If you are a parent and have already decided to employ a nanny, than you have two choices to find applicants for the roll. You either can advertise privatly on webpages, in shop windows, etc. or you can find a good nanny agency to let them do the hard part of the job.
If you choose to find an agency it is easier and less hassle for you but obviously you’re gonna pay loads of money for the service. I personally prefer parents who choose agencies because they are serious about being an employer, they’ve already decided they want to do the contract on the legal way. And the agency usually advises the parents through the legal part of the being an employer (like paying tax, NI, writing contract, etc.) and you can be sure the nanny has been checked (papers, experiences, qualifications). A good nanny agency serve, guide and protect both the family and the nanny on the legal part.
If you choose to find a nanny by yourself it is a very tough part. You need a good advertisment, you need to find the best media to post it, find enough applicant for the role to choose from, check all of their papers, qualifications, etc. You have to find out the companies who can help you to do the legal part of the job. Loads of new thing that I will discuss in my next post. But now I am going to talk about a good nanny advertisement.
When you sit down to write the text, you should think about the role you want to offer. You need to decide what job do you need to be done in the end of the day. First of all think about if you want to have a nanny more or a housekeeper.
The average nanny role contains to take good care of the child(ren), organize playdates, make sure the child(ren) is in a safe and loving environment, feed and bath the child(ren) when it is required, change nappies, do homeworks + the nursery duties.
What does the ‘nursery duties’ mean? It means the nanny should clean up after the kids and herself when she plays with the children (make the kids help her ideally), cleans up after food (for the kids and herself). There are some family who ask the nanny to wash and iron the children cloathes but it is not a nursery duty and you should tell in the advertisement if you want this to be done.
What nursery duty is NOT:
– it is not to clean the whole house when the children are sleeping
– it is not to cook meals for the whole family and clean up after the dish
– it is not to wash all the families cloathes and iron them
– it is not to do the shopping, running around, doing the ‘dirty family work’ while the parents are at work
If you need someone to do the not nursery duties in your house, you should tell in the advertisement. There are mixed roles you can offer to an employee. I usually prefer parents who offer a pure nanny job because in that case the nanny can focus on her job = the child(ren). If someone offer a nanny/ housekeeper job usually after 6 months the problems start to come up. It is just not the same kind of roles someone can do in the same time. One part of the job is gonna be worse than the other and noone will be happy after a while.
There are three types of nanny job usually come up in the advertisments.
1. Pure nanny job (child care + nursery duties)
2. Nanny/ housekeeper (child care + nursery duties + cleaning + shopping + whatever the parents can think about)
3. Nanny / Personal Assistant (child care + nusery duties + running the secretary job into the home office)
There are good and bad part of the mixed nanny jobs:
2. Nanny/ housekeeper: the good part is that in the first three months your house will be clean and tidy and your children will be looked after. The bad part: after some months the nanny will be exhausted. Working with children requires a whole person. You can’t focus properly anything else when you have to look after, feed, make asleep, educate, etc. a child(ren). You need some silent time as well. And most of the time the nanny doesn’t have a minute during the day for rest except when the child(ren) is sleeping. Which mean she should be totaly focused and perfectly professional during 8/10 hours. It is hard work. And there are parents who want the nanny to clean up the whole house when she has some resting time. It is kind of a slavery. But there are people who just take these kind of roles because of the money and because of the legal job. But it is not a long term relationship neither for the family nor for the nanny. And the children get the sour stuff. They usually just get used to a nanny when the problems come up and the nanny start to be less patient or the house start to be less tidy. These roles usually doesn’t last long and the family need to start to find a new person who not enough experienced to know that nannying is a hard job and it doesn’t work to mix it with heavy cleaning stuff.
3. Nanny/ Personal Assistant: the good part is that the family will have a person who run the home office, probably with not a good language skill and experience to do a ‘real’ office job. So the family doesn’t have to pay that much money for the applicant what they should pay for a good secretary. And they will have a nanny and they will have a Personal Assistant under one contract and salary. The problem: the person who take this kind of job is not a real nanny. Her ambition is to be a Personal Assistant but she is not enough experienced or her language skills are not enough good to do that in a real office. So she takes a PA/ nanny job for the timebeing while she improves her office skills and gets some experience. And when the time comes up she will just leave the family for a ‘better qualified job’. Anyway it is not good for the child(ren) again.
