How to choose a nanny, by Annie Martin and Sarah Simpson
Always remember that you choose a nanny for your child and not for yourself, although personal chemistry between you and a nanny is important. When a prospective nanny arranges an interview, ask her to bring references/diplomas, and have a list of prepared questions, ie, what attracted her to the job, what experience does she have and is it appropriate to your child's age group? How will she organise her day and stimulate your child? Make sure you discuss her working hours, time off, duties involved, holidays, salary and any special requirements, eg babysitting. It is helpful if your child is able to meet the nanny, to see if they interact well together. If the first interview went well and you felt her personality and experience suited your requirements, then ask her to come back for a few hours to spend more time with you and your child, and also to meet your partner. Observe if your child appears happy. If the second interview is a success and both parties are happy, then ask if she objects to you calling her previous employers to check her references before offering her the position. Do not worry about the nanny "stealing" your child's love. He or she will love you and your nanny in different ways, and, remember, it is easier to close the door in the morning if you know that your child is happy. Fiona McClymont
Annie Martin is director of Nannies Incorporated, Sarah Simpson is office manager. Call for a free Parental Guide, 0171-437 1312.