Ask any of the very best nanny agencies in London and they’ll tell you the same – finding an outstanding nanny has never been easier. But if this is the case, why do there continue to be scattered and infrequent reports of those taking on nannies to help out the family, only to soon regret having bothered to do so at all? This would appear to suggest that there are risks involved in selecting and hiring a nanny, but what’s the truth?
Well, the simple fact of the matter is that with a little common sense and the help of a leading agency, it’s almost impossible to go wrong. But at the same time, there are certain common mistakes made by those taking nannies on for the first time that can lead to what was supposed to be a big help turning into a rather unfortunate hindrance.
So with this in mind, here’s a quick overview of five nanny-hiring mistakes to avoid at all costs – all of which come down to simple common sense:
1 – Insufficient Background Checks
First and foremost, if you don’t make the effort to check up the nanny’s background and speak to his or her former employees, you really have no idea what to expect. What looks good on paper does not always add up to a great deal at all when put into practice. The truth here is that any great nanny with prior experience will have references to sing their praises and tell you all you need to know about them. As such, it’s your job to reach out to them and find out what’s what – failure to do so is a little like rolling the dice with fate.
2 – Paying Below the Average Rate
There’s a standard market average price for nanny services in relation to their duties, the type of contract entered into and the area of the UK in which they work, As such, if and when you insist on paying considerably lower than the average, chances are you’re going to have far more trouble finding a nanny you can count on. Qualified, experienced and world-class nannies know how much their services are worth, meaning that to seek a nanny for next to nothing is usually to seek a nanny that’s not up to par. By contrast, pay a little above the average rate and you’re likely to bag yourself an absolute winner.
3 – Expecting Too Much
One of the most common mistakes of all is that of falling into the trap of expecting way too much from the nanny you hire by way of what they do and to what extent they do it. Exactly what’s expected of the nanny will vary in accordance with the deal you strike up with them. However, in any and all instances it’s important to acknowledge the fact that there will be limitations in terms of what they will do and can do. You need to map things out quite precisely in advance to avoid falling into a situation where your expectations become both unfair and unrealistic.
4 – Unexpected Expenses
If you were to agree to pay a nanny £500 per week, you need to make sure that this is exactly what they get. Outrageous as it may sound, there are still so many families who claim to offer a certain amount of money for their nannies per week, only to fail to mention that this is not only the pre-tax sum, but will also be scaled down due to other expenses. From transport costs to meals at the family home and so much more, to sting your nanny with any kind of unexpected expenses that aren’t immediately reimbursed is to open the door to a relationship that will bring you little joy.
5 – Not Laying Out the Terms in Writing
Last but not least, it doesn’t matter whether you’re planning to take on a nanny for a week or perhaps a full calendar year, you still need to have some kind of contract for both parties to sign. A professional contract ensures that the best interests of all parties involved are covered and that what is expected is delivered in accordance with the agreement. It doesn’t need to a be a long and complicated legal document – simply a page or two mapping out what’s expected and all terms and conditions with regard to duties and payment. If in doubt, speak to a quality nanny agency in your local area for help with both the contract itself and finding the ideal nanny for you and your family.