When interviewing a nanny for your family, here are my top five things you should rate your nanny on:
1. Experience: When leaving your children in the care of a nanny for 40 to 60 hours per week, it's vital that the caregiver have previous childcare experience. Experienced nannies have a working knowledge of children and are confident in their care giving abilities. They've seen the good, bad and the ugly when it comes to family dynamics and have learned to effectively do their job in a private home environment. If your child has special needs or if your family has multiples, seeking a nanny with experience in those areas can be beneficial.
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2. Education: Many nannies have educational backgrounds in early childhood development or education, but at minimum, a nanny should have basic safety training, including current CPR and first aid certification. Many nannies attend educational conferences to hone their childcare skills and keep up on current childcare trends through reading books, networking with other nannies and by taking online classes.
3. Reliability: When giving a caregiver sole charge of your children while you are away, it's imperative that you can count on her. More than showing up on time, you should be able to count on your nanny to be truthful and honest, to follow through with your wishes, to protect your family's privacy and to make the children's needs her priority while on the clock.
4. Ability to communicate: When job issues arise, they are typically due to a breakdown in communication among the adults. It's important that you and your nanny can communicate effectively, that you're both willing to keep the lines of communication open and that you feel comfortable discussing child related concerns with each other.
5. A genuine love for children: A nanny's work can be isolating. A nanny must truly enjoy spending a majority her day alone with the children. Successful nannies view their work as valuable and take enormous pride in providing the highest level of childcare. Nannies strive to build lasting relationships with the children and don't take for granted the trust that is given to them by the children and parents.
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