How to Hire a Nanny – A Well Researched Step by Step Guide


Hiring the right nanny is tough. Here we will be walking you through the process of hiring a nanny. You will also understand the different aspect of choosing a nanny.

Nanny is a childcare professional

Nanny for Childcare

Most working parents know the importance of a nanny for their children and a vast majority of them admit that a good nanny is a rare find. Most households having a child search for a nanny for a responsible care for their child. Owing to its importance, most parents consider hiring a nanny but lack the details to this. Here we talk about the meaning, role, hiring process and other details of it.

Table of Content

What is a Nanny – Meaning and Definition

Oxford Learners dictionary defines nanny as a woman whose role involves taking care of young children in children’s home.

Collins dictionary defines nanny as a professional who looks after children. She is hired by parents and getting paid for it.

Simply put, nanny is a woman who is hired by parents to provide care to their children and family while they are working away. Ideally they are trained to look after the children and they get paid for it. They provide them food, take them for playing and transport them whenever required. They also assist parents with their parenting needs.

Difference Between a Nanny and a Babysitter

Nanny and babysitter both are entrusted with the task of task of caring children. It is why many parents get confused whether they should hire a nanny or a babysitter. Here we make the difference explicit.

What is a Nanny?

Nannies are educated and trained professionals that are hired to provide physical, social and emotional support to children. Sometimes role of the nanny expands to doing homework of the children. In some cases they are also entrusted with the task of cleaning the child’s room.

Nannies can be hired full time or part time basis and they can work on live in or live out mode.

What is a babysitter?

Babysitters on the other hand are caregivers who are hired for looking after the child after school or while their parents are away from home. The main role of a babysitter is to keep the child safe while the child is alone at home.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Nanny

As you are consciously planning to hire a nanny, you must understand the pros and cons of hiring a nanny. Here we will be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a nanny.

Advantages or Pros of Hiring a Nanny

Being at Home

You choose to hire a nanny and we appreciate your decision. One of the major advantages of hiring a nanny is that you child is being looked after in your home environment. A nanny at home ensures that your child eat, play and sleep as usual.

More Control Over Child

As your child is being looked after by a nanny at home, you would have a better control over child. You would have a better control over the day to day activities of the child.

Personalized Care

Even the most well equipped childcare facilities can only brag a better child to caregiver ratio. But by hiring a nanny your child will get one to one care. You child will get more emotionally attached to the nanny. It will help in growth of your child.

Less Exposure to Germs

With the presence of nanny your child will live at your home where you can keep your home clean and major touch points sanitized. This results in less exposure to germs and decreased sickness.
It’s Convenient

Hiring a nanny adds to your convenience. You don’t have to worry about pickups, drops and feeding them on time. A nanny easily slips into your scheme of things. If you have some special needs, then you can talk with the nanny about it.

Disadvantages or Cons of Hiring a Nanny

Lack of Regulation

Contrary to childcare industry which is regulated to an extent, nannies lack regulation. Very few nannies are trained for child safety, feeding and developing right habits.

Lack of Supervision

As you are working away for several hours and your child is under the care of a nanny. If the nanny is not provide right care, then there is no one to overlook her.

No Replacement

Even if you have hired the best nanny, she is not immune from getting sick. And if they get sick, care of your child suffers. Very few independent nannies have a replacement of their own. If you have hired them from a nanny agency they might provide replacement

Nannies are Costly

You end up paying more for nannies as compared to other childcare options. On an average, the weekly cost of hiring a nanny in the united states is $700. Some families consider nanny share to cut the cost.

Administrative Issues

By hiring a nanny you become an employer. Now you have to deal with administrative issues like how to pay her on time, track her attendance and tax related issues of hiring a nanny.

Types of Nanny – An Array of Options to Choose From

While hiring a nanny you have to decide what type of nanny you want to hire as there are different types of nannies. Different types of nannies addresses different requirements. Here we are listing different types of nannies.

  • Nanny housekeepers
  • Full-time live-out nannies
  • Live-in nannies
  • Part-time, after-school or summer nannies
  • Nanny shares
  • College nannies
  • Au pairs
  • Night nannies

Responsibilities of a Nanny

As nannies are hired to look after the child, most of her responsibility are focused on child. They enjoys an authority over children when their parents are busy working or occupied with some other work. Here is an indicative list of responsibilities a nanny performs on daily basis.

  • Creates a safe environment for the child
  • Baths, shampoo and dresses the child well
  • Takes care of hygiene
  • Change diapers for small children
  • Planning meal for the children
  • Preparing food and feeding children
  • Look after their play dates and outings
  • Arrange transportation for their outings
  • Looking after while child is playing
  • They do child laundry
  • They read stories for children
  • Assisting with child’s homework
  • They arrange bed and room of children
  • They do the housekeeping for children

Hiring a Nanny – Top Qualities to Look For

As you are planning to hire a nanny, you must be looking forward to do it well. You must be looking for certain qualities in your nannies. You might be intrigued by the top qualities you should look for in your nanny. Here we are listing the top qualities of a good nanny.

