The Big Four: Factors to Consider Before Employing a Nanny

When starting the journey into the world of nannies, it's important to consider four key factors before you even begin the search, experts in the field, Nannytax, explain choosing the right person to invite into your home and asking them to look after the most precious things in your world is not easy. They will be a key member of your family make-up, the person who will help raise your little bundles and you don't want to waste time and energy with the wrong person. With 25 years' experience of working with families who employ nannies, Nannytax knows a thing or two about what to consider when trying to recruit the right person for your family.

Here are their top four issues to consider before starting the journey into the world of nanny-search.

1. Personality Type

It's critical to consider what will work best for you and your family. A person's energy and personality will affect your children's behaviour, your mood, the family dynamic and the atmosphere within your home:

  • Consider how a prospective nanny's energy levels and interests align to yours, especially at key times of the day such as first thing and when you get home. Do you want someone upbeat and energetic, or would you rather someone who creates a calm, quiet environment with cuddles rather than games? 
  • Remember there's no right or wrong, but you need to decide which scenario/personality works best for you and your family. Finding someone that fits into your family dynamic is key and worth investing the time to think about, so you know what to look out for.

2. What are Your Family's Values?

Take some time to consider how you want your children to behave and what things are important to you? It will give you peace of mind and reassure you that the person who is caring for your children will be teaching them the things that align to your value system.

For example, consider:

  • Good manners
  • Learning how to play independently
  • Not talking over another person
  • Understanding boundaries and house rules? The list is endless.

Establish what you don't want to compromise on and the value system that is important to you. This makes it easier to explain to your nanny how you expect your children to be raised as well as providing a brief of the values system you would like your new nanny to have.

3. What duties to expect of your nanny

It's helpful to write a prioritised list, helping to establish what jobs are the most important and what can be compromised on.

Consider what's realistic and manageable. Is it reasonable to expect that a nanny, whilst looking after two toddlers and a baby, can also complete all the ironing, run errands, batch cook and wash the all the laundry? It's important to decide what you expect to happen in a day. Evaluate this when interviewing your nanny and discuss it in detail with them. A career nanny will know how a typical day runs as it is their job, so allow them to guide you on this.

  • Some nannies will perform nursery duties only, i.e. tidy children's areas, iron the children's clothes, deal with all things child related
  • Other nannies will perform light house cleaning if required

The key in deciding what duties you should ask your nanny to complete on a daily/weekly basis is to be realistic and come to a mutually agreed brief. 

4. How do you like your home to be run?

This might sound strange, but it's critical. When someone is in your home (regardless of whether you are there together or 'like ships passing') they are using your amenities, eating at your table, using your kitchen and will be in your personal space. A nanny in your home must know how you like things to be kept.

  • Consider what annoys you (or what others, like your partner, does to annoy you) in the home. For example, do they turn the dishwasher on half empty, don't take out the bins when full or leave coats on the stairs? If these things annoy you when your family does them, they will be magnified when a relative stranger does them in your home

You must talk to your nanny about how you like your house to be run. Even things you think are obvious may not be to another person! It's important to get these things out in the open from the offset. That way, you can have the best chance of developing a long and lasting relationship with your nanny, letting you concentrate on the other important things in your life.