Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hiring a Full-Time Nanny – First Impressions

As with almost all the needs of children, the type of care that you require comes in various phases. When I was pregnant with our daughter, I knew that we would need someone full-time when I returned to work so this person would have a significant influence on our daughter’s life. I remember reaching out through exploring various resources, including nanny agencies (charging a finder’s fee), on-line listing services and local postings. I had a hard time justifying the finder’s fee of the agencies because there never seemed to be a guarantee (or refund) if the sitter quit after just a few months. Given that I’ve hired employees in the past, I also felt confident that I could successfully check references and complete the background check of anyone we would consider.

I didn’t have luck with the listing services, the process just seemed too removed and I was really looking for someone who had a connection, preferably in our neighborhood. So, when I saw a couple of postings at The Red Wagon, our neighborhood children’s store, I followed up on them.

In particular, I recall two interviews. Never having raised an infant, I was really curious to know what the nanny would do with the baby all day. So, I asked that very question. The first nanny prospect said that she would cuddle with the baby. OK, I liked that answer. The second nanny prospect said that even at an early age, a baby can distinguish black and white images and that she would devote time each day to this “play” period. I was really impressed with that answer. It showed initiative, understanding of a baby’s cognitive abilities and a plan to not be a “passive sitter” but to actively engage our daughter. We hired the second nanny who was with our daughter through the age of four.


  1. For me the best nanny will be any of my relatives. I was raised by my grand parents and I know that my parents can also help build my child's character. I just hope they don't spoil him that much.
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  2. For me, before hiring a nanny, she should have knowledge about autism. Even if my kid don't have it, I feel at ease when the nanny knows even a little.
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