What if this is your first child? What if you have never even considered hiring a nanny? What if the very idea of handing over to someone else the care of your little angel is enough to give you palpitations?
Once kids come along, a lot of ‘What ifs’ start stacking up. The best approach is to try and relax about your new motherhood status and enjoy it for what it is – a truly wonderful thing. Sooner or later, reality will kick in and you’ll need to go out and earn a wage again. Maternity leave doesn’t last forever and putting plans in place for ‘life with baby and a job’ can’t start soon enough.
Why Choose a Nanny Instead of Child Daycare?
Nannies are like the Rolls Royce of childcare services. They offer the deluxe version of reliable childcare and it’s something that once you’ve tried, you never want to go back. Employing a nanny means that your child is cared for 24/7 if necessary and that the stresses and strains of managing daycare, the pick ups and drop offs, negotiating emergency days off from work when baby has a temperature – are all smoothed away. Many professions these days dictate unstructured and disorganised lifestyles that play havoc with family routines. International travel, conferences, career training and expos can all take you away from home and there has to be someone to steer the ship in your absence. Employing a nanny might not be the cheapest option, but when it comes to your children it’s an investment worth making.
Where to Look?
How do you go about finding the perfect nanny? It can be like dating in a funny sort of way. Both parties are keen to show their best sides, there will be a lot of high-emotion in the air (especially from guilt ridden mums who keenly feel the pain of leaving offspring with what is essentially a stranger – albeit a well vetted, reference and CRB checked stranger with a list of childcare qualifications as long as their arm). There is also a certain amount of rejection to be absorbed on both sides – sometimes nannies don’t click with children and the chemistry isn’t right, or nannies just don’t feel comfortable with the family – it doesn’t take long to know whether a family and nanny are going to be a good fit or not.
Some parents start their search for a nanny by asking friends and family for recommendations. This is a good place to begin, but can lead to frustrations as the pool in which you are fishing is essentially very small. The choice and availability of suitable nannies will be limited. This is why for the best and quickest results, a London nanny agency makes sense. The most skilled London nanny agency will have a huge list of satisfied clients singing their praises and a wide range of candidates from which to choose. When it comes to something as important as childcare, word of mouth is often a good way of judging an agency’s abilities – parents are very vocal on the subject of their precious children’s childcare, good or bad.
What to Look For
Other things to consider when checking out an agency are whether or not they belong to any professional associations. Being a member of The International Association of Nanny Agencies or the UK based Association of Nanny Agencies means that an establishment is reputable and works to very high standards. Ask how long an agency has been in business as this reflects their success or otherwise in the provision of good service.
An agency that has a strong customer care ethic and that tirelessly seeks to place the right nanny with the right family is the ideal. Agencies that follow up after a post has been appointed to check that everything is OK are the sorts of establishment that last the distance. Recognising the huge responsibility and trust involved in arranging childcare is something any reputable agency takes extremely seriously. Ensure full ID checks, criminal record checks, reference verification and qualification checking is carried out by an agency, and ask to see the paperwork to read through yourself.
Choosing the right nanny agency for your child will have a lot to do with parental instinct. Are the nannies they have on their books the sort of people your child will respond well to? Do you want a male or female nanny? Disciplinarian or laid back? Highly qualified? Bi-lingual? A great cook? Car driver? Creative, artistic, musical? Someone with medical skills? There are a lot of questions to be answered, but with the right nanny agency the perfect solution will be found…