Finding a full-time nanny for your family can feel daunting. You need someone who is going to love your kids, maintain your routines and fit with your family household dynamic.
Even if you go into a nanny search thinking your list of demands is pretty low, at Bubble we know that every family has a unique set of needs. That’s why we always make sure we have a chat before we get going on your search (if you’re searching, then click here to book a chat today).
Our priority is to make parents feel confident and in control throughout the search process. Here are some tips that might help:
1. Know your non-negotiables
There are some things that you just don’t want to compromise on or you’ll regret it – so be clear on what these are. Maybe you need a Spanish speaker, newborn experience or someone who can drive. These vary from person to person, so have a list and be sure to tell us what you really need.
2. Ask the right questions
This is something which sounds so simple but can actually be a lot harder than you think. By this stage you’ll only be talking to nannies who tick the boxes on your non-negotiables, but you’ll need to know more.
Even if you interview people all the time at work, it can feel very different when it’s a much more personal situation in your home. Every family will have different priorities, but there are a few things you should definitely understand by the end of the first interview:
- What are their motivations? Are you looking for someone who is doing this as a stopgap between adventures or do you want someone who wants to be a nanny for their whole life?
- How do they view reward and discipline? Do you have a system in place that they are happy to follow?
- How do they like to interact with kids? Are they crafty? Do they enjoy puzzles or are they more about muddy puddles?
- Are they flexible? If your schedule changes, can theirs?
- What’s their outlook on life? Are they a naturally sunny character? Will they have patience if your child is more introverted?
- How do they like to communicate? Will they share updates on WhatsApp? Do you want them to record mealtimes and naptimes or will that drive you crazy?
- Finally, always check that they have references that they are happy for you to talk to.
3. Think beyond what you need right now
Remember how quickly your kids’ needs can change! Just because you don’t need a driver right now, will that change in September when kids may move schools? Also, is homework help going to be important in the next two years? If your job shifts to include more hours, will they be able to accommodate?
It’s impossible to predict the future so don’t get too worried about it, but having an idea of what will be important beyond year one can give a good sense of context and perspective to your search.
4. Understand your budget
This is another thing which sounds easier than it is. The reason? Nannies will usually talk in net hourly rates – but parents will pay a gross monthly amount. We’ve written an article that breaks down the costs of being a nanny which should be useful.
The thing to avoid at all costs is hiring someone and then being shocked when you understand what the cost to you will be. It’s a bad way to start a new job – for both the parent and the nanny. You can learn more about the average rates for a full-time nanny in your area here.
5. Be open to being surprised
Having listed all these pieces of advice, the other thing to say is that you might find yourself being surprised. We often see parents thinking that they want a super dynamic young nanny – but then find that having a really calm, experienced pair of hands is actually a much better fit for their family.
Also definitely don’t fall into stereotyping by gender, age or nationality. Just because one Kiwi nanny you had was really sporty does not make all Kiwi nannies sporty!
The priority is finding the right person to bring your family happiness and peace of mind. Sometimes that person will be someone you might overlook at first glance because on paper they don’t have as many qualifications as another candidate. Usually, there is an element of ‘gut feel’ when choosing a nanny – so don’t be worried if what you thought you wanted at the start of your search looks slightly different to the nanny you hire.
Support in finding your perfect fit
Finding a nanny for your family can feel like a really big task, but we are here to help at every step of the way. We won’t stop until we find the right nanny for you – and we also won’t charge until you’ve chosen your perfect nanny.