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What makes a great nanny?

Nannies provide comprehensive child care support. From around-the-clock newborn guardianship to intensive parenting assistance, these domestic professionals help strengthen young families on multiple fronts. This why an estimated 12 million American households employ part- or full-time nannies, per research from the U.S. Census Bureau. If you've been managing your growing brood without one of these highly skilled domestic specialists in your corner, you should definitely consider hiring one. However, the nanny recruitment process is anything but simple — especially the initial stage which involves developing an actionable candidate profile. Here you might find yourself dealing with some big questions: What makes a quality nanny? What qualifies someone to watch my children? Fortunately, there are definitive answers to these queries. 

Here are three characteristics every great nanny should have:

1. Experience
The responsibilities that accompany this particular domestic profession are immense. Nannies typically supervise small children, a responsibility that necessitates vigilance and responsiveness. While some training and formalized education programs can help these individuals cultivate the baseline competencies they need to meet expectations, experience is normally the most effective asset when it comes to child rearing. This is part of the reason more than 70% of the nannies serving families in the U.S. boast at least five years on-the-job experience, according to data from the International Nanny Association. The truly great nannies are among this seasoned bunch, using their real-world knowledge to deftly handle their duties. You certainly want to keep this in mind during your search and look for candidates who have extensive track records of child care success.

Great nannies are professional with parents but lighthearted with kids.Great nannies are professional with parents but lighthearted around kids.

2. Professionalism
Nannies spend considerable time navigating juvenile domains — from pillow forts to pediatric offices, these domestic professionals are constantly around kids. Professionalism isn't necessarily encouraged in these and other environments. Workplace decorum doesn't matter to children in need of engaging and adventurous caregivers. That said, the best nannies understand that they essentially operate small businesses and function within the bounds of professionalism when necessary. For instance, most take the time to ensure they wear comfortable yet appropriate attire. They understand that a button down, jeans and stylish shoes allow them to keep pace with energetic children and exude respectability in more adult situations. Good nannies also maintain solid professional boundaries and treat families as the clients they are, not relatives in need of a babysitter. You definitely want candidates who exhibit this unique brand of professionalism.

3. Patience
Managing small children can be immensely stressful, as you probably understand. Emotionally fragile little ones tend to wear down their adult caretakers, pushing them to their breaking points. However, great nannies possess the psychological wherewithal needed to exhibit placid patience, even as their charges unravel before them. Where do these domestic professionals get such super-human levels of restraint? Some are trained to handle tough situations — approximately 12% of the nannies working stateside have degrees in early childhood psychology, the INA discovered. With this formal knowledge, these individuals can easily wrangle temperamental children and avoid entering fraught emotional territory. Others simply have the inherent moods and mindsets needed to withstand tantrums of all scales. You would be wise to focus on this characteristic during your search and seek out nannies who can show poise in rough situations.   

You have numerous options for finding nannies with these and other essential attributes, including collaborating with a proven domestic staffing recruiter like the Colonial Domestic Agency. We've been working with families in the Los Angeles area for more than five decades, helping them pinpoint and hire qualified domestic professionals capable of streamlining household activities. From personal chefs who prepare meals for all occasions to butlers who oversee home operations, Colonial Domestic has access to seasoned and skilled workers across numerous domestic niches.

Connect with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you find a great nanny.