The 5 Most Important Questions to ask your Nanny

By Ruth Maurandy

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1)    Tell me why you chose to be a nanny, what brought you into childcare

This is a very important question because you want to make sure that the nanny you hire is nannying your children for the right reasons i.e. she loves children and childcare and not because she just needs to earn some extra money.

2) How would you structure a day for my children, especially on a miserable wet Switzerland day?

Rockmybaby recommends that all parents suggest from the beginning that they want an “active nanny.”   It is very important to hire someone who is proactive, a self-starter and someone who seeks out enriching, educational and fun activities. Switzerland is full of amazing and often free activities. This is a very important question to ask and the nanny should be able to answer it without hesitation. Recently during the interview process a Rockmybaby candidate answered this question by saying “Rainy days are the best days! We do arts and crafts, make our own play-doh, create, rehearse and then perform a show for the parents when they come home from work…”   Her enthusiasm and positive attitude was so obvious and sincere!

3) How would you soothe a baby who could not stop crying in public or a 3-year old tantruming?

We have all had situations when our children cried uncontrollably (I am remembering a transatlantic flight and my daughter crying uncontrollably, so much so that we went into lavatory to give the other passengers a break from the noise) it is difficult, embarrassing and can make any caregiver feel powerless. It is important to know how a nanny is going to handle this situation.   She should discuss the importance of safety at that moment, especially for a tantruming toddler and being certain that the child cannot hurt them or anyone else.   Sometimes a child can be soothed and other times they just need to “ride it out,” but as a parent you need to be sure your nanny can handle this type of situation.

4) What would you do to ensure there is a clear communication between us? 

It is very important that the nanny and parents have a constant and on-going dialogue. Rockmybaby recommends a daily nanny diary to record meals, naps, activities, mood etc., especially in the beginning.   We recommend for the nanny to send photos during the day so the parents can feel connected to their children. Another way to maintain dialogue and contact is a 5-minute weekly meeting to make sure that everyone is aware about what is happening not only with the children but also in each other’s lives.

5) Tell me about your style of behavioral management?

It is very important that you and your nanny or babysitter have a “shared strategy,” when it comes to behavioral management.   The nanny or babysitter you choose is going to be spending a lot of time with your children and there will be times when she needs to manage your child’s behavior. As the parent it is essential that you are on the same page as the nanny when it comes to behavioral management or you will contradict each other and your children will receive mixed-messages and this is a disservice to everyone involved the children, the parents and the nanny

 

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