With the trending terrible news and videos of how nannies maltreat the children of their employers scattered over the internet, it becomes an issue to be addressed in many ways, one of which is by safeguarding the growth process of your child when you follow a thorough and vetted steps in hiring your next nanny. To find and employ a nanny while visiting or living in Nigeria can be an overwhelming process. From weighing the very safety of your children to judging the person’s personality to know if she/he will be a good fit for your family, you are required to make many critical considerations.
The following should help guide you in your next search:
1. Create a list of your expectations
Create a list of your expectations and make sure they are real and not far-fetched before you contact that hiring agency or your adverts for a nanny gets posted. You must be certain of the personality of the nanny you’re looking for. Ask yourself questions like What days/hours do you need your nanny to work? Are you looking for a live-in or live-out nanny? What time will the nanny arrive and depart? What hourly rate can you comfortably afford in your household budget? Ensure you create a thorough list of “must haves” for your nanny search. Knowing your priorities will not only help you attract the right candidate but also make the right decision. Some of the personalities a good nanny must have are listed below:
- A good nanny has a basic understanding of child development: Nannies are expected to be a childcare specialists and must be responsible for providing experiences that are developmentally sound.
- A good nanny genuinely loves the company of children: Nannies must truly enjoy the being around little kids as it gives them joy and they generally have little adult interactions.
- A good nanny is safety conscious: They consider the safety of the children first and foremost when they are on duty.
- A good nanny is a great communicator: Solid communication skill is required for a constant relay of information between parents and children.
- A good nanny must have a clean criminal background: Nannies help raise children to become good, law-abiding citizens and serve as role models to the children in their care. Because of the intimate nature of the job, nannies should not have a history of criminal activity.
- A good nanny is proactive: Nannies must be proactive when it comes to the discipline, safety and meeting the children’s need.
- A good nanny wants to be a nanny: It is simple, you don’t enjoy what you don’t love, a nanny must love the nature of the job and have the desire to make an impact.
These and much more are vital personalities a nanny must possess, do not compromise on any of the above.
2. Interview the candidate
Even if you commit an agency to contract the nanny on your behalf, it is necessary that you carry out your own interview to make sure your lists are checked. Ensure you interview the candidates before going any step further, choose 3-10 best ones and arrange a meeting at a neutral location, I repeat, at a neutral location – one of the important checks is to be security conscious. Your neutral location can be an eatery or a restaurant. Be sure to get answers to vital questions: do they have the experience? does their qualification match your need? do they convey why they want the job very well?
3. Conduct a further thorough reference check
It’s easy to get swayed by excellent first impressions, don’t get fooled! After the interview, conduct a further background check on your potential new employee/nanny. Contact the nanny’s past employees and make inquiries, do a thorough criminal background check and identity verification. If possible, hire a private detective to do these for you. Another thing, it is crucial that you check her medical records to know her HIV status, hepatitis test results and other tests to ensure she is healthy enough to work for you and that your children will not be at risk of any sort of infection from her.
If she has family members, try to know them and find out her true behavioral patterns from them, this is important also, it is also good if they have guarantors with valuable properties and he/she must be well-known in the vicinity.
4. Arrange an initial meeting
At this point, you will have to put your instincts to work. After the interview, invite your most preferred candidate to your home, ask details about her childcare philosophies and scrutinize with your instincts, detect any lies and a say-it-to-get-the-job talks. Also get her to interact with your children and pay attention to the reactions of your children, also watch her reactions – are your kids comfortable with her? is she comfortable around them? You generally have to trust your instincts at this time and try not to be overbearing. If it appears that she’s a perfect fit for your family, then you can get on to negotiation, if not, keep looking.
5. Terms of employment and contract draft
After the negotiations, get the terms of employment trashed out, then draft the contract and make sure she signs it. Do not forget to include a trial period before full hiring in the contract. It could be a period of 4 weeks to about 12 weeks. During this trial period, you train her and stay back for a while to see how well she gets on. If you are satisfied, you can seal a more permanent deal.
6. Get your nanny registered at the FORCE HQ
Yes, you read that right! After full hiring, get your nanny registered at the force headquarter! You’ll pay to do it but trust me, it is worth it. It put the fear of God in her. Look for the nearest divisional headquarter and get your help registered.
7. Take pictures
Take pictures of her and her family members, keep these in your family album and don’t forget to keep them on your PC hard drive.
Don’t be lazy about your hiring process, with all the havoc house helps caused everywhere, the safety of our kids and families is in our hands.
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