What Should I Consider When Hiring a Nanny?

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

Working parents in search of high-quality child care may find that hiring a nanny is the best option. Once thought of as a choice for the very wealthy, nannies are now more affordable than ever before. In fact, if you have two or more small children, hiring a nanny may only be slightly more expensive than sending your children to a local daycare center. Using the services of a nanny is also much more convenient, since he or she is only responsible for your children.

A person looking for a nanny might try putting an ad in the local newspaper.
A person looking for a nanny might try putting an ad in the local newspaper.

There are many different tactics you can use when hiring a nanny to care for your children. Asking for recommendations from other parents is the most informal approach. Advertising in a local newspaper may also be a useful method for hiring a nanny. However, many parents find that the best way to hire a nanny is to visit a nanny agency. A nanny agency is a type of specialized employment agency that works to match experienced nannies with parents in need of caregivers for their children. Since a nanny agency often conducts its own preliminary screenings and background checks, this approach is typically the most stress-free option for busy parents.

In many cases, nannies are responsible for domestic duties in additional to childcare duties.
In many cases, nannies are responsible for domestic duties in additional to childcare duties.

Before you start to interview potential nannies, take the time to think about what characteristics you’re looking for in an ideal child care provider. How would you like your nanny to handle discipline? What is your policy on candy and other non-nutritious treats? Would you prefer that your children be allowed plenty of free play time or do you want a nanny who can supervise various educational activities? Do your children have any special needs that a nanny must be aware of?

When hiring a nanny, don’t ask your children to attend the first interview. It’s best to plan on conducting two rounds of interviews. For the first interview, you’ll be evaluating the nanny’s general qualifications and deciding if you’d like to introduce him or her to your children. At the second interview, you can observe your children interacting with the nanny to see if the match is a good fit for your family.

Once you’ve finished hiring a nanny for your children, you’ll need to make the arrangement legal. To protect your interests, ask your nanny to sign an employment contract that clearly specifies the position’s salary, duties, and benefits. If you’re paying the nanny directly, remember that you’ll be responsible for Social Security, Medicare, federal unemployment, and disability taxes as well. To avoid future trouble with the IRS, it’s best to consult an experienced accountant for advice on the tax implications of hiring a nanny.

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders

Dana holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa. She has loved being part of the wiseGEEK team ever since discovering the joys of freelance writing after her son was born. Dana also hones her writing skills by contributing articles to various blogs, as well as creating sales copy and content for e-courses.

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