You have been at home for three months on maternity leave, or maybe even longer, and now it’s time to return to work. You are now have to find someone who will love and care for your child when you’re not there.
You have what you think is “super-nanny” sitting on the couch in front of you, but what can you ask her to see what differentiates her from all the other candidates?
Marion suggests asking the following questions:
1. Have you completed a first-aid course?
If she says yes, present her with a scenario and ask her what she would do.
2. What did you like about the last family you worked for? Don’t ask her why she left.
Asking her why she left brings negativity. Rather listen to how positive she is. Does she speak kindly of their children?
3. How would you stimulate my child?
You want to see if she knows about age-appropriate games and how to draw up a schedule of activities involving arts and crafts, outdoor play and nursery rhymes. She should be using items in the home to do this.
4. How long do you want to work for my family?
Ideally, you want a long-term relationship. Many childminders now go on to get driver’s licences and at a later stage, may become an au pair for the family.
5. What type of discipline will you use on my child?
You want to see if your approach is the same. The best way to go about this is to ask what type of discipline she used in previous homes.
6. When my baby is crying what will you do?
If your child is awake, the best thing to do is to give your child to the prospective nanny to hold during the interview, especially if she starts crying. You also want know what motions she uses, for example, does she put your baby on her back, or rock her.
7. How many children have you taken care of at one time?
She may have been at a home of two to three children, but there may have been a domestic worker or the mom stepped in to help. You want to understand how many children she took care of on her own.
8. When changing a nappy which way do you wipe?
Depending on whether you have a boy or a girl, she should know that you wipe a girl front to back. You could also ask her to change your child’s nappy during the interview to see how she does it.
9. Have a conversation with the candidate
Questions aside, have a conversation with the candidate. You want to understand her and her lifestyle. Where she comes from? What is her life story? How many children does she have? Who looks after them? Is she married? How often does she go home? Are her parents still alive? Does she have siblings? Does she want to study anything? You are judging her character – you can always train her on the smaller things that need polishing.
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