Today's love is going out to eNannySource because, as you know, I am all about supporting any company that tries to make parents' lives easier.
Everytime we move, I look for a new sitter for Bunny and Wallie. I think that is the toughest part of relocating—taking the time to find just the right person, then having to leave them. We've been really lucky in that we've always found highly capable, loving caregivers, and so far we've remained in contact with many of them, but it's not always easy to find the right person.
I've used a couple of different online sites to look for sitters, but eNannySource is one-stop shopping. You can view candidates in your area, do background checks, and screen profiles all in one place. Easy-peasy.
Because I've had to interview many different candidates, I do have a few tips to pass along for how to hire a qualified person:
- Do a phone screening and ask for and check references before meeting the person if you can. This saves lots of time and weeds out non-qualified candidates. Also, if you want a nanny to watch your newborn (for example), ask for references of families with newborns.
- Always do a background check and be upfront about it with any potential candidate. We tell them right away, "Please provide ID as we will be doing a thorough background check." Anyone that balks...do you really want them caring for your children?
- Be clear about your parenting style and how you expect your nanny to handle bad behavior. Don't undermine your sitter's authority when she or he is disciplining your child. As long as the nanny is handling the situation as you would (and isn't floundering and/or beating your child) let the nanny do her or his job. If you have to step in because things are going horribly wrong, by all means do, but your kids need to learn to respect their caregiver. If you need to clarify anything, you can always discuss the situation with the nanny away from the kids.
- Don't make your nanny clean your house or do your errands unless: 1) you've stated expectations clearly in the job description or 2) they offer. (If the nanny does offer, perhaps consider giving a raise.) We don't expect our nannies to be our maid (other than tidying after meals and playing), I expect them to play with my kids. Respect the person you are hiring.
- Make sure to reimburse for mileage + gas if they are driving your kids around. (And if they are driving, ask for insurance info and driving record info. Also, teach them to install a carseat correctly and how to buckle your child in safely.)
- Trust your gut. (You know what I mean.)