For those who have an event coming up that they need to attend, you have probably already secured a nanny to watch the kids while you are away. Even though it seems like everything is in order, a number of underlying problems can arise at the drop of a hat. Are you sure that the nanny is going to be safe for your children? Will your children be happy and safe? According to experts, a good nanny should be trustworthy and able to handle a crisis. If they don’t have these essential skills, you need to think twice about hiring them to watch your children. Beyond the aforementioned skills, there are others that you need to consider before making any final decisions on who you are going to trust to watch your children when you are away from home.
Trust: Do You Have It?
Accidental injuries are the main cause of death in children who are over one year of age. Many people do not realize that five children who are less than five years of age will pass away on a daily basis from something inside of their home. Since teenagers are one of the primary individuals hired to watch children, it is imperative that they are properly trained in how to care for children in the event of an emergency situation.
Where Do You Find a Quality Nanny?
To find a quality nanny, you can start with people you already know and have a trusting relationship with, such as schools, church, workplace and friends. Once you have a few names to start with, you need to work on checking the references of those individuals. References can come from teachers, youth leaders and other families who have already used the individual as a nanny previously. When you talk to families that the nanny has already worked for, you will want to find out how many children they have in their home. Make sure to find out if there were any issues with the way the nanny handled their children. It is imperative that you find all of this out beforehand, so that way you can make an informed decision.
Observe the Manner in Which the Nanny Acts with Your Children
Invite the potential nanny to your home to ask them a few questions and monitor the manner in which he or she behaves with your little ones. This interaction will help to demonstrate how much they enjoy children and whether they are ready to embrace the manner in which you parent your children. Make sure to ask about whether they have any CPR or first aid training. Discuss what they would do in the event of an emergency. Competent sitters will be able to provide you with an answer to any questions you have in a relatively short amount of time. They will be able to prove that they are capable of handling your children.
Plan for the Nanny to Arrive Early
After you have decided which person to hire to watch your kids, you will want to have them arrive at your home an hour before your departure. This will allow you to address any emergency issues and ensure the nanny has all of the important information they need beforehand. More than half of all parents who leave their children with a nanny who is under the age of 16 fail to leave emergency contact information. What is the nanny going to do when they have no way of contacting you? Contact information is crucial when leaving your children with someone else.
Discuss the House Rules and Provide Them with Contact Information
Make sure you have discussed all of the rules for your home. Always leave them with contact information, so that way they can reach you at any time while you are away. In the event an emergency that arises that is life threatening, medical professionals are able to provide your child with the treatment they need. If the emergency is not life threatening, they will need to have the consent of a parent before any treatment can be administered. To help ensure the safety and security of your child, make sure the nanny has all of the information they need before you leave home.
Call and Check on Everyone
Throughout the evening, you will want to call home to check on everyone and ensure everything is going okay. Call during a time when you might be able to handle a difficult situation that might arise. For example, call a little bit after the children are supposed to be in bed. If they are refusing to cooperate, you can help get the situation under control for the nanny. Suggest a few methods for the nanny to get them to cooperate and turn in for the night.
Ask for a Debriefing Upon Your Return Home
Consider asking the nanny for a debriefing upon your return for the evening. Ask about any areas that they had trouble dealing with, so that way you can prevent them the next time around. Most of the time, a nanny may think that the children acting up is because they couldn’t do their job properly. Since they will only say something if prompted, make sure to ask to help identify any areas of weakness that need to be addressed for the next time. When you choose someone who has experience in handling an emergency situation, it will help to put your mind at ease and make the children safer. References are a great way to find out anything that the nanny may be trying to hide from you beforehand.
Do They Possess the Necessary Qualifications to be a Nanny?
Check the qualifications of the nanny against those that are recommended by the training program implemented by the Red Cross. The nanny should be equipped with maturity, first aid training, CPR training, good judgment, responsible, friendly, common sense, healthy, organized, neat and non-smoker. Beyond any of the aforementioned qualifications, you should always go with your heart on who you bring into your home.
Do you feel confident in allowing this person to watch your child while you are away?
Leaving your child for the first time can be a trying experience, but you can help to put your mind at ease by asking some key questions of your potential nanny before leaving the children with them by themselves. To help garner an understanding of the manner in which the nanny operates, you can ask them a few different questions to help ensure the safety of your children at all times. You don’t want to hire someone who is going to act inappropriately or abuse your children while you are away. Pre-employment questionnaires are crucial to determining whether the nanny is an appropriate fit for your home and children.
How Long Have You Been Working as a Nanny?
One of the most important questions you can ask a potential nanny is how long they have been working in their position. Make sure to ask about the length of time they have been a nanny and how old the children were that they took care of previously. The last thing you want is your children to be the guinea pigs for a new nanny. Even though they don’t need to have years of experience, they do need to have some experience to prove that they know what they are doing. A great question as a follow-up would be to ask why they stopped caring for the previous children they worked as a nanny for. You could also ask them to describe the worst child they have ever taken care of, as well as ask them to describe the best child they ever cared for. If the potential nanny can speak for an extended length of time about the bad child, but says very little about the good ones, that is not a good sign for you as a parent.
What Type of Emergency Training Do They Have?
It is imperative that you find out whether the potential nanny you are looking to hire has first aid training and CPR certification. Make sure to differentiate between whether they have infant CPR training or regular CPR certification. Infant CPR training requires the nanny to undergo a more extensive training program than traditional CPR certification. If the nanny does not have the proper training, ask them if they would be willing to take the necessary courses before they begin to watch your children. One of the best programs is called Safe Sitter. It is a national program that teaches the individual over a two-day class to help learn how to prevent and manage potential accidents. The individual will need to pass an examination before they gain their certification. Another great question would be to ask the nanny what they would do in the event of an emergency. This will help to provide you with insight as to whether the nanny is capable of handling your children and home with care.
What Does Their Driving Record Look Like?
Ask for the potential nanny’s driving information to perform a check through the DMV. This is imperative if you are going to have the nanny drive your children to school or other important events. Make sure to ask the nanny if they are going to mind taking your children to their necessary activities. Also, make sure to ask the nanny if they mind doing any housework.Are they willing to cook for the children? Will they help your kids to complete their schoolwork? All of this is imperative to gaining an understanding of whether they are going to be a good fit for your children.Before you let someone into your home to watch your children, you want to make sure you have undergone an extensive line of questioning and checks. The last thing you want is to let someone into your home that is not going to be a good fit for your children. It is imperative that you have someone who meets all of your expectations and then some. If you fail to ask questions of the potential nanny, you could end up with someone hurting or neglecting your children. Most of the time, it is a failure to perform the necessary checks that results in someone getting hurt along the way. Take the time to find out as much information as you possibly can before entrusting the individual with your children.
If the nanny is unwilling to answer any questions or provide references to you, that is a sign that you need to search somewhere else. Someone who has nothing to hide will be open and honest about any questions you may ask him or her. Failure to respond, or neglect to provide quality answers, is a sign that you need to steer clear of the individual and seek assistance elsewhere. Don’t ever assume the person has nothing to hide. You never can tell until you delve deeper into the background of the individual you are entrusting with your children. Your children are far too important to leave with just anyone. All of the aforementioned information will help you prevent any potential problems down the line. The peace of mind beforehand will help to save you a lot of strife and frustration down the line.