As often as it’s said, it’s always worth repeating that having a child completely flips your world upside down. No more late nights out, no more bumming around until you figure out what you want to do with your life — instead, it’s all about putting your new baby first. As such, hiring a caregiver to help take over the burden of raising a child is one of the most important steps you’ll likely ever take in your life.
But first-time parents are often the ones that make the biggest nanny hiring mistakes. For example, you might be in need of a sitter two days from now, so you choose the first person who responds to your Craigslist posting without conducting a thorough job interview. Big mistake! You simply can’t leave your child in the care of someone you hardly know without first getting to know him or her as completely as you can.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top three nanny interview questions every parent should keep in mind while on the hunt.
1. How long have you been working as a caregiver?
If you find a potential fit from one of the best nanny agencies in your area, you’ve likely been briefed on his or her credentials. But for someone who’s contacted you directly, it’s always a good idea to lead off with this question because it’ll help you gauge his or her experiences level. You don’t want to waste time training someone to be a caregiver, especially when one of the biggest benefits of hiring a nanny is that he or she can effectively pick up where you leave off when you head to work.
2. Are you certified in CPR and do you have other emergency care training?
Aside from experience, this should be the single biggest factor in hiring a caregiver for your home. As a parent, you likely envision the worst things happening to your children while you’re away from them. The worst stuff — choking, physical injuries, etc. — can be easily handled by a trained professional with practice in CPR, cleaning wounds and applying bandages, leaving your mind at ease when you’re not at home.
3. What kinds of activities are important to you?
Out of the many benefits of hiring a nanny, companionship tends to be one of the highest up on the list. Caregivers don’t just heat up food and prevent kids from getting seriously hurt; they also provide emotional support when the parents physically aren’t there to do so. As a result, it might be nice to share certain hobbies and interests with the kids, especially when it comes to music, arts and crafts or fun games.
Of course, there’s always a sense of urgency when it comes to nannying. If you need someone to start tomorrow, ask the potential hire if they can. Sooner is usually better, though you never want to rush into hiring someone without feeling comfortable with your choice. Remember — there are many benefits of hiring a nanny, but they should always be the right choice.