She Should be Reliable

Be it nanny, childcare or any other profession, reliability is the key to success. It is the quality every employer want to have in its employees. As you are handing over the kids to her while you are away and she will be working from the home, reliability is something you shouldn’t compromise on.

She Should be Punctual

Punctuality is another must have quality for your nanny. She should have a great respect for time. Late arrivals, frequent leaves and no shows are strictly no no. A nanny should always be on time as it is the matter of providing care to child.

She Should be Highly Organized

Good nannies are highly organized. They know what they have to do throughout the day and makes a plan accordingly. They plan the activities of the children activities for the day. They know their food, games and activities. A good nanny also has backup plan, if the things go wrong.

They are Highly Flexible

Good nannies are highly flexible and they know how to adjust to changing circumstances. They know that things don’t always go as planned, so they always have a plan B.

They know that children may not like their expertly planned activities so they are flexible to come up with new things.

They are Good Communicator

Good communication is also a great quality of nannies. They know how to communicate with parents and children. Besides being good in written and oral communication, they are also able to understand children communication.

They Are Creative

Successful nannies are creative and they always have a funny bone. They know what interest children. Using their creativity and fun skills they plan games and activities that keep children engaged for the day while learning new things. They know how to creatively plan activities so that children can learn new skills.

They Get Along With Children and Parents

Experienced nannies know how to get along with children and their parents. They know without making a good rapport with them they won’t be able to do their duties successfully.

The picture describe a nanny. These are the women who look after the child while their parents are away.

How To Hire a Nanny

You have decided that you are all set to hire a nanny but don’t know how to do it. You should know what to expect or not to expect. Here we are listing top tips to hire a nanny.

List Your Expectations

You may have certain expectation from your prospective nanny. What do you want from her? Is there any specific requirement, if yes, list it. The ideal way is to create a job description for her. It will help you everything get covered and on the other side let candidates to check the suitability for the role.

Decide on Type of Nanny

Nannies could be of several types. We have categorized them into 8 types. You should decide what type nanny you want to hire. You have an array of options to choose from – full time, part time and live-in among the others. If you have your expectations ready deciding on the types of nanny gets easy.

Know Your Budget

Your plans of hiring a nanny largely depends on your budget. You should know what budget you have allocated for nanny. In the United States, the hourly rates of nannies is recommended by Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA. The wages to provide depends a lot on the training, experience and number of working hours of the nanny.

You should know the childcare rates in your area because you have to offer a price that meets the local standards.

Seek Recommendation

To initiate the process of hiring a nanny you should seek recommendations. There could be several nannies working in your area. Your friends and family members might have hired a nanny. So they have better understanding of the hiring process which nannies have a better performance record.

Post the Job Online

If the referrals is not working fine for you and your nanny search is going without the success, you should post an online ad. The previously created job description could be of great help. There are various online job portals where you can post your requirement for nannies. These portals also give you access of their large inventory of resume.

Contact An Agency

If references and online job postings are not getting tangible results, you should contact a placement agency. Placement agencies or a manpower consulting firm. Placement agencies have a verified list of nannies in your area. So if you are looking for a nanny on an urgent basis, these placement agencies could be of great help.

Hold an Interview

As you have sought references, posted online and contacted a placement agency, it is the time to meet them in person. You might have got a large number of resumes. Based on their their qualification and interview, you should make a list of 5-10 candidates.

You should call them for interview and assess them about suitability for the role. After the interviews conclude, you would have a fair idea about the candidates.

Check Their References

Try to get references of some families where your prospective nanny has worked. Check with the nannies where the families have any complaint against the nanny. While checking references you shouldn’t consider the feedback’s biased towards a particular nanny.

Finalize the Nanny

Once you have interviewed and checked the references, you might be in the position to take a final call on the candidates. Now you should finalize the candidates and let others know that position has been filled. The finalized candidate should be on probation for a month after she can be made regular.

Check Her Background

After the nanny comes onboard you should initiate a background check, just to ensure that everything is right. A positive background check report means everything is OK and there is no criminal cases against her. With background check of nanny your hiring process completes.

Hiring a Nanny – Frequently Asked Questions

Do nannies do housework?

Yes they do. But their housework is not at par with a regular house help. Instead they do the housework that is required to keep the children safe and happy.

What’s the difference between babysitter nanny and childminder?

The base where they work is the main difference. Childminders have their own setting where they care for several children while nannies come to work at the children’s home. Nannies have more rights in terms of employment as they are granted maternity leaves and regular leaves.

What is nanny share?

Nannies are costly and average families don’t afford them. To cut the cost people living in a housing complex share the services of a nanny. It reduces the cost for them while nannies income increases significantly.

What questions to ask from a prospective nanny?

You will be interviewing a nanny as a part of the hiring process. So you will have to ask certain questions to know here suitability for this role. These are the important questions you should ask her.

  • Why do you want to become a nanny?
  • Do you have any prior experience as a nanny?
  • What qualities do you have to make you a nanny?
  • What activities would you plan for children?
  • What kind of food would you prepare for children?
  • How do you instill a sense of discipline in children.

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