It would be wonderful to think that every nanny out there is a great nanny, but in an unregulated industry you will always have varying standards. Childcare can be a demanding role and with different levels of knowledge, skill set, attitude and experience, all these factors can determine what sort of nanny you hire.With nannies also not monitored on their performance, standards and effort can slip. So how can we recognise a good nanny, and encourage them to maintain a good standard?
How to recognise a good Nanny for you
As a Nanny employer you have to do your research on the person you are employing, just as all organisations do in the corporate world. Do your obvious background checks-references, enhanced DBS check, First Aid certificate, any qualifications? What level will the nanny be at with the qualifications or experience they have? (We will be writing another blog on all the different types of childcare qualifications and levels of experience to help you identify this!) Driving license? Do they have any offences or convictions? Have they driven with children before?
When interviewing, ask them about a typical day with the age groups they might be working with. What were their challenges, and how did they overcome them? We all know there are good and bad days with children! What motivates them in a role? What do they enjoy doing with children? What don't they enjoy?
Maintaining a good standard in your Nanny
As an employer it is also good to educate yourself why nannies might lose motivation. Is the role too demanding for them? Are they overwhelmed? How many hours are they/have they been working? Are they bunt out? How are they being treated by the employer? Is there something else going on in their lives that could effect their work? It is important to keep the well being of your Nanny in mind, when you are leaving little people in their care.
Praise and reward is a big motivator. If you TELL your Nanny they are doing a good job, it not only lets them know they are doing well, but it will encourage your Nanny to continue or even do more! If they are struggling in something offer support, or perhaps suggest a course to strengthen knowledge and skill set. This can benefit not only your Nanny's knowledge, but your child too! Reward is always good, even if its a cup of tea! It shows appreciation and respect, which in turn will encourage reward and respect back.
In summary, everybody will have different needs, standards, skill set and expectations. The Nanny industry is a complex one, but with little children being the main focus, it is important as employer that you choose wisely for your family's needs and understand who you are employing, and to make sure they are performing at a standard that fulfils those needs.