What should I know about hiring a nanny?

13/8/2020 - 4 min read

Choosing another adult that can be trusted with your children is one of the most serious decisions you'll ever make and there's a host of factors that need to be taken into account to find a nanny that's a good fit. Before hiring a nanny, there are a few things you'll need to know.

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For the average parent, choosing another adult that can be trusted with your children is one of the most serious decisions you'll ever make – and responsibility aside, there's a host of factors that need to be taken into account to find a nanny that's a good fit.

Yet, in today's environment, it's getting easier. Aside from expertise in pairing families with tutors, au pairs, and babysitters, Juggle Street helps cut through the crowd to bring you not just a nanny you can trust – but one you'll love.

Before hiring a nanny, there are a few things you'll need to know. We'll explain all of this below – as well as how you can track down your personal Mary Poppins.

1. Nanny, au pair, babysitter – what are the differences, and what do I need?

While most would be aware that a babysitter is a more informal, temporary relationship, the difference between a nanny and an au pair can be a little more blurry. While an au pair is typically defined as a younger person (between the ages of 18-30) who is engaged as part of a cultural exchange with a given family, a nanny is a professional in-home carer.

While many of their respective duties overlap, they're actually two very different arrangements with a range of pros and cons to both. Many families are excited to take in an au pair, with the opportunity for language and cultural exchange the primary driver. Those living in Australia on an au pair visa will generally only be compensated with pocket money.

A nanny, on the other hand, is a resident working as a professional carer. Expect to pay accordingly – but remember that many nannies will come with all the accoutrements that can be expected of someone dedicated to a career in childcare. These may include:

A childcare qualification (or working towards the same)

Accredited First Aid and CPR training

Cooking/nutrition experience

Own transport/familiarity with Australian roads

Long term commitment (offers continuity to the child/children).

2. Make a list of the skills and qualities you’re looking for in a nanny.

What exactly do you expect from a potential nanny – are you looking for a carer who can prepare meals, help with toilet training or assist with homework? Do they need to have their own car and be able to take children to extra-curricular activities?

Are you looking for someone with a soft touch, or more of a disciplinarian? Are your children generally well-behaved, or do they need someone to keep a watchful eye on them.
Do you require your nanny to have first-aid training or be experienced with special needs?

It’s important to establish all of your requirements before you get started with the hiring process.

3.Don't start your search too early, or too late

Just like most other things in life, don't hold off until the last minute to begin your search for a nanny. Finding a quality nanny takes times, all things accounted for, and those looking for a nanny tend to do so out of necessity, rather than as a luxury. You might be heading back to work after an extended time off – or you might be looking for someone to share the burden as you juggle work with childcare.

Start your nanny search approximately six weeks ahead of when you need your carer to start the new role. This allows adequate time for you to post your nannying job, wait for candidates to apply, organise interviews and finally check references.

Once presented with several options, the more groundwork you do the better: there's nothing worse than hiring a nanny only to find out it's not a good fit at some point down the track. The best way to avoid this, in addition to being open and honest about your expectations, is to schedule a shadow or a trial period to see how the candidate fits in.

4. Reviews and References

On Juggle Street, nannies who have done previous jobs for families on the network, will be rated and reviewed. Take time to read the reviews written by other parents, to gain an understanding of what their strengths and/or weaknesses are.

It’s also important to do your own reference checks. Ask the nanny for the contact details of two parents they have previously worked for and schedule in a time for a call where you can ask any questions you have about your candidate. Their track record looking after babies and children is obviously the most critical feedback however, make sure to include questions around punctuality and time management.

5. So you've decided a nanny's right for you – how do you then go about finding one?

Juggle Street is one of Australia’s largest networks of babysitters, nannies and in-home and online tutors. It is the perfect way to search, find and meet local trusted nannies. Juggle Street is an on-demand job platform, which means you can book immediate help for your child in a few easy steps. All of Juggle Street’s nannies have detailed profiles outlining their experience and qualifications. You can use our filters to find nannies who have a driver’s licence, specific language and special needs training.

Juggle Street babysitters and nannies are reviewed by other parents on our network which means that their profiles display star ratings and written reviews from other families like you!

Once you are ready to find a nanny, you can post a job and outline all of your requirements, then invite a group of Juggle Street nannies to apply for the job.
Job invitations are delivered to nannies via SMS and they can view the job details and apply or decline. The “chat” feature can be used to ask questions and arrange to have an interview or a phone call. Once the parent has chosen their nanny they officially “award” them the job so that both parties have a record of the details.

Head to https://www.jugglestreet.com.au/services/nannying to find out more!