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.