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          Parenting

          Tips on Interviewing Nannies

          January 10, 2005

          Lori Berke, co-founder of Care Check, Inc., a company designed to answer the needs of parents who hire in-home help, and co-author of Making Childcare Choices: How to Find, Hire and Keep the Best Childcare for Your Kids, gives a brief summary for interviewing potential nannies:

          Thorough interviews should include:

          Clear expectations of your nanny:

          • Will they be a caregiver and housekeeper?
          • What will the hours be?
          • How many days of the week?
          • Vacation time?
          • Pay?

          Record and confirm all contact information:

          • Name and birth certificate or passport
          • Make copies of I.D.
          • Confirm home address (go there or ask for utility bill as proof of residence)
          • Confirm home number and/or cell phone number

          Confirm references:

          • Call all references
          • Visit home of references (to see if they really have kids)

          Do a criminal background check:

          • Check for alias
          • Check for numerous addresses over short period of time
          • Check for past complaints and follow up on them

          When asking a question, ask for specific examples:

          • Ask what makes them frustrated and how they handle it.
          • Ask about their childhood.
          • Ask about their child rearing philosophy.
          • Question all gaps in their work history.
          • Ask about their experiences with their previous families: What worked? What would you have changed?
          • What is the contact number for their next of kin?
          • Ask empathy-related questions: Why do they like working with children? Why did they choose to be a nanny?
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