Screening, Interviewing and Nanny Background Checks

Nanny Interviewing: Is your Nanny the Best Possible Fit?

There's no denying that finding a nanny can be a lengthy and involved process. From conducting the nanny search through nanny agencies to meeting the prospective nannies and developing the right nanny interview questions, a family devotes significant time and energy to finding the right fit.

Indeed, nanny jobs are nothing like last minute Friday night babysitting jobs. Rather, a nanny will be a long-term part of your children's parenting team. Don't make the hiring decision lightly. Let the following guidelines help steer you towards finding the right nanny for your family.

Is the Nanny Compatible?

Even if a nanny candidate measures up to your childcare expectations on every score, she may not be suited to work in your household, with your schedule or with your personality. A good nanny and employer fit should feel right. If you simply don't see yourself getting along with an individual throughout the coming years, it may be a sign to move on. Take note of your potential nanny's sense of humor and the way she communicates. Trust your instincts. Does your applicant share your family's level of tidiness? Will she be involved in your children's activities as much as you desire? Does your nanny candidate have enough time to be sufficiently involved with your family? Do your schedule's match? Is her schedule flexible enough for you?

Things to Consider

In addition to compatibility, make sure to review the following ten considerations and integrate questions relating to them into your nanny interviews.

  1. How well does the nanny connect to children, in particular, your children?

    When speaking with a child, does the nanny drop down to the child so that she is eyelevel? How do your children respond to the nanny? What activities does the nanny do to foster connection?

  2. Will the nanny be able to create the safe and caring environment you desire for your children?

    Is the nanny safety conscious? Is she aware of basic safety procedures? How well will she be prepared for an emergency?

  3. Does the nanny have current CPR and First Aid certification?

    Does the nanny demonstrate a good overall understanding of children's health issues? Does your child have health issues she’s able to manage comfortably?

  4. Will the nanny watch out for your children's nutritional health by providing balanced, appropriately timed meals and snacks?

  5. Will the nanny prepare nutritious meals and snacks?

    Is the nanny knowledgeable about nutrition and portion sizes? What snacks does she typically offer children? Is she willing to follow any dietary restrictions you have in place?

  6. Is the nanny experienced in caring for children?

    Does the nanny understand current child development, especially as it relates to your children's stages and the stages they are growing into? Can the nanny provide examples of age-appropriate activities that will meet your children's social, physical, intellectual and emotional needs?

  7. What is the nanny's childcare philosophy, and how do she discipline children?

    How does the nanny handle inappropriate behavior? Does her childcare philosophy agree with your parenting style? Is the nanny able to support your parenting style? Are you willing to consider the tips and advice your nanny may share?

  8. Do you feel you have a strong sense of who the nanny is?

    Apart from her own disclosures, have you checked the individual's driving record, run a nanny background check, called all the references and searched the registry of sexual offenders? Do you really know who could be caring for your children?

  9. Do the nanny's requirements sync with your own requirements?

    Are you willing to pay the salary the nanny has requested? Is she available during the times you need childcare? Is she willing to commit to the duties and responsibilities you require from a nanny?

  10. Has the nanny been fully informed of the details of your family situation, and is she comfortable with the information you've given?

    Have you been upfront and honest with your nanny candidate about your caregiving needs? Have you disclosed all the information needed for your nanny to determine if your family would be a right match for her? Does the nanny seem interested in the picture of your family you’ve presented? When getting to know a potential nanny, you want to gather as much information as possible to make an educated and informed hiring decision. The more information you have, the easier it will be to secure the right nanny for your family.

Tending to these considerations will help you find a good, close fit for your children, and your family.

Thanks to Lora Brawley of

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