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Guide to checking references for nanny candidates

Hiring a nanny is a significant decision for parents, as they are entrusting someone with the well-being and care of their most precious possessions—their children. One crucial step in the nanny hiring process is checking references. This ensures that the candidate has a proven track record and aligns with your family's values and expectations.

French mum checking a reference.

The importance of reference checks


Verification of experience:

Contacting previous employers allows you to verify the nanny's work history and experience. It's essential to ensure that the candidate has the necessary skills and expertise to handle the specific needs of your children.


Assessment of professionalism:

References provide insights into the nanny's professionalism, reliability, and ability to handle responsibilities. Ask about the candidate's punctuality, communication skills, and overall demeanour during their previous employment.


Understanding work ethic:

By speaking with previous employers, you can gain valuable information about the nanny's work ethic. Questions about their approach to childcare, initiative, and willingness to go above and beyond can give you a clearer picture of their commitment.


Confirmation of trustworthiness:

Trust is paramount when it comes to hiring a nanny. Reference checks help confirm the candidate's trustworthiness, honesty, and integrity. Inquire about any incidents that may highlight the nanny's reliability and adherence to rules and guidelines.


Reference check guide for parents


Prepare a list of questions:

Before contacting references, compile a list of questions that cover various aspects of the nanny's performance. Include inquiries about their experience, communication skills, handling of emergencies, and ability to create a safe and nurturing environment.


Contact previous employers:

Obtain contact information for the candidate's previous employers and reach out to them. Ensure you speak with someone directly responsible for managing the nanny to get the most accurate and detailed information.


Ask open-ended questions:

Frame your questions in a way that encourages detailed responses. Instead of asking yes/no questions, inquire about specific situations and experiences. This can help you understand the context and gather more insights.


Check for consistency:

Look for consistency in responses from different references. If multiple sources provide similar positive feedback on the nanny's performance, it adds credibility to their qualifications.


Discuss challenges:

Don't shy away from asking about challenges or areas for improvement. Understanding how the nanny handled difficult situations in the past can prepare you for potential scenarios in the future.


Inquire about the nanny's relationship with children:

Ask about the nanny's interactions with the children under their care. Inquire about the development of a strong bond, communication methods, and the approach taken in fostering a positive and nurturing environment.


Checking references is a crucial step in the nanny hiring process that provides parents with valuable insights into the candidate's past performance. By following this comprehensive guide, parents can make informed decisions, ensuring that the selected nanny aligns with the family's values and meets the unique needs of their children. Taking the time to conduct thorough reference checks is an investment in the safety, well-being, and happiness of your family.

Marine, mother and founder of St Pancras Recruitment

Marine Lienard, Founder of St Pancras Recruitment


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