March for Babies

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Interview

So what do I ask a prospective nanny?

8 comments:

Space Mom said...

I would look for her CPR and first aid skills, and other experiences, but keep in mond during the whole interview HOW she acts with Azure.

How do you feel about her at a gut instinct level? Ask question like "what would a day plan look like?" and "what are your discipline methods?" but look at your heart for if you feel this person is the right person to work with....

Rachel H. said...

Pose scenarios without an obvious "right" answer ... and have nanny do most of the talking.

Reese said...

Questions: Previous experience with young children, past nanny positions, children of her/his own, references with phone numbers, CPR and first aid.

Impressions: How she/he and Azure interact/react to each other. Your comfort level with the individual. Overall sense of trustworthiness. Cultural, spiritual, parenting differences that you like/dislike.

In all honesty, I would also ask about the individual's mental health and any genetic mental health issues in their family. You can also call the police station and have them run a report on the individual to check for arrests, violations, reports filed against her/him, and if she/he has ever reported anyone.

When calling the references, ask about their experience with the individual. Ability to follow directions, keep children entertained, how quickly they felt the childn's needs were met, any complaints. How clean she/he left the house, amount of food consumed, any injuries during care.

Sorry to sound pessimistic, but I really do feel that checking for criminal and mental health background is important.

Anonymous said...

If you are in the US asking about mental health may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. I wouldn't do it... but good luck!

Julie said...

Choosing a nanny was the hardest thing we ever did. We had lists of questions and in the end, everyone had the "right" answer. I weighed very heavily her references, her experience, and how she, I and my husband interacted. We also did a criminal background check for peace of mind. Ultimately it came down to personality fit for us. She had our same personality and I wanted my daughter to have a similar experience with the people she was exposed to so that when I walked in the door at night, everything remained the same for her. Not sure that makes any sense.

But I agree with space mom - go with your gut. There is something to be said for motherly instincts.

Good luck!

Rachel A said...

Hi Blue. I know you don't live in NY, but this guide is the best I've seen to hiring a nanny. Some of the tax and insurance stuff is NY-specific but most of it is not. We went through a nanny agency, which was an efficient but costly way. Good luck!
http://www.parkslopeparents.com/community/Childcare/babysitter/default.aspx
Rachel

Suz said...

Oh oh oh! I know this one!! You want to ask about her previous experience, especially if she had previous experience with infants. You also want to know how she would handle their fussy periods and what she would do with them.

The most important part to hiring a nanny is making the expectations clear. We wrote up a contract that outlined her duties and our responsibilities to her. It has served us well to this day.

Em said...

Can you speak English?
Do you know First Aid/CPR?
Ditto all the other comments. I would also trust my gut instinct.