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8 qualities all nannies should have

Hiring a nanny is a major decision. The individual you choose for the role will be spending quality time with the most important people in your life, your children, so it's absolutely key to select someone you can trust, and who will have a positive impact on your little ones' lives. While varying personalities are of course to be expected – no one person is the same – there are some basic attributes that all successful nannies will have. It's important, therefore, to look for these qualities when making your final hiring decision. 

So what makes for a successful nanny? What key qualities are needed to upstage the likes of Mary Poppins? Let's find out:

1. Punctuality
A key attribute required of employees across virtually all industries is punctuality, and nannying is no exception. After all, it's likely that you are hiring a nanny to handle vital chores that need to be completed at a certain time, whether that's waking the children up in the morning, getting them dressed, making their lunch and so on. In this role, perhaps more so than in others, there's simply no room for tardiness. The Smooth Parenting Blog advised that a fair period of notice should be provided by the nanny if he or she is ever going to take time off. While some things cannot be avoided – the occasional sick day, a flat tire, for example – the nanny you choose should have a pretty spotless record as far as attendance goes. 

2. Kindness
Your little ones won't respond well to a nanny who is stern, detached and an overt disciplinarian. While all nannies should be able to command a certain level of respect from your children, it is crucial that they are able to do this while still displaying bucket loads of kindness. As detailed by the Houston Chronicle, the best nannies will be able to forge close bonds with your kids, built on kindness and mutual respect. He or she will enjoy spending time with them and will be willing to play games with them, for example, or watch their favorite cartoons or help them with their homework. This doesn't mean that discipline should be sacrificed in favor of friendship. The very best nannies will be able to reprimand your children in a way that is effective, while still displaying fairness and compassion.

3. Personal happiness
You're going to rely on your nanny to support your children and help ensure that they lead as happy lives as possible. It's imperative, therefore, to select a candidate who is stable and in a place of personal happiness themselves, an article from the LA Baby Show advised. This can help ensure that he or she gives the job 100 percent effort, and doesn't simply show up and go through the motions. Being in a place of happiness also means that your nanny's influence on your children will be a much more positive one.

4. Patience
Let's face it, caring for children can be a challenge, even at the best of times! Temper tantrums, disputes over toys, fussy eating – it can all be very stressful! That's why patience is a crucial attribute that all nannies should display. To borrow a popular cliche – your new nanny should have the patience of a saint! If an individual is quick to lose his or her temper, or is able to become overwhelmed easily by multiple responsibilities, he or she is not cut out for the role. As maintained by the Houston Chronicle, the best nannies are cool under pressure and able to tackle challenging situations head on.

The best nannies display bucket loads of kindness!The best nannies display bucket loads of kindness!

5. Communication skills
As explained by childcare recruitment specialist Dee Modric, writing in an article published by LinkedIn, the best nannies are able to communicate well, both with you as a parent and to your children. When it comes to communication with you, an ideal nanny won't hide any secrets. He or she will provide comprehensive updates to you at the end of the day, with regards to things such as your childrens' behavior, what they got up to and so on – 100 percent transparency is a must. As far as communicating with your children, the best person for the role will be able to connect with your kids on an emotional and personal level, demonstrating clear interest in their lives, by asking questions and engaging in conversations. If you notice your nanny can't wait to get away from your kids and tackle other chores, he or she probably isn't the best fit for the position.

6. Proactive nature
At the end of the day you're hiring a nanny to help make your life easier in terms of child care, and likely around the house too. Things, however, won't be that much better if you find you have to constantly assign tasks to your nanny, delegate chores or take frantic phone calls asking for help. Indeed, as noted in an article from The Funny Nanny, the best professionals will take the initiative to complete tasks without much direction – they'll be able to anticipate your family's needs and will be able to handle a majority of problems without any guidance.

7. Responsibility
The nanny you choose will be looking after the most precious people in your life, so he or she must be incredibly responsible, the Houston Chronicle explained. This means being able to prioritize your childrens' safety at all times, as well as ensuring that important meetings are attended and set schedules are adhered to. Put another way, your nanny needs to be organized, in control and thoughtful – nothing should be missed and risks should never be taken. 

An article from Care.com suggested that, although maybe not essential, it can be enormously beneficial and offer peace of mind if the nanny you select is trained in first aid. 

Consider Colonial Domestic Agency
Need help selecting the best candidate? Consider enlisting the talented services provided by the staff at Colonial Domestic Agency. In business since 1963, we have a range of highly skilled nannies registered with our agency, and provide comprehensive screening and background checks. With help from Colonial Domestic Agency, hiring the best nanny for the job couldn't be easier.