The Importance of Selecting a Nanny
by Jenny Antelli
There are many factors that influence children as they are growing up. Parents, siblings, friends, teachers and television are a few of the obvious ones. A major influence in some families can also come in the form of a nanny.
A nanny is basically a substitute parent for part of a child's day. He or she will make decisions for and say things to a child that could play a large factor in their attitude and behavior when growing up. Raising a child and finding a good nanny should not ever be taken lightly. With so many negative influences in the world today, it is critically important that the person chosen to nanny a child will be a positive influence in his or her day.
There are a few different options that are available when selecting a nanny. Some people may choose to find one on their own, while others may use an agency. If the decision is made to find a nanny without an agency, a lot more work will be required in order to insure a quality person, as background checks and research will need to be performed.
When using an agency, the agency will provide a list of potential nannies for you to choose from. The next step is to set up interviews with the individuals who may fit the situation. Interviewing a potential nanny is an important part of the process as it is one of the best ways to learn about the personality of the person. A child care provider's personality will play a significant role in type of care that he or she will offer, so it is important to conduct a quality interview.
During an interview, treat the interviewee as if they were already under your employ. Ideally, there should be a variety of potential nannies provided by the agency that meet your requirements. The specific questions that should be asked are dependent on the qualifications that are being sought in a nanny, but there are a few general guidelines to follow.
It is important to verify all the information provided on his or her application/resume, especially asking about prior nanny positions. These past positions are great opportunities to learn about how specific situations have been handled in the past. Ask about worst situations they have encountered and what the outcomes were, and why they left the previous position. Be prepared to test interviewees with "what if" scenarios as well, such as fire emergencies or injuries. Another important type of question to ask has to deal with your specific requirements. If the child in question needs help with English homework, for example, the nanny that is hired would hopefully be able to help with that.
Overall, ask open-ended questions that relate to your specific needs and the needs of your child. Generally, yes or no questions will not get the information you desire. Be observant of a candidate's tone and body language as well. Do not hide aspects of the job that you need this person for, but be open and honest about the position. Discuss salary, hours, responsibilities, duties, how time off is arranged, and anything else that may cause confusion or problems later on.
A face-to-face meeting is one of the best ways to determine the quality of the employee you will be hiring, so take this selection process seriously. This interview is to help you find someone that will be watching, taking care of, teaching and influencing your child. It is important to find someone who is worthy of the job.
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