How to Pick Your First Nanny or Babysitter

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Leaving your child alone with a new person for the first time can be a little scary, but the more comfortable and confident you feel in your first nanny’s ability, the easier the process will be. Here are a few vital tips and tricks for finding the first important caretaker for your family.

Outline and Plan

You’ll feel more comfortable if you go into the process with a good idea of what you’re hoping to achieve. Are you looking for a full-time, in-home nanny or someone who can watch the kids while you work in the upstairs office? There are many potential roles for a nanny or caretaker to play and you’ll want to be able to focus on the individual candidates and explain sufficiently what their new role will entail.

Ask Around

If you already know a candidate is promising because a friend or family member recommends them, that’s great. It’s important to find ways to minimize your worry as you find this first perfect caretaker for your family. You’ll want to begin asking around earlier than you expect, as good nannies are often kept close to the family, and assure your friends you’re not looking to poach!

Give Yourself Time

The last thing you want is to be scrambling around at the eleventh hour trying to find someone to watch your little one. If you’re looking for coverage so you can return to work or because a family member will be leaving town, it’s a good idea to begin the search well in advance, so you can really be certain the person you pick is the right caretaker for you and your little one.

Make Your Expectations Clear in the Ad

If you’re finding a nanny through a town or job posting board, it’s important that you write a clear and comprehensive advertisement that encourages nannies who meet your specific requirements to apply. For this to be effective, you need to have a sense of the duties and responsibilities your nanny will be taking over, as well as a list of personal dos and don’ts. Will they be driving? Caring for pets? Working weekends? The more clear your ad, the more likely the right person will find you.


Speak Over the Phone First

You’ll probably want to check out several candidates before taking things to the next step, so it’s a good idea to begin with a phone call. Write out a few questions, if you want, but also get a sense of how you communicate with the person, what their personality is like, and what your first impression is. A caretaker has an intimate relationship with the family they work for, so it’s important to feel like you connect.

Meet In-Person

This may be daunting for you, especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever interviewed a nanny or caretaker, but you’ve already done the hard work. Refer to your lists, notes, and outlines, ask them for references (be sure to follow up!) and see how they interact with your child and in your home. There is a lot to be said for gut instinct.

Try It Out

If one of your caretaker candidates feels right for the job, try it out. Have them come on a trial basis for a short period of time, so you can begin developing a relationship and you can see how they interact and behave around your child. If you feel comfortable, leave them alone for a short while. This will also help you feel safer and more secure when the time does come to leave them with the nanny you pick.

To find your nanny or day care professional today that can help support your family, explore the search today and find out why search has never been this easy!