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  • Sarah Davis


    How to find and keep your rock star nanny

    Questions to ask a prospective nanny, and yourself, when looking for childcare, and how to keep your nanny happy and feeling valued.


    As a placement provider for Olive.You.Nanny, I am constantly putting the puzzle pieces together to find compatible matches for families and nannies. I have found there to be some key questions that need to be asked during the interview process to ensure a happy and compatible match is made for both the nanny and family involved.

    If you can find someone who naturally aligns with your parenting style, family values and worldview while clicking personality wise, then you are on a good path to nanny-family partnership bliss!

    First and foremost, decide what is most important to your family. In a few words, what is your family focus/motto or what is most important to you as a family unit? Some parents mention education, kindness, openness to new experiences/diversity, or family time as their main focus. Whatever the case may be, it is first important to acknowledge what is most important to you and what you want your children to learn about the world as they are growing up. By asking yourself these questions, you will be able to better clarify what is most important to your family, which will be essential in finding a nanny who naturally aligns with you!

    Nannies come with their own unique personalities, nanny style, experiences, and values and it is important to better understand their world view. You don’t want them to mold themselves to you when their ideals and nanny style could be in contrast. You, the nanny, and your kids will be happier when you are on the same page. I always ask nannies several key questions:

    • What are some values that are most important to you in your life?
    • What do you think is most important for children to learn as they are growing up?
    • How would you best describe your nanny-style?
    • What do you envision when you think of your ideal position?
    • What makes you feel most appreciated and happiest on the job?
    • What is one of your favorite memories as a nanny and why?

    After interviewing a series of nannies, I have discovered a few commonalities that seem to make them happy. Most are in search of a family that is open to outings and activities and exploration in the city so they can incorporate play-based learning and get some fresh air with the kiddos. They also want to have open communication and consistency when it comes to nap times, discipline and boundaries.

    There are simple ways to make a nanny feel appreciated, and chances are you will keep your nanny longer and he or she will go above and beyond in the role if they feel valued. Nannies want to feel like a valued extension of your family as opposed to a “worker.” Employers who show their nannies trust by not micro-managing are better able to establish rapport.

    Thoughtful gestures go a long way in job satisfaction! Letting your nanny off a bit earlier (while being paid) on an occasional afternoon is very much appreciated, as nannies tend to work long hours. Remembering industry standards like vacation and sick time and maintaining the nanny’s wage if you do not need him or her the days you choose to be away (same applies to letting him or her go home early if they aren’t needed) are key ways to express respect to your nanny’s profession.

    Cards of appreciation, small thoughtful gifts, remembering their birthday, having an annual review and taking time to get to know them are all ways to show your nanny that you care about them as an individual and value them as an employee. You in turn will have a happy rock star nanny!

    Sarah Davis


    Photo: Dakota Corbin

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