So when a family decide what role do they want to offer they should write down nicely and clearly into the job ad. If you are a mum looking for a nanny you can save enormous amount of time if you write down clearly what do you want. The goal is to find the right candidate. If you don’t write down clear criterias you gonna get loads of applicants who are looking for a totaly different type of job you want to offer. You will waste your time to read loads of CV and interview people who actually after the second question are not interested…
The other really important part of the advertisement when you write down how many children need to be cared for, what hours have to be done, if you have any pet or other important thing it can influence the job. You should write down in this part if one of the children has an allergy or the family is in a special diet (gluten free, vegetarian, etc.). And it is important to write down your nationality and if you care for a religion (time saving as well).
You can mention some important things about the children (what things do they like, any interesting habit, hobby, etc. – this part is optional. It can take place on the first interview. It is a good question if it worth to put a photo of you next to the advertisement. I would recommend not to put your children’s photo on the internet (public pages) if you don’t want people to use the photo for any other occasion. What you put on the internet, someone will find it and use it. This is the first rule of the net. You can send the picture in the first email if you decide to answer for the candidates.
It is important to write down if you need a live in, live out, shared care, solle charge or maternity nurse nanny. (More about these in my next post.)
The next part: what kind of papers, qualifications, skills do you presume from the nanny to be.
– CRB: In the United Kingdom everyone who work with children needs to be CRB checked. It is important to know the candidate can’t ask the goverment for a CRB check by herself. So it is your role (employer) to ask the government to check the applicant for CRB if she doesn’t have one. If you are with an agency, they do this job for you. It is illegal to be left alone with children under 18 or change nappies, bath the children if someone doesn’t have a valid CRB. So this paper is really important.
– Qualifications/ experience: I usually prefer the experience over the qualifications. If someone really works with children and has 3-4 years experience (with checkable references) you can be sure she will take good care of your child(ren). But you can’t learn at any school how to take care of a real children . You can learn the basics and the mental stuff but… “a characteristic of the normal child is he doesn’t act that way very often.” (Author Unknown) So the ideal way is if the nanny has experience and qualifications (or willing to do), but the experience is worth the same in my eyes than the studying at school (sometimes way better). It is a shame you can’t get qualified for experience.:P
– OFSTED/ child care company registration: anyone who look after a child under 8 needs to be registered with OFSTED. You should check out the OFSTED page for further information. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk
– First Aid Certification: it is useful if a nanny has one. If you have an interview with a nanny who doesn’t have but you (and more important the kids) like her, it worth to pay for it. You can find many First Aid course on the internet for around £50. The Wow Bespoke Nanny Agency does the First Aid course for free for their nannies.
– Reference letters: ask the nanny to show 2 reference letters with phone numbers. But back to the mixed role nanny jobs, there are occasions when it is hard to ask for reference from the previous family. It doesn’t mean either the family or the nanny was not suitable for the role, it more shows that you can’t mix more than one role when it is about childcare. So check out the references and just follow your guts.
– Driving licence: you have to consider if you want/need your nanny to have a valid driving licence. I don’t have and never needed and as a parent I would prefer if my nanny wouldn’t drive my children around. You never know how strong are the nanny’s driving skills. But if you consider your nanny has to be a driver you should write down in the advertisement if you require her to has her own car, or if you have one and the nanny can use it, what type of car is that (automatic or manual).
So I think I analized every part of a good nanny job advertisement. So let’s see if I can write one good:P
we are a family of four looking for a kind and reliable nanny who has sole charge experience with more than one children in the same time. We have a 6-year-old son and a 4-month-old doughter. We are a Greek family recently moved in London so we are looking for someone who knows the Raynes park area where we live.
We require the nanny to take care of the baby all day long, take her to baby classes, organize play dates, feed her, change her nappies, bath her when it is appropriate and do all of the child care duties what requires for a baby in her age. She will be asked to do the morning run for our son with making pack lunch, breakfast, etc., drop the boy to school, bring him home and help him with the homework, take him to after school classes, into the park, etc. She will be asked to cook some dinner for the children (not for us). Plus she will need to clean up after the children and herself. We have a cleaner coming every week so no house work included.
We require the nanny to have a valid CRB check (not older than 2 years) – if there isn’t we can ask for one from the government. She has to be willing to register with the OFSTED (or already has), a Valid First Aid Certification, and at least 2 checkable references.
A valid driving licence is good but not essential.
We are willing to pay 7-10 pounds net for the right candidate depending on the qualifications and/or experience. The working hours are from Monday to Wednesday 7.30 – 5.30. The role is a live out job (accomodation is not included.)
If you feel you are the right candidate for us, please, send us your CV, covering letter, picture and references (references will be contacted after the interview)!
Thank you for reading our advertisement and hope to see you soon!!!
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