Today's guest blogger is Anita Kulick, President & CEO of Educating Communities for Parenting in Philadelphia. ECP offers a variety of programs and services for teen and adult parents, adjudicated delinquent youth, young adults aging out of the foster care system, preschoolers, and children at grave risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence.
I think every parent searching for a nanny is looking for their very own Mary Poppins. Why not? She has all the qualities that you want in a nanny – caring, creative, engaging, and loving.
While hiring a nanny or babysitter may be the best child care option for your family's specific needs, it also places a huge responsibility directly on your shoulders since it entails taking on the additional responsibilities of being an employer.
And just like all employers seeking to fill a vacancy, you need to find qualified applicants, conduct extensive interviews, and do thorough background and reference checks. In addition, you must document, in writing, all job requirements, responsibilities, pay, vacations, and benefits. Finding your own Mary Poppins is possible, but where do you begin?
Child Focused Questions:
When you've narrowed down the list of candidates to your top choices, it's critical that you conduct thorough and extensive reference checks on each one. Questions to ask include:
You should also require criminal record clearances including; state police, child abuse, and FBI.
Once you've completed the selection process, there is one more essential step – confirming your choice. There's no better way to do this than with a trial run. Invite the finalists to spend a day with you and your family. Remember, no matter how good someone looks on paper, how well they interview, or how highly they're rated by references; nothing is as reliable as observing them in action with your family for an entire day, from the early morning until your child is in bed for the night.
And remember, finding the right nanny for your child and your family is only the beginning. You have an essential and ongoing role in your child's daily care – monitoring the situation, the services provided, and your child's growth and wellbeing. Some things to look for are:
While Mary Poppins may only exist in fiction, with organization and hard work on your part, you may very well come close to finding someone with her qualities – except the ability to fly!