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Tomorrow I'll be talking to a possible p/t nanny candidate. What do I ask her? Is asking for references a waste of time? (I always think that it's not like you'll be getting any accurate information really, it's not like they'd provide you with BAD references
)

I'll actually be at home while the nanny is here--I work from home--so I don't know how that changes what I'd ask her. My mom has been our p/t nanny for three years, but we may be phasing her out (at her request, of course
). So this is all completely new to me!

TIA!
 

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I don't know...it seems like checking references is kind of a waste of time--I mean, how do you know who these references are anyway? When I was younger, I would pose as former bosses and landlords for my friends all the time, so there you go. But if it makes you feel better, go ahead and call, it can't hurt.

I think the questions depend on what you want. I don't have a nanny, per se, but a day care provider who works out of her home. I hired her mainly based on instinct, which may not be the wisest way to go, but it's the only way I know how. She seemed very nice and the other babies in her care seemed well-taken care of. I also met some of the other parents and they liked her alot.

But if you don't have that kind of info to go on and you wanted to be real safe, maybe do a criminal background check and get her fingerprinted. I've never done that, but my husband suggested we do that when we were looking for a nanny.

Other than that, get a feel for how she deals with discipline. If she'll be cooking for your kids, can she cook the kind of food you want them to eat? Is she familiar with, say, cloth diapers or whatever? Does she know CPR?

If you're going to be there most of the time, I think you can relax a little more than someone who isn't. Mainly, this person will be spending alot of time with your family. Get a feel for who she is. Do you like her? Does she seem kind and intelligent? Does she seem like someone who really enjoys kids or does she seem cold? Only you will really know what questions to ask, but just make sure she seems like a good "fit" with your kids.
 

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I strongly disagree that talking to references might be a waste of time. I see this as a crucial step. When talking to references be both specific and open ended. I hired two sitters this spring and I talked to 10 references for 4 candidates.

I asked: *How do you know <candidate>?
*How long have you known her?
*Can you describe her strengthes as an employee?
*Under what circumstances did her employment with you end?
*I am talking to her about a nanny position to care for my son <insert details of requirements>. Can you describe how her personality fits with this position?
*Can you comment on her reliability? Honesty? Punctuality?

One former managers threw up red flags by what he wouldn't say and what he'd leave out. I interviewed one person whose references were kind of strange (no employment) and the comments were ... odd.

On CPR, I paid the $50 for them to take the infant first aid/CPR class through Red Cross.
 

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Can I suggest grabbing a copy of "Protecting the Gift" by Gavin DeBecker, he has a lot of great questions you can use. In re: to references he also suggests asking the references if there's anyone else you should speak to--that way you do get to talk to people your nanny didn't tell you about.
 

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Spending time with the candidate is important.

I learned the hard way that it's important to talk about conflict resolution. I had a nanny who was passive/aggressive and non-confrontational. It caused problems as the two of you may disagree about an approach to childcare.

Hasing someone who's emotionally mature or can communicate their perspective is important.

For the past 8 months, I've had a caregiver who will discuss the issues and is supportive of how I want my child to be cared for.
 
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