Hiring a nanny is more complicated than hiring a new executive. It is bringing a stranger into your home and entrusting your children and your property to them. Some people have had good experiences with their nannies while others can recount harrowing experiences. The difference is in the hiring.
Here are six things you must do before hiring a nanny in Australia:
1. Choose a Reputable Agency
A solid agency which has been in existence for several years is likely to have proper controls and standards on who they accept. Compared with less established agencies, they are more likely to verify references and to do proper checks on the nannies they work with. Although it is not common, criminals may collaborate with unscrupulous agencies to obtain information about unsuspecting members of the public; your nanny could be a spy! It is important to do a little research on local agencies before deciding on one.
2. Conduct a Thorough Interview
The mistake many people make is to rush the process because they ‘need a nanny immediately’. They may skip an interview altogether or ask shallow questions. A face to face interview allows you to learn about attitudes, ethical stands, philosophies and the general life view of a person, to see if their beliefs agree with yours. This is a good chance to portray the situation at your home and to ask whether they would be willing to do the jobs you require help with.
3. Consider the Candidate’s Experience with Children
If you have small children, you need someone who has some experience in handling them. Dealing with children is not easy and it would be wrong to assume that a hire will learn on the job. Candidates who have worked in a daycare or kindergarten would be a good fit for this role.
4. Ask About Education and Other Skills
Sometimes, children spend more time with their nannies than their parents. As such, children can learn a lot from these helpers. Go for someone with a high school diploma, at least. Other skills such as CPR and first aid are preferable.
5. Do a Background Check
Because of the role a nanny takes in your house, you need to trust them. Even though most agencies do their own checks, it is always good to be certain by doing your own check. A national police check in SA or elsewhere can be done online, often requiring very little time. A background check from Fast Police Checks may determine the safety of your kids.
6. Listen to Your Instincts
Many times you will be right if you trust your guts. If you have an uneasy feeling about someone, don’t hire them.
You can never be too sure about who you are bringing into your house, but conducting due diligence before hiring can prevent you from walking into disaster.