Hiring a nanny can be an intensely stressful experience—no matter how many background checks and interviews you perform, it is hard to shake the feeling that you are essentially leaving your child with a stranger. However, this process can be made much simpler if you set out with an idea of the types of qualifications, experience, and other requirements that you feel are necessary benchmarks for any worthy candidate.
- Degrees or certification in fields related to child-rearing, such as child development, early education, general child care, and the like.
- First aid training:
- Pediatric first aid
- Child/infant CPR AED
- Asthma care training
- Babysitter training (This can be taken with the Red Cross)
- Advanced Child Care Training (This can also be taken with the Red Cross)
- RIE training. The RIE method emphasizes respect for babies, their emotions, and experiences and facilitates better communication between caregiver and child.
- Though not a necessity, proficiency in an activity in which your children are interested is always a bonus. If your child enjoys playing the piano or playing soccer, or is an avid artist or reader, finding a nanny that shares these interests will heighten the affinity between child and caregiver and give your offspring a practice partner.
It is important to remember that if you want a younger nanny, such as a woman in her early twenties, it is unlikely that she will have the kind of experience an older individual. For younger candidates, look for extensive babysitting experience, with clients who will offer references, or work in a daycare or childcare facility. Having or working toward a degree that has some bearing on child-rearing is always a plus. Older candidates should have a little bit more experience under their belt—perhaps previous nanny experience, cleaning rugs, extensive outside training, and years of work history in childcare-related fields.
Obviously, your nanny should be able to pass a background check, have a clean driving record, and be able to pass a drug test. Other than that, there are several personality traits that may make one candidate more desirable than another:
- Similar interests
- Bilingual, if this is something in which you are interested. Learning a second language early on in life has been shown to be beneficial later.
If you are having trouble finding worthy candidates, consider engaging the help of an agency, like Sleeping Angels, that will connect you to experienced, talented individuals.