insurance.
Checking references (more than one) is also key to ensuring that the nanny is who they say they are. Don't just accept written references as proof, as these can be sadly fabricated. You don't need to approach the task with suspicion, but don't give candidates the benefit of the doubt. Just make sure you have the facts in black and white, as ultimately the decision to hire the nanny will fall on your shoulders.
Many families decide to go through agents in order to have additional peace of mind when looking for the perfect nanny as agents will typically do the reference, certificate and DBS checks prior to a candidate even arriving in the family home.
The budget you have set for your Nanny will influence the calibre and experience level you should be looking for. You can read about all the different types of Nannies and their salary guidelines on the nanny salary guidelines page.
The package can be seen as things on top of the salary, so extra perks of the job. For example, some clients like to give a bonus structure of 2 months salary extra at the end of the year for good service, additional things like health insurance, travel insurance, and/or a gym membership. It really depends on the type of family and the lifestyle they lead as to the way they make the role attractive. The package will affect the level of Nanny applying, so if you want a highly qualified perfect nanny you'll need to make the package exciting and compete with other perfect nanny London packages.
Live in/Live out?
This is a decision Each family will have a personal opinion on but there are a few things to consider if you are on the fence. The biggest decider will be whether or not you have the space to accommodate a live in Nanny. If you do, you need to take into account that there will be a greater cost for food, electricity, and general upkeep of live in nannies and this should be reflected in a lower salary.
Live in nannies give families the most flexibility because they are always on call, but if you need limited nanny services on a set schedule a live out nanny is probably best. In the end it is completely down to the individual family and what best suits their needs. Often families with younger children prefer live in, and families with older children are more flexible to consider live out as the children are often at school during the days.
Each family is unique in their attitude and approach to bringing up their children. Some families want the perfect nanny to be part of the family, whilst other more formal households require the nanny to be a member of staff and have a professional distance between themselves and the children.
No approach is right or wrong, but it is vital to find the right nanny who matches the family. It may seem extreme, but look closely on the candidates CV and discuss with them their own personal approach and character. It's a common mistake to only ask the standard questions in an interview. Make sure you're asking the right questions so you can get a real understanding for the character of each candidate.
Perhaps your child is a semi-professional horse rider? Or is taking GCSE math 3 years earlier than expected. You want to find the perfect nanny who can help support and guide your children. Some families look to take on professional Governess/Tutor Nannies who can specifically coach their children with homework, whilst others look to hire Nannies with specific skills such as horse riding or figure skating in their background. No matter what skills your children have, you can be assured there will be a perfect nanny who can compliment and support your child(rens) development. The perfect nanny is out there, so don't settle for less!
Most professional Nannies will be very clear about whether or not they are going to help with housework. Some professional nannies will help with children related chores, such as laundry for the children, tidying, and clearing up after the children. Other nannies will be happy to do deeper cleaning/housework across the home when the children are at school and some will not do any household chores.
It really depends on the nanny and of course on the family. If the family has a large pool of staff then it's quite reasonable for the Nanny to just be a nanny and focus solely on the childcare, but for other families who choose to hire less staff, the role of the Nanny might become a combination role. Decide your preference early on, as it will greatly affect the pool of perfect nannies to pick from.