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Recruiting and retaining the perfect nanny is one of the most important things you can do for your child. Trusting someone to care for your little ones in your absence means handing over your most precious items in the world, so you need to make sure you make the right choice. From where to look, how to recruit and even how to hold on to the best, here are some top tips to find a nanny.
Find the best agency
There are many nanny and au pair agencies around, especially in London where demand is high. That means that it's incredibly important to sort the wheat from the chaff and find the best nanny agency you can. Choose an agency based on both its professional credentials and the testimonials of other customers. Don't look for the agency that has the cheapest rates; you need an agency that genuinely cares about the quality of the nannies on their books. Keep an eye out for added features such as agencies which provide training courses and do full background and DBS checks.
Meet and greet
It's all well and good that you meet the new nanny and like them, but it's even more important that there is a bond between the nanny and your children. Make sure they meet, at least once, before you make any official offer of contract. Leave them to spend some time together, observe them from afar, perhaps even taking notes. And then ask your children afterwards about their opinion. Children's instincts are good, so even if someone seems perfect to you, your children may be better equipped to judge whether this is someone they feel they can have cuddles with when they have a scraped knee or can help with a problem they are having at school.
The whole package
A good nanny isn't just there to nurse, cuddle and nurture. A great nanny will also be able to help with homework, cook a nutritious meal, understand good disciplinary practices and be prepared to work with your boundaries but also have the confidence to use their own initiative when necessary. The right nanny will go above and beyond and just like Mary Poppins, will be practically perfect in every way.
A trial period is the only true way to see if your family and the nanny are the right fit. Make sure all parties are aware that the trial period goes three ways and if yourselves, the candidate or your children have concerns after the trial period, keep communication lines open to solve these concerns. Be prepared to say that it hasn't worked out if things just don't feel right.
As you can see it's really important to get it right and that's why following these simple tips can help. Only use the best agency, always let the nanny and your children meet, make absolutely sure of the appointment with a trial period and look for bonus characteristics in a nanny such as a second language or cooking skills.