Even the most highly skilled and qualified nanny won’t be the right nanny for every family. Determining your specific care needs and the minimal qualifications you wish your live-in nanny to have can help guide you to the right live-in nanny for your family.

Live-in nannies should provide a nurturing and caring environment for the children.  Live-in nannies should also provide customized and personalized care by meeting the unique physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs of the children in their care. Typical live-in nanny duties and responsibilities include preparing healthy and nutritious meals and snacks for the children, providing age-appropriate social and educational opportunities, keeping the children’s areas neat and clean, transporting the children to and from activities, and doing the children’s laundry. Live-in nannies may also bathe children and put the children down for naps and bed, depending on their age.

Before you begin your live-in nanny search you must consider your specific care needs. Parents should make a written list of the expectations, duties and responsibilities that they wish their nanny to undertake. They should also formulate a job description that paints an accurate picture of the role they wish their live-in nanny to fill. This description should include how many hours per week the live-in nanny must work and the nanny’s work schedule. If the nanny is required to provide overnight care, travel with the family, care for the family pet, or take on additional housekeeping tasks, this information should also be included. The more accurate your job description is the more viable live-in nanny candidates you will attract for your position. If you know you typically run late several times per week, for example, resist the urge to say you’ll need your live-in nanny to occasionally work late.

Since the nanny will also live in the employer’s home, the parents should notate any unacceptable lifestyle choices. If the family can’t hire a nanny who smokes because the children are allergic to smoke, they should request that nonsmoking live-in nannies apply.

Once you’ve identified your needs, it’s time to consider your ideal caregiver. You’ll need to determine if you require your nanny to have an educational background or specialized training. You’ll also want to determine how much experience your ideal candidate will have.  At minimum, all live-in nannies should have current CPR and first aid certification and two years of verifiable childcare experience. If you have a child with severe allergies or a specific medical condition, having a live-in nanny with previous experience caring for a child with the same needs can be helpful.

Now that you have an idea of what type of live-in nanny you’re seeking and what her duties, responsibilities and role will be, it’s time to begin your search. Parents may find live-in nanny candidates through word of mouth, classified ads, nanny placement agencies or online recruiting sites. Regardless of how parents find nanny candidates, the ultimate screening and hiring responsibility lies with them.

Once parents have found viable nanny candidates, they should conduct a thorough screening of them. The screening should consist of a phone interview, an in person interview without the children present, an in person interview with the children present and a working interview. Parents should also conduct a thorough background check that includes reference checks, Social Security number verification, county criminal records checks, sex offender registry checks and a motor vehicle driving check. Live-in nanny employers may also wish to conduct a credit check and a civil court records check on a potential caregiver.

While nanny employers may make a live-in nanny a job offer after an in person interview, it should always be contingent on the results of a thorough background investigation.

10 Tips for Advertising for a Live-In Nanny

Writing a solid nanny advertisement to present to a nanny agency or to include as part of your online profile is essential for attracting viable live-in nanny candidates. Your advertisement is the first place potential live-in nannies learn about your family. The clearer the picture you paint of your care needs and the ideal person you hope to fill them, the more viable candidates you’ll attract.

As you craft your nanny advertisement, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Be Friendly.  Cold, clinical language can be subtly off-putting to a potential live-in nanny. Instead of using dry language like “Nanny needed for three children. Quarters provided. References required,” try something like “Busy family seeking a live-in nanny for two school-age children and one lively toddler. Private room and personal bath, just bring your references!”
  2. Include the Number of Children. Some nannies aren’t comfortable caring for more than two or three children, so it’s a good idea to disclose this information from the outset.
  3. Disclose Approximate Ages.  Since nannies tend to have an age group they prefer or feel most qualified to care for, listing your children’s age can attract appropriate caregivers.
  4. List Required Education. If you require a nanny with a college degree, that should be included in your ad to avoid wasting your time and that of those who may respond without knowing your educational requirements.
  5. Be Specific About Desired Skills.  Being firm about hiring only a bilingual nanny or one with specific skills is perfectly acceptable, but that’s information that needs to go in your advertisement. The more specific your ad is, the more you’ll narrow the field of responders.
  6. Mention the Nanny’s Quarters. Many nannies won’t even consider taking a live-in post without having a private room and bath. The perfect candidate may see your ad and decide not to respond if the type of living accommodation isn’t mentioned.
  7. Salary. While you don’t have to list the exact amount you’re willing to pay, listing a salary range will help you to attract candidates within your price range.
  8. Be Honest.  Being honest and upfront about any special needs or situations that may affect the nanny’s working conditions will help ensure you attract a candidate that’s able to best meet your needs.
  9. Estimate Working Hours. Part of hiring a live-in is the ability to have more scheduling flexibility, but it’s still important to remember that your nanny will require off time. It’s not necessary to have a hard-and-fast schedule in place or to include specific breakdowns of time in the limited space of an ad, but listing the number of hours per week the nanny must work is essential.
  10. Sweeten the Deal. If you plan to include perks like bonuses, vacation time or contributions to health coverage, then that information should definitely be included as part of your advertisement.

It can be challenging to fit all of this information into the limited space of an ad, and some information may have to be sacrificed for the sake of brevity. If your ad will be placed on a nanny recruiting website, be sure to utilize the profile tools to create a customized listing that best reflects your family and care needs.