How to find a part-time nanny
I have received a lot of questions regarding the nanny that helps with Ford. Everything from “How did we find her?” and “what was the interview process like?”
To be honest, finding childcare was really, really hard for us.
First of all, we didn’t make plans for childcare while I was pregnant. I just didn’t know how I would feel about everything until Ford was here. It was a personal decision and one that I know not all moms can make, especially if you are going back to a 9-to-5. But we waited until around 2-months to start the process.
Why did we decide to get a nanny?
I thought that I could be a full-time mom and business owner, but realized that I couldn’t do it all. Wow. I was so wrong. I think part of me hoped that having Ford would make me want to slow down and just enjoy being his mom. While it was such a transformative process, I realized quickly that I was meant to work. I wanted to get back to my business and around 6-weeks being at home, I was ready.
The interview process
I knew I had to get back to work to maintain my business by 3-months. I had people helping run my business and maintain client work while I was on maternity leave, but it was a temporary situation. So, I started to actively ask around, literally to everyone, for advice on if they knew of anyone looking for a nanny position. I asked my friends, my parents friends, people at my gym, people I work with, etc. for any referrals. I also posted a fe inquiries in private mom groups on Facebook. I didn’t really get any great leads, but I also was doing this in a rush around September, when most kids were going back to school and everyone had their childcare set.
So, I turned to Care.com.
Let’s just say…I was initially really against using sites like this because I was worried about the quality of the candidate. But to be honest, I found some really great options once I filtered through exactly what I wanted. I realized that you have to be super CLEAR on the criteria you are looking for in your job post. I also ended up investing in the monthly subscription (2-months) to gain all the capabilities including background checks, which I think is very important when brining someone into your home to watch your child. I was very specific in the job listing including info on the days I needed help and hours that were best. I also think it’s important to include any other requirements you have, i.e. help with laundry or watching a dog as well.
The interview process
I interviewed 4 applicants to start and decided to do a trial period with my top two choices. I told them we would commit to a week with each and then go from there. When interviewing the nannies, I asked the following questions…
How many families have you worked with? How old were the kids?
What is your experience with babies (Ford was 3-months-old)
What is your experience with sleep training and sticking to a schedule?
What are your favorite activities to do with a baby (no screen/TV policy)
Why did you leave your last family? Can I get a referral from them?
Are you CPR certified including with babies?
Have you had the flu shot?
What is your schedule like (other commitments, jobs, etc.)
I tried to make the interviews conversational, but firm in getting the answers I wanted. Also, I hosted all the interviews at our nearby Starbucks vs. in our home to start. Once I selected my top candidates, we did a “training” in our home to show where everything is, etc.
The trial process
I think having a trial period helped us so much. Unfortunately, the nanny we loved the most ended up taking a full-time position, which she had made clear was her priority from the beginning. However, we still use her for date nights and other random babysitting needs. Luckily, I had another message come through on Care.com, which is how we found the nanny that we’ve used consistently from around 3-months to present.
The first week our nanny started, I only would leave the house for a few hours at a time. I wanted to make sure Ford was comfortable and that she was also confident in taking care of him. What I love most about the nanny we selected (beyond her extensive experience being a nanny in NYC) was that she has a very calm demeanor. It also helps that we have mutual friends and I was able to verify that she is a good person to be taking care of our child.
We have been so fortunate to keep our same nanny for these past five months and Ford LOVES her. He smiles when she shows up and recognizes that she is there to play with him. It is such a relief for me to get out of the house a few times a week to work and do things for myself. If you can afford to hire a nanny, I would highly suggest starting the process early!