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5 Things You Should Really Rate Your Nanny On

July 4, 2012

By Michelle LaRowe

Beverly Hills Nannies, an ABC Family reality series that will make its debut on Wednesday, July 11 at 9/8 central hasn’t even premiered, yet the promos alone are enough to make me cringe with concern.

If you’ve just watched the promo video for season 1, episode 1, yes, you heard correctly. Nanny Amber is rated on a scale of 1 to 10 by her potential employers on 5 things during her interview.

These included:

1. Personality. Dad gave her an 8 and mom gave her a 9.

2. Discipline.  Dad gave her a 7 and mom gave her a 7, because she was late.

3. Friendliness.  Both dad and mom gave her a generous 9.

4. Capability. Dad gave her a 7 and mom gave her a 9.

5. Cute appeal. Dad gave her a 6 and mom… with jaw dropped the video cut out here.

If that’s the top 5 criteria parents are using when evaluating their potential nanny, we have a real problem.

Nannies are childcare specialists who are employed by parents to provide high-quality, personalized and customized childcare. Nannies partner with parents to meet the children’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs.

For years, nannies and those who educate, support and place them in homes with families, have been working to educate the public about the importance of quality in-home childcare. Since 1985, the International Nanny Association has been providing recommended practices for nannies and holding annual conferences to educate nannies and those within in the in-home childcare industry on how to do their jobs well.

When choosing a nanny for their children, indeed the nanny has to fit into the family dynamics and lifestyle, but more importantly, the nanny must be qualified to do the job well.

When interviewing a nanny for your family, here are my top 5 things you should rate your nanny on:

1. Experience. When leaving your children in the care of a nanny for 40 to 60 hours per week, it’s vital that the caregiver have previous childcare experience. Experienced nannies have a working knowledge of children and are confident in their care giving abilities. They’ve seen the good, bad and the ugly when it comes to family dynamics and have learned to effectively do their job in a private home environment. If your child has special needs or if your family has multiples, seeking a nanny with experience in those areas can be beneficial.

2. Education. Many nannies have educational backgrounds in early childhood development or education, but at minimum, a nanny should have basic safety training, including current CPR and first aid certification. Many nannies attend educational conferences to hone their childcare skills and keep up on current childcare trends through reading books, networking with other nannies and by taking online classes.

3. Reliability. When giving a caregiver sole charge of your children while you are away, it’s imperative that you can count on her. More than showing up on time, you should be able to count on your nanny to be truthful and honest, to follow through with your wishes, to protect your family’s privacy and to make the children’s needs her priority while on the clock.

4. Ability to communicate. When job issues arise, they are typically due to a breakdown in communication among the adults. It’s important that you and your nanny can communicate effectively, that you’re both willing to keep the lines of communication open and that you feel comfortable discussing child related concerns with each other.

5. A genuine love for children. A nanny’s work can be isolating. A nanny must truly enjoy spending a majority her day alone with the children. Successful nannies view their work as valuable and take enormous pride in providing the highest level of childcare. Nannies strive to build lasting relationships with the children and don’t take for granted the trust that is given to them by the children and parents.

While there have been nanny reality shows in the past, like SuperNanny and Nanny 911 who give a more accurate glimpse of work nannies do, from the promo clips, Beverly Hills Nannies leaves lots to be desired.


2 Responses to 5 Things You Should Really Rate Your Nanny On

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The Noble Nanny says:

Thank you so much for bringing perspective with your article. I cringe at the thought of a family turning to such an unrealistic show for nanny advice. Entertaining, yes. Quality, no. While these “junk food” shows may taste good going down, they lack anything that will benefit us long term.

Thank you for your comment! It’s so important to educate parents on who and what a nanny is so that they can make educated and informed hiring choices. – Michelle