How to interview the new nanny

The term nanny and baby sitter are used loosely interchangeable, but before you decide on a caregiver for your child, it is firstly important to note the difference between the two. While both are hired by you to provide private childcare in your home, the intensity of the two roles the play will vary.

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The difference between a nanny and babysitter

Generally speaking, a babysitter is called in on a short-term basis to look after your little one while you enjoy a night out on the town. Babysitters should have all the essential skills that come with meeting your baby’s needs. Nannies on the other hand, while sharing the same basic skill sets as a babysitter, are more specialised and usually hired on a more on-going basis. Signs of a good nanny additionally include certification in child rearing, development skills and personalised childcare. For now, we will just refer to your baby’s caregiver as the nanny, and take a look at what constitutes a good one.

The interview

While people can pretend their way through an interview, there are a few tell-tale signs of a good nanny that you’ll be able to discern by asking the right questions. It is an absolute given that she should be able to provide contactable references, with a proven track record.

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Ask her about the following;

  • Years of experience, with references
  • Does she have any childhood development or education training? Again, proof is required.
  • Does she know the basics of first-aid and CPR? If not, is she willing to take classes?
  • Give her a scenario where your child is sick or had an accident, and ask her how she would handle it.
  • Ask about her philosophy about childrearing. One of the signs of a good nanny is one whose philosophy is in line with yours.
  • Ask on her thoughts of being a nanny. Why she chose this profession, what does she love about it, what she dislikes, etc. You need to know that she is doing this for the right reason.
  • How does she comfort children and deal with their separation anxiety?
  • How does she enforce discipline, and ask for an example.
  • What are here favourite activities to keep kids entertained?
  • Does she have a roadworthy car – to use in case of emergency.
  • Is she willing to do light chores while the baby is sleeping, and if so, which ones.


Before you conclude the interview, let her spend some time with your child, and keep a close eye on how they relate to each other. Is the nanny attentive, and most importantly, is she comfortable in interacting with children? The way your child responds to her will greatly influence your end decision.

One of the best signs of a good nanny is one who makes your baby feel at ease. Initially, there will of course be some separation anxiety when you leave your baby behind, but there is chemistry between your little one and his caregiver, the nanny will eventually provide the comfort and security your child needs in your absence.

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It is vital to put a lot of consideration into your future caregiver, as your baby will be spending alone time with this person who has full access to your home. There are a few signs of a good nanny to look out for, but most importantly, you should go with your gut. Even if your nanny meets all the requirements, and something still feels not quite right to you, rather keep interviewing till just find just the right candidate.

If you notice that your baby is utterly fearful and anxious around the nanny, you should definitely look into it. Many parents feel that a “nanny camera” is too invasive, but no safety precaution is too over the top when it comes to the wellbeing of your child.

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Source: When Good Nannies Go Bad: Signs That It’s Time to Start Looking for a New Nanny