What you need to know about hiring a nanny

Having decided against sending Amelia to a nursery (personal preference) I started looking into nannies and childminders in more detail. Whilst there are a great many options available to me in the area, I realised pretty quickly that if I did want to go down the nanny route I didn’t have the first clue about appointing a nanny or what to search for. For example, should I be looking for a nanny with Ofsted checks, if not, what checks should they have and do they need any other certification? Also I didn’t realise that I would need to personally employ a nanny, ie do their payslips, offer sick leave, sort out holiday pay, sort out their pension etc… For some reason this point completely passed me by! Yes stupid I know! But I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
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With this in mind I turned to my nanny friend Jewels for some guidance. She kindly offered up some tips and I felt that they were just too good not to share with you. So if you’re considering hiring a nanny read on….


Guest post written by Jewels Bowler, London nanny and new mum to Tallulah

Finding a nanny can be both an exciting and a daunting task. I have made a list of what I believe are important factors in helping you find the right fit for your family! Having worked as a nanny in London for the past eight years (and I am now a mother myself) I feel like I can offer some insight, and hopefully take some of the anxiety away that you may have. Going back to work is already a big change in routine from being on maternity leave, so it’s paramount that you have 100 percent confidence in the person you choose to leave your baby with all day!

Take a read of my four tips below for greater peace of mind:

1)To nanny agency or not to nanny agency?

Agencies are great because they do most of the work for you. They will do a background and reference check, as well as pair you with nannies who they feel would suit your family. However beware, they also come with a hefty price tag. As such it can be the most cost effective (and just as secure) option to find a nanny through parent recommendations and word of mouth. Try mums groups on, Childcare.co.uk, Facebook, Mumsnet, and asking around at your local playgroups. All nannies must be police checked, and have trusted references that can vouch for them. Look for a DBS check as a minimum – you can also look for Ofsted registered too. You can find out a lot out about a person online, so don’t be afraid to Google them!

2)Expectations

What is important to you? A spotless clean home? Somebody to tackle that ironing pile? How much housework (if any) do you expect your nanny to do? In my experience I have always helped with chores that revolved around the children (eg: changing the children’s bedding, doing their washing, cooking for them, tidying their rooms and keeping the areas we play in tidy for when their parents arrive home). That is pretty standard stuff, but you may have more you need doing or less. Don’t be embarrassed if you do want them to do the housework, but do let them know. What hours do you need? Is flexibility important? What is the standard going rate for a nanny in your area? Will you provide lunch etc for your nanny or expect her to bring her own? It’s important to write all of this down and be clear to your potential new nanny what is expected of them.

3)Interviews

I have always interviewed at peoples homes with their children present. I enjoy this because I get to showcase my childcare skills through playing a little game or singing some songs with them, and hopefully can strike up a wee bond with their baby/children before the interview is over! This is exactly what you want your nanny to do. They are there for your children after all! A nanny should be confident, and cheerful, and be genuinely interested in child development and passionate about their job. Don’t rush an interview, this is such a good time to get a sense of what somebody is like. Ask questions! And encourage them to do the same – is there anything they want to know about your family? It’s important to be transparent and your nanny to be the same.

4)Contracts and wages

You can find an example of a nanny contract online and tailor it to suit your individual family. It covers a whole lot of things you may not have even have thought about. Also how do you want to pay your nanny? My employers use Nanny P.A.Y.E but there are a few out there you can choose from. Think about things like holiday pay, or any perks that they may get when working for you – such as car use, or tagged onto a gym membership. Will the hours be the same every day/week? Have you considered sick pay and maternity pay? Remember that even though a nanny is much more invested in your family life than say somebody you employ in your workplace – their job is still a career and should be treated with the same respect.

Being a nanny is the most rewarding job I have ever had, and I have met the most wonderful families and children that will be a part of my life forever. A nanny isn’t just a person you trust completely to care and educate your child, but they are also a part of your family. It takes a village to raise a child after all!

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