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How A Nanny Service Can Help You Get A Better Nanny

By Author: Sana Shaikh
Total Articles: 5

As the owner of a nanny service, I continually try to improve my skill at making a successful match between an employer and a nanny applicant.
After an initial discussion with an employer, I try to determine what is most important in a prospective candidate. If relevant, I also want to know how any of their previous nannies may have fallen short of their expectations. We discuss the requirements of the job, and I sometimes make recommendations if I feel that it would be helpful.
Also, as the owner of a nanny service, I make assessments of all the nanny applicants. I develop an opinion by having a lengthy conversation at the interview, and by input from previous employers. I try to determine from both the nanny herself and from previous employers what are her strengths and weaknesses.
I find it is helpful to discuss the feedback from previous employers with the nanny applicant.
The following are some of the comments, which I have encountered in my conversations when obtaining references for a nanny.

1- “She’s wonderful with the baby but doesn’t really spend enough time with my older child. She clearly favors infants.”
I would relay this information to the nanny and instruct her that a professional should not behave this. I would then engage her in constructive conversation in an attempt to make her more aware of this shortcoming. That said I would probably place her in a situation where the likelihood of this problem could not arise.

2- “She really gets down on the floor and plays games with my children, finds interesting and creative projects to do, but leaves everything for me to clean up. She just doesn’t feel it’s her job to do any straightening up.”
If I hear this complaint about a nanny, I would let her know that it is my professional opinion that straightening up after children is certainly within her domain. Nevertheless, I would attempt to place her in a situation where there is a separate housekeeper.

3- “She’s a great help to me in every way, when she’s not on the phone. Even though I have politely mentioned it several times the problem persists.”

This is, in my opinion a real deal breaker. I would let the applicant know that unless she felt she could correct this I would not place her. If, in fact, after placing her I got this feedback again, she would be cut out of my database permanently.

4- “ She’s a great nanny, but seems to have a lot of issues cropping up which prevent her from showing up. Simply unreliable.”
Given this feedback I would give the nanny an opportunity to explain, but unless she could convince me otherwise I would not place her.

5- “She’s a great nanny, but we really feel our lack of privacy with her. She is always with us.”
In this situation, I would be careful about where I place her; for example, I would make sure the family wants a real au-pair experience and is anxious to treat her as part of the family. I would also give the nanny some direction about discretion in this area.

In conclusion, it is likely that the agents at a nanny placement service will understand who is the best candidate for your position.

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