Posted ByElizabeth Sanfilippo
Here are 8 expert tips for hiring a nanny or babysitter when you move to a new area.
A nanny search is a nanny search, no matter where you live. But if you don't know the area, the search to find someone to watch your family can easily become stressful. "You do not know the traffic patterns, safety issues or local parks, so you do not have a full view of the job," says Tammy Gold, a parenting expert and owner of Gold Parent Coaching.
To help you navigate this hiring process, Gold and Kellie Geres, a nanny and household manager of 20 years and DC chapter president of Domestic Estate Managers Association, share tips for parents who want to make the transition as easy as possible when looking for a new nanny in an unfamiliar place.
You don't want to rush through the hiring process, so give yourself as much time as possible. You can start the search before you even move by vetting candidates' applications and conducting phone interviews.
Find New Resources
You may be starting from scratch, but the support systems are the same, no matter where you live.
"Realtors are a great resource, as they know the families and neighborhoods and are great for recommendations for all sorts of services in your new home, suggests Geres. "Pediatricians are also a great source of info, as they see the nannies and parents in their offices. Teachers are a great source, as they know which families have nannies. New neighbors can be a great resource, as they may know of someone looking, and have connections with other parents and parent networks."
And Care.com is also there to help. Simply change your account by going to your "My Care.com" page, clicking "My Profile & Settings" and updating your location. Then post a job to find caregivers in your new town.
Talk to Your Employer
If you're moving to start a new job, ask around the office. "Co-workers are a great resource as well," Geres says. "And if they have nannies offer to host a playdate to introduce the nannies and the kids."
And find out what types of child care benefits your new employer may offer. For example, your new company may provide backup child care as a work benefit, such as through Care.com’s Care@Work program. This program offers employees of participating companies access to child care either at home or at a nearby child care facility. If your company doesn't offer this benefit, ask Human Resources to consider it. You'll be much more productive at work if you don't have to worry about your child.
Learn about the 10 Things to Ask HR for Today.
Research Salaries and Taxes
Nannies in your new area may be used to a different wage from what you used to pay in your old home. Use Care.com's rate calculator to figure out what the average sitter makes in your area.
Learn how to be a Fair Care Employer
Take the Fair Care Pledge
Set up a payroll account to handle taxes for your new employee. "Check with a nanny payroll company to see what your obligations are as an employer, as each state varies," says Geres.
Talk to Your Kids
"If the kids are old enough, include them in the hiring process," Geres advises. "Ask them what they want from a nanny." Do they want someone who will show them the fun local parks, help them with homework or make really good cookies?
Interview the Right Way
Once you identify a handful of potential candidates, interview them in person at a neutral location, and then invite them to your home to meet your child. Start with these sample nanny interview questions.
Since you're new to the area, ask the candidates location-specific questions, too. You want someone who can help your family transition to this new environment. For example, ask about their favorite playgrounds, fun things to do with kids and (if she's from the area) what it's like to grow up there.
Do Trial Runs
Once you've chosen a nanny, do a trial run for a week or two to make sure she's a good fit (you should pay her for her time, of course!).
"It is scary [for your child] to meet new nannies or babysitters," says Gold. "So the more transition time you can have, the better. I would do things that the child likes with the new sitter, like arts and crafts, a new sports toy, a movie, as a way for them to bond."
Read about the 10 Ways to Prepare Kids for a New Sitter.
Rely on Your New Nanny
In general though, a new nanny is a perfect way to help your kids adjust to a new area. After all, local nannies can help kids learn all about the parks, play areas and other places that kids their age frequent.
"Nannies can take the children, or the family, and give an entire tour of the town," suggests Gold.
"A new nanny will be able to help gauge timing for when to leave for events, when traffic is the best and areas to avoid," Geres says. "The nanny is there for the children, which will allow the parents time to focus on the new job, new home and all the details that come about with a move. Also, the nanny can help by being available when the cable company needs to be there, accept a delivery or other home appointments. Make sure to discuss all these with your nanny so everyone is on the same page and expectations are explained and agreed upon."
Moving to a new town and into a new home can be stressful, but the nanny hiring process doesn't have to be.
Your Next Steps:
- Figure out how much nannies in your new area make
- Hire a nanny
- Set up a payroll account
- Learn how services like Care.com Backup Care can help you find backup child care when you're really in a pinch
- Learn about what things people forget when they move
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer. Her work can be found here.