Saturday, September 6, 2014

Nanny Search??

My husband and I recently decided that daycare is no longer a good fit for our daughter, for many reasons.  We are now starting to look for a nanny.  I am reaching out to the MiM community to see if anyone could give any words of wisdom on finding a good nanny??  I have signed up for, but there are so many nannies available and I can't figure out how to weed out the good from the bad!

Also, if anyone has used a nanny cam, can you recommend a good brand?

ALSO, if anyone has a good idea for keeping personal items safe within the home, how would they recommend I do so? (I assume get a safe? But curious if anyone has any other ideas.)



  1. When we hired our au pair, we were told to ask questions like, "Have you ever had a disagreement with your boss? How did you handle it? What happened?" And, "Suppose my child falls and cuts her head open on the coffee table, what would you do?" Also, "What kinds of games would you play with our daughter?" "What are your aspirations in life." Stuff like that, and let then squirm. Ask for and call references. Also, vibe is really important. Do you get a good feeling from the nanny you're interviewing? It starts to become obvious after talking to a couple of people who will do well with your family and who won't.

    As for the nanny cam, if you hire a good nanny, hopefully you wouldn't feel like you needed it! That would be a huge red flag that you didn't feel you trusted that person. You should probably keep your important documents in a fire proof safe or safe deposit box, (safes are available on Amazon), but don't get one because you're hiring a nanny -- get one because you need to have your documents in a secure place in the event of fire.

    Hire someone is super stressful, but have faith you can do it. Also know even if it doesn't work out with your first nanny, you can always replace her.

  2. I'm not an expert from the parent side of it, but I've been a nanny for 5 summers now. Two families I found through mutual friends, and the last I used My best advice, is to let your need be known to friends, family, etc. The first, and favorite, family I nannied for found me through a mutual friend, and I loved it.

    I completely agree with OMDG, ask them difficult questions. Your kids will be with them a lot, so make sure you'd be ok with them adopting some of their habits! Also, make sure to do a 'test run'...schedule an interview for 2-3 hours and go out to dinner or something (after you've chatted with them).

    I personally think that I would let the people apply for the job, not seek them out. If they have the initiative to type out a personal message, that shows a lot (to me anyways). Finally, just trust your gut...if something seems off, don't hire them! However, does offer a background check feature just to double check :)

  3. Look for someone who has held jobs with one family for long periods of time. A few months here and a few months there is not a good sign unless there is a very good reason given. Call references and ask them openly about punctuality, what the nanny's worst quality is or what they wish were better. I'm on the reference list of a former nanny we had MANY years ago, and I still field calls periodically from people looking to hire her. Most are pretty tentative and seem like they already like her and just want me to confirm their decision. It's a major plus if someone you know can recommend a former nanny as above.

    We never had a nanny cam and did not secure possessions specifically because we would have a nanny. You need to feel like you can trust the person completely to hire her/him.

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  5. This is one of the hard art of being a working parent. FYI background checks usually flag only convictions. Search public court records for arrests and charges which did not end in convictions. I am extra careful. Good luck. It's tough, but when you find the right one, it is so worth all the extra effort. S/he becomes part of your family :)

  6. We have had a nanny since we had our second child (turned 2 this summer). Our nanny had been a teacher at daycare where our first son went but had just left to find a nanny job so it worked out perfectly for us - a known quantity, someone we already trusted, etc. If you can network to find a nanny through friends/ colleagues/ family that is nice but I've also known people who've used successfully. Just be very clear on what you want!

    When we were looking for a nanny I came up with a document of questions, etc to ask (if you google "hiring a nanny" or similar you'll be able to find lots of helpful websites. Include things regarding how they resolve conflicts, methods of discipline they prefer, what they do if a baby is crying and just won't stop, what if your child falls and has a bad cut that is bleeding a lot, what are their values, how did they raise their own children (if applicable)... Also ask if they have a valid license, have they gotten moving violations, have they driven children around before, are they familiar with carseats and how they work. Will they use their phone while watching your child? Will they take your child to playgrounds, museums, etc?

    As for a nanny cam and keeping your personal items secure - I'd say you're trusting this person with your kids when you hire them so I don't think these are things you should worry about. We have a safe for if there is a fire but certainly not to keep our nanny from taking our passports. We do not have a nanny cam and the only reason we would get any kind of video thing would be if we put in the apple video monitor so we could watch our kids play/ go to bed/ etc when we are on call :). We would, of course, tell her about it though. If you're hiring someone you feel like you need a nanny cam for I'd say that's a red flag and keep right on looking...

  7. Totally agree with all the above. We had a nanny for our twins and I don't think you should hire anyone you feel like you need to use a nanny cam for. Because this is someone with your kids you need to be able to trust them implicitly. We leave our checkbook out in full view when our nanny is in our house. She has our alarm code, key to our house and garage door opener.

  8. I had a nanny, trusted her with all valuables. Never used a nanny cam. She still cleans and does laundry once a week and babysits my kids on occasion. I had a bad experience with for aftercare but know lots who have had good ones. I agree the sheer numbers are overwhelming there.

    I found my nanny the same way my friend in residency found hers - advertising at local Hispanic Catholic church. She is a legal US citizen and has a wonderful family that has become like a second family over the years - we just attended a wedding and have also been to a funeral.

  9. We found our current nanny on Care, as my husband and I were both moving across the country to start fellowships and had a VERY limited time to look. I used it to post an ad and was very specific about LONG hours and needing to do the additional things, like cooking for the baby, light housework. When I was looking, I limited by search to nannies that had their own children already (experience) but were not "grandma" age so that the nanny would still have the energy to run after the kid. My other priority was someone who could drive and who would still watch the kid when sick because you can't always just drop your patients and run home or pick up from daycare, etc. And finally, I looked for someone who actually "needed" the job and wasn't doing it for fun/for experience. We then lined up the 9 interviews (at McDonald's), narrowed it down to three who didn't give out super weird vibes, and those we actually had come over to interact with the baby. I called all her references, and I agree with all that was above- namely, she already has the key to your house, alarm system, etc, so we never had a nanny cam. What I did do the first 2 weeks was to have the in-laws (they live nearby) drop in occasionally unannounced to just "say hi" twice but now that she's been with us for almost 4 years, she's family and I would be devasted if she were ever to leave.


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