Tips for Checking a Potential Nanny's References

Tips for Checking a Potential Nanny's References

Keep these things in mind when speaking with a potential nanny's former employers.

Finding a nanny in NYC can be a stressful, long process. You want to find someone you trust, who you feel comfortable leaving your child with, and who will ideally be with your family for years to come. When it comes to hiring a nanny, checking her references is key to determining whether she is trustworthy. Mommybites shares four tips for checking a potential nanny's references.

After a flurry of nanny interviews, you’ve finally narrowed down a candidate that seems like the perfect fit for your family. Remember: This is someone to whom you’ll be entrusting your kids with in your absence, possibly for many hours at a time. You’ve got to have complete trust and confidence in her abilities, her decision-making skills, and her discretion.

Here are four things to keep in mind when checking your potential nanny’s references:
     

Don’t settle for just friends and family.

If your nanny has any previous child care experience (and we certainly hope she does!), she should be able to provide you with at least two or three references that relate directly to the work she’ll be doing for you.
    

Check more than one reference.

Suppose you start calling the nanny’s references and to your surprise, you get a less-than-stellar review from a previous employer. Before you write the candidate off, it may be wise to check at least one additional reference. Why? Because like your mom always said, there are two sides to every story.

Likewise, and perhaps even more importantly, continue checking references even if the first person you call gives your potential nanny a rave review.
     

Ask open-ended questions.

Rather than asking yes or no questions, be sure to ask questions that will require some thought and consideration on the part of the employer. Ask for specific examples of times the nanny has displayed a certain behavior, or how she acted in certain situations.
   

Consider background checks.

It only takes a few minutes on a site such as backgroundcheck.com to get a sense of your potential nanny’s criminal history. And if your nanny will be entrusted with a car in order to transport your kids from activities, school, and play dates, it’s a great idea to obtain her driving record from the local DMV.