Interviewing a Nanny

Interviewing a Nanny

I am very fortunate to be able to work from home.  From a professional perspective, it most certainly has its benefits and drawbacks.  From a mommy perspective, it has allowed me to spend significantly more time with my kiddos.  After all, when I was commuting to an office, I was spending 3+ hours a day sitting in traffic.

When I returned to work after my youngest was born, I was very eager to keep him close so I could continue to breastfeed him rather than have to pump.  While I was able to successfully pump at work for a while with my first two, I ended up having to stop much sooner than I would have liked because I could never pump when I needed to.  If I could keep him at home with me, I wouldn’t have to bother pumping and could feed him when needed.

My job requires my full attention and can be demanding at times.  I also respect that the privilege of working from home does not mean that I can use it as an excuse to not put my children in childcare.  I’m sure that there are many people out there that watching their children while their work works for them, however, I am not one of them.  Because of my childcare needs and my desire to continue to breastfeed my son for as long as possible, my husband and I decided that hiring a nanny was the best option for us.

Interviewing a Nanny can be a daunting task.  It took us a few tries to finally find the right nanny that connected well with all of my children for a variety of reasons didn’t end up parting ways after a few weeks or months.  With each new nanny and subsequent nanny search, we learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way.  Take advantage of all of the lessons I’ve learned with the following guide on How to Hire a Nanny

Carefully Craft Your Nanny Help Wanted Ad

  1. Provide a brief description of your children and their ages
  2. Describe what you’re looking for and be specific about the help you want
  3. Explain what the hours will be.  Give a realistic picture of what you need
  4. Tell them you want a 6-month minimum commitment (this will help weed out the people just looking for a summer gig)
  5. Be up front about the wage

Select the Top Applicants

  1. Review all of the applications.  Mark those that seem like they could be a good fit
  2. Send them an email with additional details about your children and the specific help you need.  Reiterate the hours and wages.  Ask them to confirm that it seems like a good fit for them and to email you back with suggested times to schedule a phone interview.  This helps confirm their interest, sets expectations and demonstrates that they can follow through with a simple task.

Nanny Interview Questions

Nanny Interview QuestionsAsking the right questions during the interview process is critical to truly get to know your candidate and assessing if they are the right fit for your family.  It’s important to not get caught ending the conversation early because you can’t think of a good question to ask.

Enter your email address below and we’ll send you our Nanny Interview Questions Guide.  This comprehensive list is packed with questions that will help you ask the right questions to authentically evaluate your nanny candidates.

The Phone Interview

  1. Schedule 15-minute phone interviews with each one you are interested in
    1. Pay attention to how they interact with you during this scheduling process
    2. Download the Nanny Interview Questions Guide above, which is packed full of probing questions to help you really get to know the person you are hiring to care for your children.
    3. Begin laying the groundwork for setting your expectations
    4. Prepare the structure of the interview prior to your first meeting.  I recommend:
      1. Thank them for their interest and setting aside some time to meet with you.
      2. Lay out how the interview will go so that they know what to expect. (I’ll tell you about us, you’ll tell us about you, we’ll have some questions for you, we’ll leave time for any questions you have for us, finally we’ll discuss next steps)
      3. Begin by telling them about the position, yourself, and your children.  Provide a brief description about each of your children.
      4. Ask them to tell you about themselves (see Introductory Question on the Nanny Interview Guide).  *Bonus points if they incorporate anything that you have told them about your family into their introduction.
      5. Ask them a series of questions
      6. Invite them to ask any questions that they have for you
      7. Close the phone interview by providing them with a timeframe for when they can expect to hear from you.  It is a good practice to let them know one way or another.  Let them know how to reach you if they have any additional questions.

The In-Person Interview

Nanny Interview

  1. Select the top 2-3 candidates to interview in person
  2. Allow them to meet and interact with your children.  Pay attention to how they engage with them.  Do they get down to their level?  If the child is nervous, do they allow the child some time and space to become more comfortable?  Do they do anything to connect with the child(ren)?
  3. Re-review the Nanny Interview Questions Guide and ask additional questions
  4. Do not make an offer on the spot
  5. Determine your top candidate and Check References
  6. Decide on your new nanny
    1. Remember a yes is a yes, a no is a no and a maybe is a no.  These are your children.
  7. Call and make the offer and lay out your expectations so they are crystal clear from day 1
    1. Allow them time to consider your offer if they ask for it
    2. Arrange a starting day and time
    3. Ask them to bring any necessary paperwork.  Ex: driver’s license, insurance card, SS card

Starting Day

  1. Plan on spending an hour to several hours with them allowing everyone to get comfortable
    1. Tour of them home and important considerations
    2. Consider having them join you in your typical routine (ie school pickups, sports drop offs)
  2. Set the tone for your relationship
    1. Engage in friendly conversation – while they are your employee, you want them to develop a relationship with you and your children.
    2. Spell out how you will provide them feedback and make it abundantly clear that you want them to ask for guidance and expectations.

