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Simple Tips For Finding The Perfect Nanny

NannyWe would all love to score a Mary Poppins type child minder to entertain and delight our kids when we aren’t there, but in reality we have to do a fair amount of hunting to score a half decent nanny or child minder.
If you are in the market for a child minder, read on for some valuable tips on finding the best possible candidate to look after your child…

What do you need?

Before you can set about searching for your perfect nanny, you need to be clear about what it is your family needs and what you can offer in return. The best child minders don’t come cheap, but it is possible to find a perfectly capable au pair to look after your child for a fraction of the cost. Ask yourself a few basic questions: Do you need a live in childminder? Does the childminder need to have any special skills or education? You need to be clear about what it is you are looking for before you can begin your search.

Where to look:

  • Ask friends and family: One of the best things about being so connected through social networking is that you can round up their recommendations pretty quickly. Follow up on any leads they provide as these candidates have already been tested out.
  • Post an ad: There are plenty of places where you can post an ad for free. Gumtree is a good starting point, because it is both free and effective giving you access to hundreds (even thousands) of potentially suitable candidates.
  • Go through an agency: There are several well known nanny agencies in South Africa, all of which offer parents the chance to select nannies and childminders from some of the most skilled candidates in the country. There are several advantages to going through an agency; training, extensive background checks and accountability are just a few.


Finding the perfect child minder: character checks

You are perfectly within your rights as a parent to question the character of the person will be caring for your child in your absence.
  • Check their references: Don’t be shy about following up on every lead you’ve been given. Question past employers thoroughly and end off by asking -Would you hire them again?
  • Do a thorough Internet search: Good old Google is a wealth of information for prospective employers, and you are no exception. Thanks to Facebook and other social networking tools, you can easily unearth scandalous information.
  • Pay for a professional background check: When talking about the safety of your child, you can’t afford to skimp. It’s possible to find inexpensive basic background checks that will unearth anything you might want to know.


Interviewing prospective nannies: some tips

Aside from a carefully crafted CV, the only real information you will be able to extract is in the interview. You really want to be sure to make the best possible use of the interview to learn as much as you can about any potential child minder. Have a list of questions prepared, making sure to cover any gaps in the CV.
You’ll want to find out about;
  • Previous work experience: Look at how many previous child minding jobs they’ve had. Do the stays seem short? You’ll want to find someone who can commit to a decent amount of time; kids get very attached!
  • Education: The older the children, the more important this becomes. If you are looking for a child minder for your 3 year old, it’s not essential that your chosen candidate have a solid educational background, but as soon as your kids start needing help with homework than her educational level becomes important.
  • Childcare qualifications: Consider yourself lucky if you find a nanny / child minder with an overseas qualification such as the Ofsted or the EYFS. A paediatric first-aid course is non-negotiable. Ask for proof. If they don’t have a first-aid qualification, would they be prepared to go for one before commencing work?
  • General cooking skills: If your child minder will be preparing meals it’s essential to find out more about their general cooking skills. What kind of skills can your kids expect?
  • Creativity and ingenuity with entertainment: What kinds of things would they do with your kids? Ask for specific examples and see if they line up with your own ideas and ideals.
  • Test out a few scenarios: What would they do if your child was injured? Refusing to eat? Throwing a frightening tantrum? Test what kinds of responses your candidates come up with and check that they are along the same lines as you would think. Like-minded is the best possible quality to find in a child minder.
It really takes a special kind of personality to care for children. Invest some time and energy in the search for the perfect child minder, with any luck you won’t need to search for one ever again!
– Kahea Rusch

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