The task of finding that perfect someone to care for your child can be daunting. Here are some tips.
While it’s possible to find a Charlotte nanny in one week, it’s unlikely. Give yourself at least one month but no more than three from the date you will need the nanny to begin. It’s difficult to secure a nanny when her first paycheck is months away. You’ll also need plenty of time to call references (and wait for callbacks) and to run a background check if needed.
Narrow it Down
Decide why you want a nanny and what will be most important to you:
- Determine how much help you will need and how often. The more consistent a schedule you can offer, the easier it will be.
- Will you need someone to be home when the kids get off the bus and who can help with homework or will you need someone who can drive your little one to Discovery Place, ImaginOn story time, music class, soccer practice, etc.?
- Maybe you need someone who can get an infant on a sleep schedule and perform light housekeeping during naps. These things all affect the type of nanny you will need.
As any Charlottean knows, traffic can be an issue (especially if there’s ANY precipitation).
- If you’re seeking a nanny who needs to be at your home between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. or 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., then they should live close by. Take this into consideration and limit your search perimeter.
What can you afford?
- The going rate in Charlotte is $13 to $15 per hour. Rates should reflect the amount of experience, how many children the nanny will care for and additional tasks expected outside of basic childcare (errands, activities etc).
- Full-time nannies should also be offered paid holidays, sick days and vacation time. There are great nanny payroll services available and tax incentives for household employees.
Where to look
While there are numerous sites to find nannies, often your fellow parents can get you started.
- If a co-worker uses a nanny, ask to speak to her and see if she has any friends who are looking for a position.
- Send out a neighborhood email asking for suggestions
- Seek nannies out on the playground and ask for referrals
- If your little one attends preschool or any child care center, ask their teachers for leads or even offer them a position.
- Why are they a nanny?
Look for the deeper answers such as how rewarding it is and stay clear of answers such as “I like the extra cash.”
- What would you do in an 8 hour day?
Have them walk you through a day with your child and listen for answers that shows a nanny being proactive and taking initiative.
- What do you love most about children?
This should be an easy one for most candidates.
Talk to references and former employers. Other moms are always willing to share their experience with a previous nanny.
- Ask how many times the nanny called out sick or was late.
- Ask how the children received her.
Go with your mommy gut and choose a candidate that feels right and not one that just looks good on paper. Once you have that special person, maintain that relationship with open communication, feedback and appreciation. I always tell parents to treat their nannies the way they would want to be treated by an employer. Nothing like being recognized for good work with a note or thoughtful gift.
If this all seems like too much, there are several local agencies who can help:
Hope this helps!