Finding the perfect nanny or babysitter

by Kate Christie and Tanya McVicar, Babysitters and More

Finding the perfect nanny or babysitter is important – you need to have absolute trust in the person you leave your children with.  But, don’t be daunted!  Finding a nanny or babysitter can be done online from home or work, it’s simple to do and it is significantly more affordable than engaging a recruitment agency.  Just keep these Top Tips in mind:

  1. Safety – when you prepare your short list of child carers ensure each nanny or babysitter has a current Working with Children’s Check (WWC or Blue Card) or a Police Check or is prepared to get one prior to commencing with you. A WWC assesses the level of risk an individual poses to the safety of children and is more targeted and broader than a Police Check.
  2. Telephone screening – this will help you short list and will save you a lot of time in the long run!  Use telephone screening to verify each nanny/ babysitter’s experience and qualifications, discuss commencement date, required days/ hours, specific duties and hourly rate of pay.  Try and get a feel for the carer’s personality. If you like them, ask them to send their CV and arrange a face to face interview.
  3. CV review – a CV is a summary of the nanny/ babysitter’s education, skills and experience.  Make sure you read it! Check for qualifications (if this is one of your requirements) and certifications (WWC, Police Check, First Aid etc).  Identify the areas you want to follow up with questions.
  4. Face to face interviews – are crucial! It’s amazing how many times you hear that someone has hired a nanny off the strength of a phone call or recommendation without first meeting them! You need to meet the carer to verify whether this is THE person you want looking after your kids.  Use the interview to discuss your general philosophies about the role to ensure that the candidate is of a like mind.  Ask open ended questions to get more than a ‘yes/no’ answer.  Listen carefully to the answers and watch the candidate’s body language.
  5. Meet the kids – ALWAYS have the child carer meet your kids before you make a recruitment decision.  If the carer can’t handle your kids when you are there, they have no chance when you are not!  Watch everyone’s body language and let your kids ask questions to see how the nanny interacts with them.
  6. Intuition – At every step of the way trust your intuition and judgement.  If it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t, and frankly it’s just not worth taking the risk.

Kate Christie and Tanya McVicar started Babysitters and More in 2010 out of their own needs as busy mums trying to juggle family life and full time careers – BaM is an online service dedicated to introducing busy people to the perfect Nannies, Babysitters, Cleaners, Tutors, Senior Carers & Companions, Pet sitters, Dog walkers  & More!  It’s simple, efficient and affordable.