Auntemma’s Blog

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Filed under: HOW TO CHECK UP NANNY REFERENCES — auntemma @ 4:46 am


After you have interviewed the nanny to your satisfaction, and are able to feel the confidence in hiring the nanny, the next step would be to call the nanny’s references for a more concrete feedback about the nanny. DO NOT offer a nanny a position without checking up references and or criminal background check. A nanny should be able to provide a minimum of two non-family related child care references.  Calling up references is a more effective and thorough way of confirming the nanny’s performance when it comes to her experience.

When calling up references, its advisable to already have questions that are customized to fit the kind of position you want filled. For example if your interest in a nanny is cooking, make sure you find out from the previous family her cooking skills. Different families have different preferences on what they are looking for in a nanny, so you want to make sure you ask the kind of questions that will help you make a better a judgment on the nanny you are looking to hire.


Try and keep the reference calls to the point. Start your call with the most recent reference, introduce yourself and explain to them the purpose of your call and make mention of the candidate’s name that you are calling about. In reference calls, less is more, the less you talk and the more you listen, the more information you are likely to gather regarding your candidate.


These are some of the basic questions to ask when calling up references, remember you can always add on any other question that seems suitable for the kind of duties or qualifications you are looking for in a nanny.


–       How long has this candidate worked for you ?

–       What are the ages of the children she cares for?

–       How did she relate to the children, and what do you think they liked best about her?

–       What responsibilities did she undertake as your children’s caretaker ?

–       Does she show concern when it comes to the children’s safety? 

–       Was she punctual getting to work?

–       What were her qualities and strengthens?

–       What were her weaknesses?

–       Why did she leave?

–       What did you as an employer like best about her?


 Avoid asking questions such as, have you ever had any misunderstandings? or what did you not like about her?  Remember, you are only getting the one sided story, this will not help you in deciding the right candidate for you and your family.  Try to be neutral and thorough!







Filed under: BE UPFRONT WITH YOUR NANNY — auntemma @ 11:43 pm



It’s important to be upfront with your nanny right from the beginning of the interview. Let the nanny know the duties that expected of her, as far as laundry, housekeeping, grocery shopping, running errands and so forth. You want to find someone who is suitable for the position created. Neglecting to be upfront from the beginning can cause a bumpy ride as far as your relationship with your nanny. One of the ways you can ensure a clear happy relationship with your nanny is to make sure you are as transparent as possible and clear of any hidden agenda of what you expect from your nanny. One mistake families do is avoiding to be upfront during the interview with what you want the nanny to do for you. So as time goes by “you think its ok” to assume certain duties that you would like to have done.  For example, you find parents asking for favors in ways where the nanny feels obligated to accept, for example “Is it ok when the baby is asleep if you could just slip in our clothes in the washer?” or “do you mind ironing when the kids are asleep?” “Since it’s on your way can you just pick up a few things for us from the grocery shop?’’ to “ can you wash the bathroom when the kids go to sleep?”


Well, all this is not wrong as long as it’s the arrangement made from the very beginning. There needs to be a clear distinction between the duties of a nanny and the duties of a housekeeper. There are a lot of ads where parents seek a nanny who can do “light housekeeping”. What is light housekeeping?, Light housekeeping is making sure the nanny mainly

  • Picks/cleans up after the child/children
  • Washes child/children dishes
  • Prepares child/children’s meals
  • Does child/children’s laundry
  • Changing children’s bedding as needed
  • Straightening children’s room

Only what entails the children is what the nanny is responsible for as far as light housekeeping is concerned.

Its understandable that circumstances do come around where you need a helping hand in other areas, but just as long as they don’t slip into everyday extra duties without having to talk to your nanny. If you don’t speak with your nanny regarding the extra duties, the nanny can get overwhelmed and can harbor some sort of resentment towards her job because of all the additional duties and can leave her with no choice but to search for another job, especially if all of these responsibilities don’t come with some extra compensation and or appreciation.

Although extra money is not always the answer, you just don’t want to assume that she should be happy undertaking the extra duties. In respect to her position, sit and have a talk with her and explain your family need and the reason for the extra duties. Without any threat to her job, allow her the sometime to think about whether she would be willing to subject to the extra duties. Remember your child/children are first priority, so you don’t want to overload your nanny to a point that your child/children aren’t able to get the primary care they need. Too many nannies are overloaded with a lot of  extra duties which can cause the nanny to be distracted and less focused on your children.


As time goes by and as the children/child gets older, duties can of course be altered, but it must always be up for discussion with your nanny. For example, some families prefer to keep the nannies even after the children go to school especially if you need her in the morning hours to drop off the children to school then be available to pick up from school later on. In those case scenarios, extra duties can be welcomed  when the child is in school.


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