Hiring a caregiver for your children can be a daunting task. You want to find someone who is qualified, gets along with your kids, and agrees with your parenting values. It’s a tall order, and the process gets even more difficult when your kids have special needs. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you through the experience. We provide four tips for hiring a caregiver for your children.
Set Clear Expectations
Before you even begin to look for a nanny or caregiver, you should get a clear idea of what you want. Establish and write down every requirement. This is the time to get picky—after all, this person will take care of your children, so they have to be the best. Ask yourself what kind of credentials you want your caregiver to have. Think about the kinds of duties they’ll perform as well. Will they need to cook meals, pick the kids up from school, or help with homework? Be direct and upfront about all your requirements in the job description. You should also take this time to decide what you absolutely don’t want in a caregiver. If you have all these things in mind, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for throughout the search and interview process.
Meet in Person
No matter how many interviews you have with your candidates, you must meet in person before you seriously consider someone for the job. An in-person interview can give you much more insight than talking over the phone. Meet with a few of your favorite applicants, and ask them more in-depth questions. During these interviews, pay attention to the candidate’s body language and facial expressions in addition to their actual answers. Sometimes, how a candidate says something is just as important as what they say. It’s best to perform your first in-person interview in a public place, such as a diner or a coffee shop, so you have a chance to learn more about the individual before they come to your home and meet your kids.
One of the most crucial tips for hiring a caregiver for your children is to verify the candidate’s history and experience. Start by checking references. Your candidate might look and sound great at first glance, but people who worked with them in the past might say otherwise. You can also consider running a background check to look for any glaring red flags, such as a criminal record or false information on their resume. Be thorough when evaluating a candidate’s history, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions about what you find.
Listen to Your Kids
In the end, your caregiver is for your kids—it’s important that they get a say too. Before making your final decision, schedule a time for the candidate to meet your children. Pay attention to how they interact with each other. Not everyone has to feel perfectly comfortable right away, but you’ll have the ability to tell when something isn’t right. After the meeting, ask your children what they thought. Take their feedback seriously, especially if it’s negative. It’s important to see your caregiver through your children’s eyes. This is also a great opportunity to ease any fears or anxiety your kids might have over the new hire. After all, the best caregiver will fit the needs of both you and your children. When everyone’s happy with your choice, you’ll know you found the right person for the job.