Tips & Tricks on finding the ideal Carer for your Family

SO, you want Mary Poppins and not Mrs Doubtfire (at the beginning of the movie)…I understand. I have very high expectations and my little one’s are the most precious thing in the world…so the person I choose to leave them with each day needs to be special.

Choosing a Carer for your child/ren is one of the most important decisions you will make for your family as they will be a huge part of their lives, guiding them as they grow and understand the world more and more every day. 

TO support you in the process of working through nanny options and determining who is the best fit I have compiled my tips and tricks. In an effort to be fully transparent, I am a mum who has been on the hunt for a nanny, I have been a nanny deciding which families to work for; and then I have managed a successful boutique nanny agency – so I would like to think with humbleness, that I am a fair wealth of knowledge to comprise this list. So let’s get into it!

1. Before you even approach an agency or sign up to an App, create a list of specifics with regards to what you are looking for. 

Many parent’s think “let’s just see what we can find”; but from years of experience, I can confidently say the clearer you are on what you and your child/ren need, from the practical to the fanciful, you will be in a better position to find what you are looking for. Practically, you may determine exactly what type of help you need (ie assistance with dinner prep, or school pick up) and you may identify the days and times you require this help (ie Tuesday 9am to 3pm and Thursday 8am to 4pm). You may even have a requirement for a nanny who has a certain skill set such as speaks Spanish or has experience with additional needs. When I say fanciful, I mean what Mary Poppins qualities would you like your nanny to have so that she is “practically perfect in every way”…for your family. This may include ‘kind, but authoritative’, Nurturing, but not a pushover’, softly spoken – some children respond poorly to loud voices, or perhaps your children need a loud voice to tower over their mountains of excitement and activity. I’m not wearing rose coloured glasses, you may need to adjust your expectations as you get into the search, but once you have a good grasp on your wish list, it is much easier to determine what you can compromise on, versus having no idea on what you want, and just seeing what’s available. For example, you may meet your Mary Poppins, but they can only work Tuesday from 10am – and you may be very able to adjust you work schedule to accommodate this for the right carer.

2. Present your family as you are – genuinely and honestly. 

Doing this will ensure you naturally attract the type of carer that is aligned with your family. You may describe your family as goofy and loving to dance and laugh all day, so you want to ensure the carer’s that apply for your role are willing to join in the fun. Or you may be very routine based and need someone who thrives on adhering to an agenda each hour. Whatever it is, ensure your families true essence shines through in your family profile. Keep in mind that educators and professional nannies have seen it all, it’s what they do for a living, so nothing will scare them off…they are passionate about caring for your child/ren as a career. They understand the chaos of the afternoon routine, they understand the juggle at mealtimes, they will appreciate a clear understanding of what your family are like each day, and you are more likely to engage a suitable long-term nanny with a transparent approach, than with the ideal. 

3. Don’t be afraid to decline Carer’s who do not meet your practical and fanciful needs; or align with your family philosophies. 

We all know that good carer’s are hard to come by, but if a carer doesn’t meet your needs, be sure to let them know they are not quite what you are looking for; and enable them to continue to find suitable work. Families come in all shapes and sizes, so there will always be a good fit for everyone, eventually. The role of a carer for your child/ren is one of the most important in the world, if not the most important, so now you have worked through points one and two above, be decisive and an advocate for your child to ensure they meet only those that you think they will really have a connection with. Also, feel empowered to arrange meetings (or at least phone calls) with as many Carer options as you feel you would like to get to know. Often, when you meet a person face to face, it suddenly becomes clear as to why they are a great fit for your family, or equally, why they may not be a good fit. You may even like to set up a trial with an option for a couple of hours to see how they operate. 

A few final tips for attracting the ideal carer are: 

  • Be well planned, if you require a nanny in a couple of months, be sure to start the process with as much notice as possible as all good things take time. 
  • Read the reference reports on your Carer options – these are all validated, and often are from parents just like you and I, so you get a feel for how they were when they worked for someone. Past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour. If you read that a referee found the carer option to be down to earth, flexible, a good communicator and a beloved part of their child’s life for a year, this may be further assurance that they are a good match. 
  • Be considerate of the carer’s needs and abilities. This will go a long way with securing your preferred carer option. 
  • Be timely, good Carer’s get snapped up quickly, so if you feel drawn towards one for any reason, ensure you act on your instincts fast. 
  • Think outside the box – perhaps a nanny share with another family at your child’s school for afternoon pick up’s is a more feasible option for you. We offer this option.
  • Be wise – trust your gut. 


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