Childcare

Expert advice on hiring a nanny

Childcare and the choices available are increasingly diverse and Lindsey Doe from Tinies Childcare talks us through nannies and what we should be thinking about when employing one. It’s a pressure that countless parents experience at some point and looking for appropriate childcare for their loved ones is one thing they can ill afford to get wrong.

More and more parents and guardians are taking to the internet for solutions and there has been a distinct increase in the number of parents who use ‘classified listing’ websites to secure their childcare. The choice that the internet represents is a fantastic change in terms of choice however using the online option and especially classified listing sites should be treated with a little caution. There are often no checks done, no interviewing or safe guarding, therefore little real idea of the type of person that is applying for your position. Parents who advertise their jobs online can be inundated with junk CVs, whereas the more traditional choice of a nanny agency should result in you finding nannies that fit your profile. 

Online childcare websites are on the rise and they can rely on parents doing their own checks. Leading childcare agencies are concerned some parents may not be doing the thorough checks that the more conventional and specialist agencies offer. Such sites are not a bad thing we just need to be careful when using them exclusively.

When interviewing a Nanny the most important thing you need to ascertain is that they are the right person to care for your children.Your family dynamic needs preserving or enhancing so delve into their previous experience, especially whether they have had sole charge of children if that is an element of your needs.  List your requirements and build your questions around what it is you are looking for. Also check the ages of their previous charges, do they have any common interests or hobbies with your family, how long they have stayed at previous positions and what were the circumstances under which they left, are they still on good terms with their employers and will those employers be happy to act as referees.

Many parents don’t realise the time and expertise it takes to find and a good nanny. It’s not just about CRB checks, but also about things like checking references and accounting for gaps in their CVs and being able to shortlist the right nannies for the job before interviewing them face to face .  Any candidate who can’t account for gaps in their employment, who are unable to provide referees for their recent employers or do not wish to go through the CRB process need to be handled with caution. Close questioning should help to ascertain what the issue could be so don’t be embarrassed or tentative in your examination of their history.

Don’t be worried about asking as many questions as you need to ensure that the person you choose is the right fit for your family, don’t be worried about going with your instincts, someone can answer all your questions perfectly but still not feel quite right – listen to that inner voice.  Take your time to get it right and if in doubt seek expert advice.

Parents who hire nannies are effectively employers and have to pay tax and National Insurance contributions as well as taking on all the other responsibilities of an employer, such as maternity rights and sick leave. 

Getting it right is the only real option and there is now much more help available to help make the right choices. What’s more you don’t have to use a nanny agency exclusively anymore; you can pick and choose. Agencies like Tinies Childcare offer you professional help when and in the areas you need it. 

Tinies Childcare offers a full screening service or parents can purchase particular services such as legal help with issues such as drawing up a contract of employment.

For more information on the Tinies nanny screening service visit http://www.tinies.com/nanny-screening-services/

 

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