To be honest, the search for a nanny can be daunting and the thought of leaving your baby with a virtual stranger can be overwhelming at times. Whether as a first-time mom or you have plenty kids, resuming back to work requires you to drop your child with someone else. To hire a nanny can be stressful because you have to search for that particular one that is so good, your kids will be comfortable with her. Let’s face it you need someone that is up to the task so that when you are not there your kids are in safe hands, while some women are lucky to have relatives or friends to assist them without paying, others have to go for strangers.
Children are a prized possession in a home, therefore, parents have to be very selective and careful in choosing a nanny. This is a backdrop of so many crimes being carried out by some nannies. We have heard stories of kidnapping, turning children as young as few months into sex slaves or transferring diseases to them.
Hiring a nanny should not be done in a rush, how do you hire a nanny? Here are some few tips
1. You have to first decide if you want a life in or live out nanny, what qualities are you looking for in a nanny, her responsibilities among other things. Other considerations may include a non-smoker, ability to perform CPR, age range and so on.
2. Know your budget: how much are you willing to pay, this will include bonuses, benefits, annual raises and living conditions.
3. Post a job. They are many agencies that provide nannies or you can ask everyone you know that you are looking for a nanny, one of the best ways to find someone is through word of mouth.
4. Interview Candidates, pick the best five or two and arrange a one –on- one interview with them. Access how your kids relate to them and Ask questions about
• What makes her frustrated and how she handles it
• Ask about her childhood
• About her experiences with other families and children she handled at her last job
• Why she likes working with children, why she choose to be a nanny.
• Ask about her experiences in emergency situations and how she would respond to such.
5. Always run a background check: Don’t ever forget to obtain a background check to make sure everything is okay, run a security check and it is also a good idea to contact their former employer, Call all written references and if possible know their addresses too. Also parent should be wary of hiring any persons less than 12 years old as the Nigeria new act referred to as Trafficking in Persons(Prohibition)Enforcement and Administration Act of 2015 prohibits the employment of a child below the age of 12 as a domestic servant , and the exploitation of a child under the age of 18 who is employed as a domestic staff is also prohibited, among others
6. This is one of the most important points, always carry out health test. Now, most people have the misconception that you should only test for HIV or HEPATITIS B or maybe Pregnancy but they are other tests to run.
You want to make sure your kids are safe with them. In addition to the aforementioned test, you can also test for
• MANTOUX TEST: it is a test done to determine if you have been exposed to tuberculosis the test is done by putting a small amount of TB protein under the top layer of skin on your inner forearm. If you have ever been exposed to TB, your skin will react to the antigens by developing a firm red bump at the site within two days.
• STOOL OCCULT: It looks for blood in your in the poop and this a sign of a problem in the digestive system, Crohn’s disease or cancer in the colon or rectum.
Although they are some agencies that do these tests and send to you, it is advisable you run your own test, after employment, it is also advisable to carry out checks every six months. This may look like discrimination but Nannies are hired to be around your baby or child, touching and preparing their food, bathing for them and playing quite closely with them, so you really need to be extra careful.
7. Put it in Writing: create a work agreement; you need to create a contract that lists your expectations as an employer because, without it, the potential for disaster is huge.
Things to consider including in the contract range from basic, such as rate of pay and work hours to the more complicated, like vacation time and whether she is allowed to have a guest in your home, include a trial period before full hiring. It could be for 4 weeks to about 12 weeks. Make sure she signs it.
Once you are satisfied, start out firm with a clear list of her responsibilities and make sure to set boundaries. Also, make sure to have a great relationship with your Nanny because it boosts their self-esteem and commitment. make sure to go with your gut, if you feel something isn’t right about a recently hired nanny, best thing to do is get a new one you are comfortable with, expect to make mistakes when you hire a nanny but the ability to learn from your mistake is necessary when you decide to choose a new one.
Having a good relationship with your nanny involves you not allowing things to fester. A nanny relationship is like a marriage. If you don’t communicate, petty irritations can loom large. It is often for parents to be direct and even harder for the nannies. Make sure you talk things out but remember to balance out the negatives if you are happy with her in general. Some encouragement and praise will go a long way to boost their morale.
Author: YETUNDE OPALEYE