Here is a summary of the steps we took to hire a nanny. Look further below on this page for detailed information about the individual steps.
There are these main childcare options, which are compared below: (1) daycare center, (2) stay at home dad/mom and help from family, (3) nanny, (4) nanny share, (5) home daycare, (6) part time stay at home parent plus help from family. Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages for each of these:
Use our nanny cost calculator to estimate how much you will have to pay for a nanny. The first step is to get an idea of how much nannies in your area charge for a certain skill set. Keep in mind: what you will find on the following Web sites is just a rough estimate. You will get a clearer picture when you meet with nannies and really start talking about the price for their service. Always negotiate a little bit -- without coming over as cheap and hard to work for. Here are some good places to get an idea of how much nannies in your area charge:
Before using our cost estimator, the other decision you need to make is about for long in a week you need a nanny. This depends very much on your need and the money you can spend. As first time parents and without family close by, we actually underestimated the amount of hours we needed help. Talk to your friends and family about their experience. The number of hours you need covered in a day is essential in your nanny search.
Before starting the search, sit down together with your partner and get clear about what you are looking for. In our case, we wrote an email outlining all the points that were important to us. In our case, this included:
Regardless of how you will hire a nanny eventually, we recommend being as broad as possible when you start searching:
Next up in the process is to reach out to candidates or let them approach you. In this process, the wish list you created earlier comes in handy. So, reach out through every channel you can find and post what you are looking for. This can be through email lists at work, through craigslist.com, Yahoo Groups, care.com, or any other way you find.
We eventually found our nanny through care.com. The site allows you to post a description of what you are looking for and lets nannies contact you. You can also reach out to nannies directly.
We are doing a lot of interviewing and hiring in our day-to-day jobs, and one rule we tried to follow is to have a couple of actual interviews with different candidates before making a decision.
Also, even though not an actual part of the interview, consider all communication you have with the nanny before you meet:
While preparing for the actual interview, we created a list of questions to ask:
Before each interview, we would clean up our house to make the best impression possible. We would get some cookies to offer, and a glass of water or juice. It is hard to go and work in other people's houses, so we wanted to give the best impression we could.
After each interview, we would discuss about the candidate. It is also good to make some notes, so that you won't mix up different candidates. Writing down feedback very soon after an interview is a standard practice in business. And it will serve you well while interviewing nannies as well.
After doing one or two interviews, we realized that our impression of candidates could be completely different. While one of us thought a person was great, the other had serious concerns. However, we worked on the differences and in the end made a decision. How you reach a decision has a lot to do with your relationship, who spends more time with a nanny, etc.
Reference checking is very important. It is on you to decide how far you want to go:
If something comes up during reference checking, it is on you to decide whether you want to follow up with the candidate about what you found. It is the most honest thing to do, but of course also depends on what you found out!
It is typically a good idea to setup a small contract that both parties sign. From the perspective of you, who hires the nanny, we are actually unsure how enforceable a contract really is. After all, if the nanny tells you after three months he/she wants to do something different, what options do you really have? However, setting up and formalizing an agreement is typically a good idea.
Items that you should include in the contract:
Search the Internet for example nanny contracts, of which there are many. Also, in one case we had a nanny who showed us her previous contract, and wanted to go with something similar. In these cases, be a little careful and make sure that the contract is also good for you.