How to Choose a Nanny

Necessary Nanny Skills

When selecting a nanny, the most important thing is that the candidate you select fits well with your family, interacts well with your child, and is someone you trust. That person may come with years of experience and an early childhood education degree or may just have a love of children and experience with younger siblings. It is up to you to decide what level of experience you feel comfortable with, but there are several skills that will be necessary for anyone planning to work in childcare.

First, a nanny should have experience dealing with children that are about your child's age. A nanny who is great with elementary school children may not always be the best choice for a newborn, and vice versa. You need to find someone who is comfortable with the needs of your children. In addition, a nanny should have emergency training fit to the needs of your child, including CPR and first aid. If your child has special needs, your nanny must be equipped to deal with those, too.

A nanny also must be reliable and have great time management skills, as in many cases she will be responsible for getting your child to and from school and activities. You need to be able to trust that your child is always where he needs to be. While a nanny must be able to manage your child's day efficiently, she must also be flexible enough to deal with any changes that are likely to come up.

Finally, your nanny must be able to work within your parenting plan. Do you want to limit the hours your children can watch TV? Would you like the nanny to play educational games with your child or sometimes have other children over for playdates? These are all necessary questions to focus on before hiring a nanny. Be sure that you are on the same page as your nanny, and that your parenting style won't conflict with her childcare style. Having realistic expectations of each other is the best way to ensure a healthy relationship with your nanny, and a written contract of expectations should be lined up before your nanny begins her first day.

You know what you need to look for in a nanny, but how can you know whether a certain candidate is the right fit for you? Read on to the next page for tips on how to interview for a nanny.