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Hiring a nanny: Questions to ask references

In a previous post, we discussed questions that you should ask a potential nanny. After interviewing all of the candidates and narrowing the selection down to a few finalists, the next step you must take is to check references. You might think this is unnecessary, but remember that this person will be alone with your children for a significant period of time. Spending a few minutes speaking to a previous employer will give you a more accurate picture of who you will be allowing into your home.

  • How old are your children? This will give you a better idea of the age group with which your nanny is most comfortable working.
  • Was she dependable? Being late once or twice is normal, but constant tardiness or absences may be the sign of a larger problem. You don't want to have to hire a babysitter because your nanny can't be trusted to show up.
  • What did she do with your children? Some parents are content with their children watching television all day. Others want their children engaged in intellectual activities. You need to know that your nanny will have your children doing what you want them to do.
  • What were her dates of employment? Discrepancies of several months or years may be a sign that your potential nanny is trying to hide some of her work history. She may be trying to keep you from finding a bad reference.
  • Why did she leave? It may be as simple as the family no longer having a need for a nanny, but you should know whether she left on positive terms.
  • Would you hire her again? You simply need to know whether or not the previous employer liked their nanny.

At Colonial Domestic Agency we can help you find qualified nannies in Los Angeles and New York City. We conduct thorough background checks on each of our applicants to ensure that you have the most reputable individuals in your home.