Of course it is very important to find the right person when you are searching for someone to care for your children. There are several considerations, which might help you to conduct an effective search.
One important factor when searching for a nanny is whether or not you are a working parent. Being home and having the ability to supervise a nanny or care provider is very different from being away and, of necessity delegating much more responsibility and decision making to the nanny.
You need a nanny with a greater level of experience and maturity if she is on her own with your children for many hours a day, and if this is your situation, it would be to your advantage to look for a nanny who has either had her own children or has worked in this field for several years.
If you are a stay at home parent you can afford to hire someone who seems nurturing and pleasant but who does not necessarily have a long track record behind her in this field.
You should be aware, when hiring an au pair, that it is quite different from hiring a local American nanny. Au pairs are usually quite young, typically, 18 – 23, and often have not been away from their home before. They expect to do little, if any, household chores. As well as looking after your children, they are eager to have a new cultural experience.
Sometimes a family wants their children to have a new cultural experience and bringing an au pair into the home makes this possible. Au pairs usually come from abroad for a year. They speak their own native language in addition to English. It is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn a second language and get exposure to another culture.
It is usual for au pairs to accompany you on outings with your family, to have time to go sightseeing with other au pairs, and to sit with you at meal times. In short, you are expected to treat them as a member of your family.
On the other hand, an American nanny is more of an employee. She is with you for the sole purpose of helping you with your children as well as household chores if that is required.
Another consideration when hiring a nanny is the age of your children. If care is required for an infant it is advisable to hire someone who has extensive experience and strong references with infants. If care is required for older children, you should be more concerned with the nanny’s personality. You would probably look for someone who is lively, energetic and intelligent.
Your particular life style should determine whether a foreign au pair or an American nanny would be more suitable.