Tips on Interviewing Nannies

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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