Your Ongoing Relationship

  1. Provide them with regular feedback on their performance and make suggestions for how they can improve
  2. If you are unhappy about something that they did or happened while your child(ren) were under his/her care, address it politely and professionally and clearly explain what you would have wanted to happen.

Selecting the right person to care for the most important people in your life is not an easy task.  While the above guide should help you considerably along the way, always remember to trust your gut.  While no single person will be 100% perfect, if something doesn’t feel quite right, they are probably not the right person for your family.

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‘A-Doh-Able’ Play Dough Class Valentines

‘A-Doh-Able’ Play Dough Class Valentines

One of my favorite crafty projects is making customized class Valentines for each of my kids.  For me, they have all of the makings of a perfect project.  I love taking on a project like this because I can’t procrastinate for too long or I will miss Valentine’s Day (Hello Motivation!).  They are really simple and don’t take a lot of effort but turn out looking awesome.  They also make me happy because my kids get to give a rockin’ Valentine to all of their friends.  No store bought Valentine’s in this house!  Plus, they are just so darn cute.

This year inspiration struck when I was making Kool-Aid play dough for my toddler.  The dough turned out so pretty and smelled great.  I thought it would be so much fun to give each friend their own container of pretty, yummy smelling play dough.  My big kids have been having a lot of fun playing with brother’s play dough and thought this was a great idea as well.

Play Dough Class Valentine

I really love that this is a non-edible Valentine.  It feels like my kids always come home with so much candy from exchanging Valentine’s.  I always appreciate when a friend gives them something other than candy.  The absolute best part of the whole project is that each Valentine only costs about 33 cents each!!

I am excited to share these “A-Doh-Able” Class Valentine’s with you!

What You’ll Need

All you need to do is fill each cup with a small amount of the play dough.  I was able to make 10 portions of play dough with each batch.  Then trim each Valentine into a square and attach to the top of the condiment cup with a glue dot.  So simple, right?

Play Dough Class Valentine

I blinged mine up a little bit by adding a black paper border, filling in the “A-Doh-Able” with a glitter pen, and adding a few rhinestones.  You can use the printable just as it is, or you can bling them up like I did.  Use your imagination and have fun customizing the Valentine’s however you’d like.

Play Dough Class Valentine Close Up

Get your free “A-Doh-Able” Valentine’s printable here!

Free Valentine's Day Printable

Just leave your name and email and we’ll send you the link.

I hope you have enjoyed this project as much as I have sharing it with you!  If you make these “A-doh-able” Valentine’s, I’d love to see pictures or hear how it went.

Easy Baby Finger Foods

Easy Baby Finger Foods

My little is in between stages right now.  He’s moved on past purees but isn’t quite to the point where we’re feeding him what we are eating.  As you know, I am a busy mom of three kids so on top of the great fine motor skills he’s developing, it is so helpful when he can feed himself!

I have to admit, I’ve run short on inspiration now and then to mix up his meals and keep giving him a variety of nutritious foods.

Easy baby finger foods

Here is a list of super fast and easy baby finger food ideas for your inspiration…

  1. Cooked Pasta
  2. Cubed Colby Cheese
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Bananas
  5. String Cheese
  6. Red Grapes (be sure to cut them in quarters!)
  7. Rice
  8. Cubed Chicken Breast
  9. Cooked Veggie Pasta
  10. Strawberries
  11. Shredded Chicken
  12. Apples, peeled and cut
  13. Green Grapes (be sure to cut in quarters!)
  14. Blueberries
  15. Corn off the Cob
  16. Peaches, peeled and sliced
  17. Mangos

Easy Baby Finger Foods Picnic

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I usually serve them to him in this divided plate.  It has a suction cup for a bottom so I can stick it to his tray so it doesn’t go flying!  It has a removable lip on it to assist them as they are learning to scoop things up.

Eating Easy Baby Finger Foods
I know there are a ton more options but sometimes you just need to look at a picture or list for inspiration, right?  I love the progression of babies learning to eat new foods.  What foods are on your baby’s menu right now?

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