Jimmy's Blog

How to find a good nanny

Source : http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a541468/how-to-find-a-good-nanny

A nanny will provide care for your child in your own home. You can have a live-in nanny, who will have her own space in your home, or a day nanny, who will care for your child when needed.

What training and qualifications should a nanny have?

There are no laws requiring a nanny to hold qualifications in childcare. Many nannies do hold formal childcare qualifications, but many just have plenty of experience of looking after children.

If you're looking for a nanny with formal training in childcare, the sort of qualifications they may have can include:
  • Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE) diploma in childcare and education, ranging from level one to three.
  • BTEC national certificate or diploma in children's care, learning and development.
  • NVQ in children's care, learning and development, ranging from level one to five.
When choosing a nanny, ask to see proof of their qualifications and check the level they have gained. If you're not sure how credible their qualifications are, contact the organisation that they studied with.

If you are choosing a nanny with no qualifications in childcare, you'll need to go by their references and experience.

Should a nanny be registered or inspected?

Unlike childminders, nannies don't have to be registered or inspected in order to work. However, nannies can choose to be registered with the appropriate authority:
  • England: Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
  • Scotland: Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland
  • Wales: Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
  • Northern Ireland: Health and Social Services Trust

What qualities should a nanny have?

You'll want to see that a nanny takes genuine pleasure in caring for your child. They should show that they are committed to all aspects of your child's emotional, social and intellectual development.

There will also be many specific things that you are looking for in a nanny, such as age, qualifications or being able to drive. You may also like a nanny with particular interests or skills that might benefit your child, such as being a good cook.

There are also some universal qualities that all nannies should have, such as:
  • They are imaginative in dealing with problems. For example, if your child has run out of paint, they will find some household supplies to use for artwork. Or if your child is having trouble sleeping, they will come up with ways to help.
  • They will share your approach to discipline and care, and work within the routines you have established for your child.
  • They can plan activities and games for your child that are suitable for her age and will stimulate her development.
  • They will keep you updated about what your child has done each day, and let you know of any problems.
  • They are flexible if you'd like them to work earlier or later than usual at short notice.

How should I go about finding a nanny?

First of all, write a clear job description outlining the skills, experience and personality you would like your nanny to have. This will encourage the right nannies to apply, and help them to tailor their application to your requirements.

Next, you'll need to advertise. There are a few ways you can do this:
  • Ask other parents, friends or family if they can recommend a nanny, or if they know anyone who can.

  • Put up adverts at local day nurseries, playgroups, colleges, shops and cafes, or in the local paper or school newsletters.

  • Register with nanny agencies. They will screen candidates and try to find people who match your criteria. They will also verify work experience, and should check criminal and driving records. Using an agency will mean you have to pay more, but it will save time. The quality of nanny agencies varies, so try to use one that's recommended.
When you have some applications from nannies, draw up a shortlist and ask to interview them. Try to talk to as many nannies as you can so you can find the right person to care for your child.

Can I trial a nanny?

Yes, a nanny will expect this as they will want to make sure the arrangement will work for them, too.

When you've interviewed a nanny and you think they could be a good option, invite them back to spend a day with you and your child. By taking your child to the park with the nanny, or having lunch together, you'll begin to build a fuller picture of them. It could also give your partner an opportunity to meet them and provide a second opinion.

If you trial a nanny, you should pay them for their time. If they are travelling any distance, you should cover their expenses, too.

Don't ignore your gut instinct about a nanny, even if there's no obvious reason for being unsure about them. It's important that you like and respect your nanny, so if you're doubtful, it's best to find another option.

Once I've employed a nanny, how will I know they're doing a good job?

It can be difficult to know how things are going with your nanny when you're not there to observe. Be reassured it will be clear from your little one whether or not it's working out. Your child and her nanny will form a close bond, and this will be evident if:
  • Your child lights up at the first sight of her nanny. She will look forward to the time she spends with them if they are warm, caring and patient.
  • Your child can't stop talking about all the wonderful things her nanny says and does. If your nanny truly enjoys caring for children, your child will know it. And your nanny's enthusiasm will shine through every day.
  • Your child has plenty to show from her day, such as some artwork or a new song she's learned. A good nanny will be aware of and cherish your child's curiosity. They will try to answer questions, elicit imaginative responses, and think up creative ways to teach new skills. And because her activities are so much fun, your child will want to show off her achievements to you.

  • Your child's room is clean, and so is your child. Your nanny will be aware of good hygiene rules around your child and will stick to them.
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