Those hours you spend at work and away from your child make you feel anxious. Your parents can’t always be around and friends have a life, too.
You need a nanny fast, but you don’t know whether to trust the agency you’ve been looking up till now.
What to do? How to choose?
The decision is really difficult on both sides. It’s not easy for an agency to recruit nannies that have the talent, patience and skills to be around kids and match them with the correct families. It’s not easy for you, as a parent, to give out your trust when your child is involved.
Crap! It feels just as difficult and complex as fostering and adoption, doesn’t it?
As an elder sister who was often forced to stay home to look after my younger siblings, I know how you feel.
The core point is…
This is still about a child and a caregiver that need to match to each other for the relationship to really work.
It’s not much about a parent’s sympathy or at-a-glance impression – it’s about the nanny’s people’s skills — especially in building relationships with kids, personal talents, listening skills and, if any, experience.
A good nanny is like an affectionate yet professional relative to you and your child, and a good agency knows that and much more.
What points of trust should I look for?
1. Warm and available to listen to your needs
When you get in touch with a nanny agency, the first point of trust you will see is the availability to listen to your specific needs, advise you in friendly manners. The atmosphere should feel professional yet warm and human, so keep a good dose of doubt with you in case the agency representative behaves coldly and looks as if they’re not really listening.
The agency should be transparent about their procedures for screening and recruiting nannies. They should also offer counseling to both families and nannies, if needed.
Screening procedures may vary, but all agencies look for a nanny who’s:
- Competent and patient
- Easy going and flexible
- Has a clean and valid driver’s license
- Nurtures her talents and uses them to help educate children (i.e. artistic skills, writing, decor, etc.)
- Has knowledge of child development if she has to work with 0-4 kids
3. Look at reputation records
Did the agency place nannies successfully in families? And where the nanny-parent relationships healthy and positive? Are contracts solid and honest?
Ask questions about these things. An honest agency will treat their nannies humanly and do their best to understand both families’ and nannies’ needs.
Also, if the agency has a website, looks for testimonials and client stories.
4. Puts families first
A good agency won’t try to sell you on their sales pitch without offering you the alternatives. Stear clear of agencies that put themselves at the center and don’t encourage you to compare and contrast more nanny agencies to help you make an informed choice.
Also, the agency should give you a list of recommendations and credentials you can get started with. A proactive behavior toward your needs is definitely a plus point!
How And Where To Find A Good Nanny Agency
The easiest way is to ask your friends and relatives to give you a referral. Their opinion may be biased so you should take it with a grain of salt, but you will have to phone the agency or meet in person anyway, so just ask them to give you a few names and you will run your research.
Also, the Web is your friend. Many nanny agencies have a website these days, so it’s easy to look up the names you got from your friends and read reviews and testimonials online. Again, don’t trust every word you read — everything is relative until you meet an agency representative in person.
Other places where you can find a good nanny agency or get a referral:
- Your local newspaper
- Your local parenting group
- Your local hospital
- Yellow pages
- Temporary agencies
Plus Points For The Nanny Who’s A Kid At Heart!
When the agency hands you a list of nannies to interview, you may not be sure whether the nanny you’re going to pick is a good match with your child’s personality and needs — even when that nanny has a good reputation and a lovely record.
Remember — a nanny-child relationship can only work when both persons are compatible with each other. If the relationship works out, your nanny will become your child’s best friend.
Here is a list of plus points for your nanny:
- She has a good imagination and creativity so she can play with your kids and invent stories for them, helping them develop their creative skills
- She has a general love of children — she isn’t just doing a job, but creating genuine relationships with your children
- She likes to get the kids out and she’s a safe and fun drive to enjoy company with
Mary Poppins isn’t the only ‘plus’ nanny out there!