Do Your Homework
Before you even place that ad, post that flyer or call that nanny agency, save yourself time and heartache by developing a detailed, prioritized job description ahead of time. Give yourself two to three days to accomplish this. You'll be surprised how many important items come to mind on the second and third day of the process.
For many working parents, spending quality time with their children is the ultimate luxury. That's why many families today consider the ideal nanny to be a hybrid nanny and housekeeper. Of course, caring for the children is always the priority, but if you can find a nanny who is also agreeable to handling "household maintenance" chores such as grocery shopping and laundry, then you will have more time to spend with your children.
Keep this in mind as you create the job description. While it is common for parents to ask more of a nanny than they could accomplish themselves, it is quite reasonable, as a baseline, to expect a nanny to:
- Feed the children
- Do their laundry
- Help keep bedrooms and play areas clean and organized
- Attend events at school
- Help with homework and . . . most important:
- Have fun with the kids!
The priority list you create is also a "wish list," representing a best-case scenario. You should expect to make compromises. For example: If you find someone who seems perfect in every way but doesn't fulfill your requirement of being CPR certified, consider sending her to a class and paying for it yourself. Or, if driving is high on the list of job responsibilities and your prospective nanny does not own a car, consider renting one for her or allowing her to use the family car. Of course, you'll have to make sure she has driving insurance, and will need to adjust your policy to include the nanny as a driver.