According to the latest government figures, there are over 127,000 childminders and nannies in the UK, a figure that seems set to grow as more and more families look for alternatives to traditional day care, partly due to cost and partly because of the limited number of nursery places available.
Finding a nanny
There are numerous benefits in choosing a nanny to meet your childcare needs, including the flexibility of having someone who can work around your schedule and who can devote 1:1 time to your children. Finding the right nanny isn’t always easy, however, and working with a reputable nanny agency such as Little Ones will make life easier for you.
If you are looking for a nanny agency in Surrey or in London with Surrey coverage, there are plenty of options, but you need to pick one with a good reputation and a history of finding the right nanny for the families they work with. This should include vetting potential candidates and setting up interviews with those who best match your family’s needs.
What to look for in a nanny
You should always interview any potential nanny, ideally more than one so you can compare candidates and choose one to whom you and your children can relate. Make sure you have a list of questions you want to ask and don’t be afraid to challenge applicants if you aren’t sure of their response. Other things you might want to consider include:
Appearance: While this might seem somewhat shallow, the way in which a potential nanny presents themselves at an interview goes some way to showing whether they want to impress you and how much they want the job. It also gives an indication as to how they will care for your child. If the nanny has unwashed hair or dirty fingernails, for example, they might think this is acceptable for your son or daughter too.
Interaction: How your potential nanny interacts with you and your children should be the most important part of the interview. Are they someone you can talk to easily and do you feel comfortable in their presence? Do they seem comfortable talking to your children and make attempts to engage with them? And how do your children react to them?
Questions: We’ve already mentioned your questions but questions from the nanny can be revealing. If they are more interested in how much they'll earn or how much holiday they can take rather than the children's routines, their priorities may be questionable.
Qualifications and experience: Not all nannies will have formal qualifications but if they don’t, you will want to look for equivalent experience. Older nannies, for example, may have practical experience of raising their own children, which can be beneficial.
Once you’ve made your decision, ensure the agency takes references and performs DBS checks. If possible, ask the nanny to do some trial days to confirm the fit.