Finding a Nanny: Five Skills to Look for in a Caregiver

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Finding a nanny is not an easy task. So, how can you as a parent feel comfortable in selecting a caregiver while recognizing that not everyone can be Mary Poppins?

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Five Skills to Look for When Finding a Nanny

Focusing on critical skills is the first step and will help you sift through those nannies that wouldn't work for your family. Here are five we recommend considering as you interview potential caregivers:

1. CPR

Depending on the age group of the child the nanny would be caring for, CPR could be one of the most important skills to possess. Children constantly stick foreign objects in their mouths and being able to handle the problem could prevent a possible nightmare of a situation.

2. Cooking

It's not enough to know how to whip up a bowl of macaroni and cheese with sliced hot dogs. A child's attitude and energy level are greatly impacted by what kinds of foods they consume from the moment they wake up. It is a proven fact that children who consume proteins and healthier foods in the morning or more attentive and less emotional throughout the day. Finding a nanny who possesses cooking skills and who makes a practice of preparing meals that will benefit the child is key.

3. Cleaning

Children of all ages are messy regardless of how much you try to drill it into their heads to pick up after themselves. However, as a parent, you know that younger children are more susceptible to helping you clean if you were to make it some kind of game. Before long, it could form into a habit reducing your daily workload. Finding a nanny who can make chores and other tasks fun for children helps ensure your kids develop good habits.

4. Psychology

Brushing up on child psychology doesn't mean enrolling in the first available college course, although having a degree or coursework completed in child psychology or early childhood education would be helpful. Whether it's on a parenting blog that addresses child psychology or a child development book, a nanny who knows how to research is worth her weight in gold. A good nanny will invest time and money in these resources as she knows it'll help her perform her role better. The nannies from Karen’s Nanny Service are experienced in childcare and are certified.

5. Listening

Most children simply want to talk to someone who is willing to listen. Finding a nanny who is a good listener is key.

While finding a nanny requires a serious gut check, experience, and references, knowing CPR, having cooking and cleaning skills, being up on child psychology and parenting research, and being a good listener are five must-have skills a good nanny should posses.

What skills do you look for in a caregiver? What nanny finding tips would you recommend?

Nancy provides feedback on all elements of the site “” helping us to really make sure that we are making it as easy as possible for caregivers to sign up and find work. In addition, she spends quite a bit of her time on freelance writing tasks.
Picture courtesy of Flickr.
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