If you are considering a nursery in 2023 then we have a fabulous guest blog from Simone at Homebodies – a bespoke nanny agency based in London!
Homebodies Top Tips for Finding a Nanny
If you are interested in hiring a nanny, I have some top tips to share with you. For those of you who want to be super organised, and are pregnant, use your time pre-baby to research what you want to do for childcare. Sometimes you don’t necessarily know what you need until your baby is born so choose a time that is right for you.
Here are my top 10 tips when looking for the perfect nanny for your family.
- It takes time to find a nanny, so you should start your search around three months before you want the nanny to begin. Many nannies need to give a one-month notice period (sometimes longer) to their current employer and it can be disappointing if you find the right nanny but can’t wait for her to start.
- Be clear about what you need from a nanny. It is important there are no surprises and nannies know exactly what you are looking for from the start. Include and think about the following points: number of days you require, hours (start and finish times), salary offered in gross, duties you want the nanny to do, if you need a driver, do you have a car to provide and is there parking for a nanny who drives, do you have pets, will the nanny need to travel, do extra babysitting or overnight stays?
- Know your budget. Nannies come within all price brackets. The going rates can vary if you are in London or outside. You are expected to employ your nanny, pay her taxes and National Insurance so the gross salary is what it will cost you and not what the nanny takes home. Be clear if you are offering a gross or net salary as there can be some confusion about this and it is always better to offer a gross salary so you know all the costs involved.
- When looking through CV’s look for nannies who have stayed for a length of time with previous families, at least one to two years or even longer if possible. You should also check gaps in a CV and understand what the nanny was doing in this time if there are any. If a nanny has moved around a lot it is important to ask why. Sometimes there can be really good reasons such as the family relocated or decided to send the child to nursery and it is not always a reflection on the nanny not being good at her job.
- Interviews. Some parents prefer to first interview the nanny without their children so they are not distracted. Sometimes you are tight on time and it’s easier to first have a zoom or video interview. Other families may meet the nanny in a coffee shop in a lunch break or in the evening at home once the children are asleep. Just do whatever works best for you and your family but we advise a face-to-face interview so you get the best feel for each other. The interviewing process is two ways, so we always suggest you try to make the interviewee relaxed and ask open ended questions, starting with How, When, What, Why. Encourage them to ask you questions during the interview process too!
- Trials are really important after the interview stage and once you have shortlisted one or two nannies. We recommend you spend some time seeing the nanny in action with your child or children by doing a paid trial. A nanny can sometimes be nervous and more reserved with parent’s but come to life with children. Start off with a few hours or half a day and if this goes well extend it for a few days to one week. It is really important you make sure the nanny is the right fit for your family and you feel comfortable with her. Normally your gut will tell you she is the one and it will feel like the perfect match. Then you can make her an offer.
- Payroll – Speak to a payroll company so you are clear about your responsibilities as an employer. Nannies should be employed, even if they are only part time and the payroll agency can guide you through the process. We work with and recommend nannytax.co.uk or call 02031374402. They can guide you and are able to offer a bespoke service.
- Contracts – The contract of employment is between you and your nanny and should include all paid holiday, sick pay and contractual working hours and duties. Other things to include are the notice period (recommended at least one month), travelling with your nanny or overnight stays, use of mobile phone, eating meals when at work, use of car and petrol allowance. Homebodies has sample contracts we can provide families but we recommend you use a contract provided from your payroll agency as they offer up-to-date HR advice and support.
- More top tips:
- A Settling in period or handover is really useful so you show your nanny the ropes before she starts.
- Communication is the key to a successful relationship and we advise that you make time for weekly/monthly catch up sessions with her so you have time to feedback.
- Day to day communication – Some families have a family WhatsApp group with their nanny to share comments and photos. Others have a diary and ask the nanny to write comments and important information.
- It is unfair to keep a nanny for too long at the end of each night to give feedback as she may have her own family to get home to or needs some well-earned time to relax at the gym or with her friends!
- Finally, having a nanny can be a most wonderful experience so make the most of it. A nanny can become part of your family and offer you a great deal of support. Many parents love coming home to see their little ones all bathed and ready for bed; seeing their children happy, well fed and content, just in time for a bed time story with you!
As the founder of Homebodies Nanny Agency, I have been placing nannies for over 13 years and if you need any advice or support about finding the right nanny, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I am here to help you hand pick the nanny to perfectly match your needs.