Hiring a Nanny? Here’s 5 things your Mary-Poppins should have

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Are you a hard working parent searching for child care? Or are you a stay-at-home mom (or dad) in need of a break? A nanny may be a perfect solution for you. Or it can also be a nightmare. It all depends on who you choose. So to avoid disaster, here are 5 things your potential nanny should have:

1. Experience

You wouldn’t hire an electrician or a plumber to work on your house if they didn’t have experience and you definitely wouldn’t let a dentist drill on your teeth without experience. So, obviously, you wouldn’t hire someone to take care of your children without experience. It’s important to remember to hire an individual who has had experience with the same age group as your children. Just because someone has had years of experience taking care of infants doesn’t mean they know how to handle a 9-year old. The same goes for having experience with a 6-year old versus a 6-month old. Age groups are so different and each age group needs different things. A potential nanny doesn’t necessarily need a decade of experience, but that is completely up to your standards. It’s whatever you, as a parent, feel comfortable with.

2. Clean Record/Background Check

A background check may be one of the best things you can do when searching for your potential nanny. It’s best to hire people with clean records in any job, but when it comes to being responsible with your children, it is crucial. Just because Ms. Mary has a very clean and polished room doesn’t mean she doesn’t have dirty skeletons in her closet. Don’t get caught up in how much a background check may cost or if it’s worth the time and effort. Just do it. It could save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

3. Education

Whether you need a nanny for your 10-year old or you need a nanny for your 18-month old, you need someone who can help teach your child and use enrichment to help further their learning. It doesn’t take a Master’s Degree, but it should be important for your potential nanny to have at least a High-School education. Children go through so many different developmental stages in their early years so it is important that your nanny can keep up and help encourage your children to learn.

4. Same Parenting Style

You’re the parent; You make the decisions and the rules for your kids. Hiring a nanny means giving them that authority to make those decisions and/or rules. It’s no surprise you’d want your potential nanny parenting the same way as you. Two extremely important things a child needs is structure and consistency. Having a nanny on the same page as you will give them that consistency and will help your children learn the authoritative structure. There are several factors to take in when talking about your “parenting style”. For example: your rules, warnings, consequences, type of discipline, rewards, and whether you’re strict or laid back, etc. Imagine having a nanny who believed in “whipping” children for bad behavior, while a time-out is the harshest consequence you’ve ever given them. Yikes! And the same goes for vice versa. Not only is having the same parenting style healthy for your children, but it makes your job as a boss much easier and keeps your nanny relationship healthy.

5. Loving Personality

Does your potential nanny show a loving spirit towards children? If not, or if you’re unsure, be confident you’re choosing someone who you believe can grow to love your children. Just about anyone can watch your children. A lot of people can take care of your children. But only a certain kind of person can love your children. That isn’t saying your kids are hard to love, but that not everyone can love children that are not their own. You don’t want to hire someone that is going to come in to your home and treat it like it’s a 9am-5pm job. Your nanny should come to work and treat it like it’s a lifestyle. Depending on their hours, your nanny may spend more time with your children during the week then you do. And as a parent, you know more than anyone else how much attention and love your child needs on a day to day basis. Imagine hiring someone who didn’t show unconditional love to them during all that time.

Finding a great nanny may or may not be easy for you. Either way, take your time and try to plan ahead so that you are not rushed to find someone. Another important thing to remember is to not settle for just anyone. These are your kids we’re talking about! Be patient in your search and you’re bound to find your very own Mary-Poppins.