Once you have finished interviewing your best nanny candidates, it is definitely advisable to complete reference checks. We actually reference checked multiple candidates because it gave good insights into their background and experience. So, if you are having difficulty deciding between a few different nannies to care for your little one, using the reference check portion of the hiring process is a great option to land a final decision.
I recommend completing 3 reference checks for each nanny you are considering hiring. Treat this as you would any other reference check, and prepare your questions beforehand. Below is an outline of the key things you should cover with the parents.
• When and for how long did the nanny work for you?
• How old was your child/children at the time?
• Why did you stop the employment?
• What was the interaction like with your child?
• What activities did the nanny do with your child?
• What was their approach to discipline?
• Did they arrange for play dates and socialize with your child? If so, how often?
• Did they do anything else besides taking care of your child (e.g. laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc)? This may or may not be important to you, depending on your situation.
• Was the nanny reliable? How often did he or she call out sick and how much notice was provided? I recommend asking specifically how often the nanny called out so that you get a clear answer and you have appropriate expectations.
• How well did the nanny take directions from you (e.g. child’s schedule)?
• Would you hire this nanny again?
• Is there anything else I should know before hiring this person?
I have personally found reference checks for nannies to be largely positive. After all, if the nanny knew the referee were to give negative feedback, she/he would not have provided their details in the first place. As a result, it is very important to be as specific as you can and ask follow up questions. For instance, instead of just asking if they are reliable, ask how many days they called out sick on average. This will get you a much more fulsome and useful response. Once you have finished completing reference checks, it is worthwhile checking back in with your potential hire before moving on to the final step – background checks!