The search for a nanny can be daunting. Knowing that this person will be spending a lot of time with your child or children means there’s a certain expectation that you need to get it just right. Thinking about what makes a great nanny can be a useful way to help focus your search and find a nanny that perfectly fits the bill. Here are nine suggestions for qualities that best count in a nanny service.
1. A genuine love of children
It goes without saying that a great nanny is going to love children and want to care for them. No matter what other fabulous qualities they have, if there’s not a distinct love and respect for children, they’re not going to be the best nanny possible.
2. Energy and enthusiasm
Children can be exhausting, so energy and enthusiasm for the job are vital. A disinterested nanny is not going to do a great job and is not someone your children are going to want to be around. Everyone has days when they’re tired and not performing to their best, but on a practical level you’re looking for someone who is generally enthusiastic about spending their days with your children.
3. Caring and nurturing
A good nanny needs to be able to build a loving, caring relationship with your child and be sensitive to their needs and interests. They should for instance, devise activities based on interests rather than just doing what they do out of routine or because they feel it’s what every child should be doing.
4. Fun nature
Childhood should be a magical time and a great nanny is someone who’s going to provide a fun environment that will keep children entertained, stimulated and enjoying the day as best they can.
5. Capable and calm
If you’re looking to hire anyone in any position, you want someone with the skills to do the job and the common sense and practicality to be able to handle a variety of everyday and not-so-everyday situations. A nanny is going to be making decisions that affect your child’s health, safety and well-being, so you need someone that not only has the necessary skills, but who is also practical, level-headed and calm in a crisis.
6. Punctual and flexible
Punctuality is important in a nanny. It’s vital they arrive on your door in the morning on time so that your schedule isn’t interrupted. And a nanny may need to do school drop-offs, escort your child to sport or take them to the dentist. The person you hire needs to be punctual to ensure the day goes as smoothly as possible.
Flexibility is also useful so that should you be held up on occasion, you know your children are in safe hands. Do remember however that punctuality and flexibility should be a two-way street, and you need to ensure you do your best to also arrive home on time and be flexible should occasional circumstances mean your nanny is late or has to leave early.
A nanny is not just any employee. When you hire a nanny you are entrusting them with the safety and security of your children, and also letting them into your home. Make sure you have a copy of their criminal record check before hiring, and if something doesn’t feel quite right, go with your gut instinct.
8. A good communicator
Good communication is integral to a good relationship with your nanny. They need to be able to clearly communicate with both you and your children, so ideally you are looking for someone who is comfortable in speaking with you and coming forward with any issues, concerns or suggestions. Good listening is also important, on both sides.
A good nanny is someone who is proactive not just in terms of creating activities for children but in areas of health, safety and discipline. You want someone who won’t be shy to come to you with any concerns they have.
And how to find the best nanny for your family
It’s obviously not possible to get to know everything about a person in an initial interview, however asking a variety of questions can help you get an idea of the sort of person they are, their nanny style and how you think they might interact with your child or children. Ask about their previous roles, and include questions such as what sort of activities they provide for children, or how they would handle a given situation. And when you think you’ve found the one, organise some time for them to meet with your children so you can see how they interact.
If you’re ready to start your search for a nanny service, feel free to get in touch with Select Au Pairs & Nannies. We can take the hard work and stress out of the process, and help you find a nanny who best fits your family.