Looking to find the perfect nanny isn’t always easy but if you follow these steps it will shorten the process.
Analyze your own situation and figure out what your needs are. Think about whether you want the nanny to live in or out, how many hours you’d like the nanny to work, what the schedule will be, what type of nanny you’re looking for (college-aged or older), and what type of duties the nanny will be doing (housework, driving the children, errands, feeding the pets etc). If you plan on using a nanny agency, you will definitely want to know these things before you call since they will ask you all of these questions right away. Also, consider what hourly rate or salary you are comfortable paying the nanny. Once you get all the details figured out, it’s time to start looking for a nanny.
The best way to find a nanny and to avoid expenses is to ask close families and friends for referrals for a good nanny. Many qualified nannies work in the same social circles and know of other good nannies that they can recommend to you. If you’re not having any luck, ask your friends and family for a referral to a good nanny agency. You can also go to your local Better Business Bureau and see who has good ratings and has been in business for a long time. For instance, in San Diego, Loving Nannies (www.LovingNannies.com) is a very well known nanny agency that everyone uses and has a great reputation. You would find this out by simply visiting BBB.org or by Googling their name and reading reviews on different sites like Kudzu.com and Yelp.com. If you don’t want to use a nanny agency, you might want to try online nanny sites, like NannyCare.com, since they are much cheaper but you will have to do all the work yourself (review profiles, call, and screen candidates, call references and conduct background checks).
When hiring a nanny keep in mind the important qualities and experience a good nanny should have. For example, a good nanny should be at least 18 years old, be in good health, have at least 2 years experience with children whether it be in a daycare situation or actual nanny experience, a high school diploma or equivalent, proper immunizations and is legal to work in the U.S. Once you’ve established that she’s qualified it’s up to you to conduct a thorough interview and reference check on this person. You can find free forms and tools such as sample interview questions and sample nanny contracts on free sites like NannyCare.com. Be upfront about the job requirement and what you’re looking for during the interview. After you’ve screened the nanny and have decided she’s a good fit, you’ll need to run a background check.
You need the nanny to spend some time with your family and children and do a “trial” run. Make sure you’re child(ren) like her and always ask them directly if they would like “nanny’s name” to come over more often and play with them. If the child(ren) say “yes” that’s a good sign that your nanny will fit in just fine.
Now that you’ve hired a nanny, you’ve become an employer to a household employee. It’s important to comply with nanny tax laws which means you will have to pay federal and state unemployment tax and FICA. Any nanny making over $1500 year will need to file. Most families hire their personal accountant to take care of this matter or buy computer software to assist with this. Ultimately, it is up to you whether or not you want to do the nanny’s taxes but keep in mind it is a law and if you get caught you could face harsh consequences. For questions on nanny taxes, go to GTM.com. They are the experts when it comes to nanny taxes.
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