It’s not easy finding a great nanny. We speak to many people who rush the process and end up with someone who isn’t the right fit. They then come to us to fix the problem. Avoid the pitfalls in the first instance and follow our guide to what to look for in a nanny and give yourself a break.

1 Work out what you need
Writing down a list of what you need will clarify what you find acceptable and what you don’t in a nanny. Write a what, where and when schedule for your children’s daily needs. Then think about things like will your nanny need to cook meals for your children? If so, you need a nanny who understands the sort of food your family eats. Will the nanny need to help older children with homework? Then you need someone who’s happy and confident to do this. And so on… Start making a list to help you know what to look for in a nanny.

2 Use a reputable nanny agency
Of course, we’re going to say this, as that’s what we do. But can you afford to risk not using an agency? First off, the best agencies find you someone suitable – saving you the problem of where to look. We also do background checks, which are vital for the safety and security of you and your precious family. We run reference checks, too. We can help you set up above-board payment systems – because cash under the table on a Friday isn’t legal and is a recipe for big problems. We’ll also help you with interviewing, if necessary, and can assist with a 3-month progress check. The more professional you are about hiring a nanny the better the experience will be in the long term.

3 When interviewing a potential nanny, ask the right questions
Find out what sort of paid childcare the nanny has done before. Ask relevant questions to the position you’re offering. Do they drive? Do they cook? How would they cope in an emergency? Do they have first-aid training? Treat the interview in a professional manner, and write down the questions first, making sure you get through the whole list to ensure you get what to look for in a nanny right. It’s easy to get side-tracked if you’re not used to interviewing, so keep on track.

4 Trust yourself about what to look for in a nanny
If you have a funny feeling about someone, that’s unlikely to go away when they’re working in your home. Your instincts are useful – so trust them.

5 Ask for childcare references
If using an agency, references can be checked for you. But you should make sure the references are relevant to childcare.

6 Ask the nanny to meet the children
It makes sense for the children to meet a potential nanny, and for you to see how they interact. You can either pay for a trial session, or introduce them informally at the interview, after you’ve asked all your questions.

7 Think long term
Don’t forget to ask what the nanny’s plans are. If they’re going to jump ship and leave to do something else in 6 months’ time, you’ve got a problem. Children love stability, so a long-term option is always best.

8 Consider perks for the nanny
If you were employing someone in an office job, you’d be likely to think about perks. A good nanny will work even more diligently if there are incentives in place. These could be pay rises, time off, or other bonuses.

9 Travel plans
Will you want a nanny to travel on holiday with you? State this upfront. This may really appeal to some applicants, but not to others.

10 Time off for the nanny
Don’t forget to work out clear guidelines of what’s expected, including hours. An agency can easily help you sort out what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

Call us at 14fiftyseven to talk through what to look for in a nanny, and any other household staff recruitment needs. We source exceptional nanniesPAs, lifestyle managers, house managers and more. Call +44 (0) 208 616 1457 or email hello@14fiftyseven.com or fill in our online enquiry form.

14fiftyseven. Because we’ve been there.

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