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Questions asked when choosing your nanny


The answers to these queries will let you know if the candidate can stick to your schedule and handle the job.

Where do you live and how will you get to work every day? What about in bad weather? Long commuting distances or difficult commutes (read: train to bus and then walking a mile) can make her less likely to show up on time, all the time.

Can you stay a little later if I’m caught at work? If this happens often with your job, it’s important to know if the applicant is flexible about staying an extra hour or two. If she has evening obligations — say, a child of her own or nighttime classes — she’s probably not agood nanny for you.

Do you have any health problems I should know about? A personal question, yes, but since you’ll be leaving your baby alone with her, you have a right to know if she suffers from asthma attacks, debilitating migraines, seizures, or anything else that could make caring for your child harder (or dangerous).

Do you smoke? If you’re okay with hiring a smoker, make it clear that she can’t smoke around your baby or in your home at any time or leave cigarettes within your baby’s reach.

Do you have children of your own? How will you be able to come to work if they’re sick or off from school? Obviously, nanny candidates with children have firsthand childcare experience and that’s great; but nannies who still have young children may have to stay home when their children are ill or off from school, or may want to bring them to your place on occasion. Decide how you feel about that.

Do you have any future plans (attending school, moving, having children of your own) that would affect how long you can stay with this job? Doing the nanny search thing once is hard enough — you want to be sure that you’re not going to have to do it all over again in a couple of months. Of course, no one can predict the future and things may unexpectedly change, but asking for a one-year commitment is reasonable.

Questions to ask a nanny applicant about her past experience.

What was your last job and why did you leave it? If she disses her last boss or dances around the question, she may have been fired. If you suspect as much, ask if you can call her last employer for a reference (something you should do anyway if you’re seriously considering the applicant).

What are the ages of the children you’ve cared for? Caring for school-age kids is very different from caring for a baby (no diaper changes, for one), so she should have experience with children your tot’s age.

Have you had (or are you willing to get) CPR and baby first-aid training?Knowing she knows what to do in an emergency is a huge plus.

Questions to ask a nanny applicant about her beliefs.

How do you feel about preparing bottles of expressed milk? This is important if you’re nursing and plan to continue once you’re back at work; you want to know if she’s comfortable prepping bottles of the milk you’ve pumped and adhering to your feeding schedule.

How do you feel about not watching TV with my baby? You should ask about this or anything else that you feel your nanny shouldn’t do with your child, like take her to a house of worship or to visit a boyfriend, so she knows the rules before she accepts the job.

Open-ended questions to ask a nanny applicant.

These nanny interview questions will reveal a lot about the candidate’s approach to childcare — and let you see if her approach is similar to yours.

What do you like most about being a nanny?

What do you think a baby my child’s age needs most?

Can you describe the things you might do during the day with my baby? How about when she’s older and more active?

How would you discipline a child my baby’s age? What would you do if she, say, keeps pulling your hair after you’ve said no?

What would you do if my baby had a fever? What if she fell and became unconscious?

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I am living my dream while working with mums and babies. I see mums when they are 34 weeks pregnant and then go to their homes once they go into labour. I stay for the full duration of the labour and after the birth I assist them with breast feeding. I do another visit after the birth to see that all is well and to help where I can.  Mums are always welcome to call me in the event that they have any questions, whether before or after the birth. I am passionate about my work as a doula and I care and love all the families with which I work. Once you have been present at a birth you feel part of the family and it’s wonderful to hear news of the new baby’s life as he or she grows.

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