Getting time to my husband and myself is harder now that we have kids. I love my kids so much but just sometimes I would like some time to spend with my partner… alone! I’ve thought about hiring a baby sitter or nanny to watch and mind them but I just don’t really like leaving my children with a stranger, ESPECIALLY when I’m not there. I’ve played with the idea a lot and here are some things I’ve learned that could help you as well if you wanted to use a nanny or babysitter to mind your kids.
1. Read the reviews and feedback and ask friends.
This to me sounds obvious but from what I heard from one nanny agency, not everyone does it. I was shocked by that, these are your kids! And you won’t read a review about who is going to mind them while you aren’t there? To summarize you should read reviews and feedback on nannies, remember if they have just had 1 or 2 good reviews it could be fake. If there are a lot of reviews then that is more trustworthy. Ask around, ask on Facebook, twitter or email if anyone has had a good experience with a nanny or babysitter in your area.
2. Do a background check.
Some services actually provide a free background check when you hire their nannies. To me I think this is because they know all their nannies have a clean record. However not doing it is dangerous because you could hire someone who has offended before and at worst abused children.
3. Ask hard questions in an interview.
It’s not rude to ask hard questions since you are basically handing over your children. For my children I would do anything so this seems pretty important to me at least. I found this interview questionnaire pretty good. At the end of the day stick to your gut feeling about the person. If you don’t feel right about them, then I wouldn’t hire them. This is of course my opinion.
4. Ask to speak to previous families they have taken care of.
That interview did touch on asking for at least three references however I would ask them on the spot for another. They are going to give you the best 3, if you ask them on the spot then they will have to come up with one more. Which might not be their best, again this is your children so be thorough! I would also ask the previous families if they had setup any type of surveillance like a nanny cam to watch her. And I would ask them how she was when they weren’t around.
5. Keep them accountable after you’ve hired them.
They can say all the right things, pass all the checks but what really matters is what they do when they are with your child. That is the real test. From what I’ve read on www.my-spycam.com, recording audio is illegal but you can record video. The term for these is “nanny cam” or “nanny cams.” These are a normal everyday object with a hidden camera inside it which allows you to record what is happening in your home when you aren’t there. Perfect for making sure the nanny or baby sitter is doing what they are supposed to be doing AND looking after your child just the way you would.
Yes this is work and it will take time but it is worth it. If you are able to give your children good care while you have a night out with your husband then that benefits you and them. And the next day you are going to be able to give them so much more because you aren’t stressed and had the time to relax and enjoy yourself. You may even be able to take up a full time job and have the nanny work full-time and give your family more than they have had before.