Hiring Your First Nanny?

We understand that hiring your child’s first caregiver can be nerve racking so we are here to help you. At Premier Nanny Agency, we focus on your unique needs to find the ideal match. We’d be happy to tell you more about our specific requirements for nannies based on your child’s age group and our Nanny Knowledge Course which includes a unit about infant care. Through our years of experience in the industry we have learned a few tips that are often helpful for parents who are looking to hire their first nanny. Contact us today for an individualized consultation so we can discuss how to best meet your needs.

Characteristics Of A Great Caregiver

  • Love of children
  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • Trustworthy
  • Responsible
  • Proactive
  • Strong communication skills
Sometimes it can be difficult to decipher a person’s character when you meet them but we have met many nannies and can spot these characteristics during the interview process and with our thorough reference check process. Only nannies with stellar references will meet with potential families.

Interview Questions To Ask

  • What is one of your favorite memories with a child?
  • What are some activities you enjoy doing with children?
  • What is your childcare philosophy and discipline style?
  • How do you communicate with parents about something you may not see eye to eye on?
  • Why do you enjoy being a nanny?
  • How do you make daily routines (bath time, meal times, nap time, etc.) more fun for children?
  • What has and hasn’t worked in your previous nanny positions?

We meet with all our potential nanny candidates and also provide our clients with sample interview questions and any other support they may need throughout the hiring process.

Interview Questions NOT To Ask

  • Are you planning to have children soon?
    • But you can ask about the potential nanny’s career goals and if she is looking to make a long-term or short-term commitment.
  • How old are you?
    • But you can ask if the potential nanny feels comfortable keeping up with active children or how many years of experience she has had with children.
  • Are you willing to pay your own taxes?
    • According to Massachusetts and Connecticut tax laws, nannies are considered household employees of a family, not independent contractors. Our partner, GTM Payroll Services, can help families with nanny payroll and taxes.
  • Who do you live with?
    • But you can ask if they are comfortable with the commute.
  • What do you do on the weekends?
    • But you can ask what hobbies they enjoy during their free time.
At Premier Nanny Agency, we can help you navigate some of these touchy topics and conversations to ensure you find a great caregiver for your child.

Things To Consider

  • How much experience does the potential nanny have? Does she have experience working with your child’s age group?
  • How long has a nanny stayed in previous positions with other families? Why did she leave her past positions?
  • Do I want to be more hands-on or give the nanny more autonomy?
    • If you want to be more hands-on you may want to consider hiring a part-time nanny or Mother’s helper who may feel more comfortable working as a team. If you want your caregiver to be more autonomous you probably want to hire a professional nanny who is comfortable working independently.
  • Ensure the candidate has a few stellar references who can speak to her experience working with children
  • Confirm that the caregiver is legally authorized to work in the US
  • Make any offer contingent on a clean background check
  • Schedule a trial day to observe how the nanny interacts with you and your children
At Premier Nanny Agency we do all this for you so you know that all candidates we send you have been fully vetted and have excellent references. We conduct thorough background checks on the nanny of your choice before confirming the placement. Unlike many other local agencies, we offer a trial period with the nanny of your choice before you officially hire her.

Red Flags

  • Very few childcare references or references from friends and family
  • Limited professional experience working with children. While experience caring for family and friends can be a helpful experience, nannies should have professional experience as well.
  • An attitude during the interview process
  • Large gaps between jobs
  • Lack of interest in learning about your child or interacting with him if he is present at the interview
We are professionals and can usually spot red flags right away. Needless to say, we will not send any candidates we are not completely confident in to meet families.

What To Expect

  • There will be a transition period for the new nanny just like with any other new job. Since childcare is such a relational field the caregiver will have to become comfortable with you and the children and vice versa. Some families will schedule a transition period of a day or two or even a week where the new nanny and parent will work together and the nanny will learn the routines and get to know the child. It can be helpful to provide the caregiver with some helpful information during their first few days and also keep communication open throughout the employment term.

Helpful Information To Provide For Your Nanny

  • Emergency contact information
  • Nanny/Family Employment Agreement
  • Explain household rules and operations
  • Describe pet care, if applicable
  • Review any allergies and medications
  • Review child’s routines (meal times, bath time, bedtime, etc.)
  • Explain expectations and rules for the children (discipline style, screen time, social media, etc.)
  • Discuss transportation and driving, if applicable

What NOT To Do

  • Expect her to do all the housekeeping tasks in addition to childcare. It is essential to discuss the expectations before the caregiver begins but most nannies are not expected to do “deep” cleaning.
  • Arrive home late when there was not an extenuating circumstance. Things happen but this should not be a regular occurrence. If you are running late you should pay the nanny for this additional time.
  • Watch her constantly throughout the day. Some families decide to have a transition period where a parent is a home with the new caregiver to teach them the routine and help them learn. After this transition period, the parents may provide guidelines but the nanny should have some independence as she is caring for the children day in and day out.
  • Ask her to consistently watch additional children for no extra compensation. It is important for children to socialize and have playdates with friends but this should not be an everyday occurrence for a neighbor who does not have childcare. Expect the nanny to clean up after you and your partner. When the nanny arrives in the morning there should not be adult dinner and dishes for her to clean
Rely on our expertise to help you through this important decision. We will provide support with everything described above and more so you do not have to worry. We will help your family find the best nanny.