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How to find the right nanny.

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  A blog by Lauren brown
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Mary-Poppins-reading-her-qualificationsAs the modern job evolves, families have to look beyond regular childcare to cater to their crazy work schedules.  Finding the right nanny should not be a decision you take lightly so I wanted to offer some advice on how to go about doing it.  Sourcing a nanny on your own is easy and by doing so you can avoid having to pay an agency to do the work for you.
Here are the steps to take and the checks to make to find a nanny that’s just right for your family.



If you know that a nanny solution is on the horizon for your family, it’s important to prepare early.  Start asking around your networks and community to see if they know of any good nannies.  The nanny industry is one that runs mainly on word of mouth and most of us nannies are in contact via different Facebook communities and meet-up groups.  So if you can get in touch with a good nanny, she may be available or know another great nanny looking for work.  You can offer strong candidates babysitting roles in the lead up to the start date to test out if it’s the right fit (trust that gut feeling).  A family that waits until last minute may have to settle for whoever they can find, which runs the risk of an incompatible fit.  This may result in a short lived arrangement leaving you back at square one to find another nanny.


A large majority of the nanny sector is unfortunately still cash in hand.  Families and nannies make this mistake because they think it’s easier but they are wrong.  Organising a proper arrangement is simple and the right thing to do by your nanny.  You can hire your nanny as an employee or contractor depending on the scenario.  If you are unsure on which option to take you can follow a quick survey on the ATO website that helps establish the right choice.

If you are employing a nanny for over 30 hours a week then you must employ them and pay their super.  If you run your own business talk to your accountant about adding your nanny to your payroll.  If all of this is foreign and you’re unsure where to start, contact Domestic Payroll as they can do all the paperwork for you.  Nannies who hold an ABN simply send you an invoice for payment.


I suggest looking for candidates from people you know, mother’s groups and mother’s Facebook groups as these help you find people who come recommended. Alternatively you can go through an agency or online website that sources nannies, this may however come at a cost to you.  Information you should include:

What to include in your criteria


  Offer an interview to a few candidates as you want a choice.  Think about what is important to you as a family and write out relevant questions to have with you to make sure you cover all topics.  My big advice here is CHECK REFERENCES/ SEEK TESTIMONIALS.  By speaking directly to someone who has hired a nanny’s service you can be sure they are up to the task.     Please note that you MUST pay a nanny if you wish to trial their service.


Work out what the arrangement will look like in a rough contract.  This should include things like pay rate, annual leave, sick leave, cancellations, performance reviews, probationary periods, medical procedures, extra duties (on top of watching children) and other important scenarios for your home.  The starting wage for a nanny should be $22/hour but you do pay for what you get.  A qualified nanny who does the housework will be much more expensive than an inexperienced nanny who only watches the children.  When you find a successful applicant you must negotiate how the arrangement will work.  Unfortunately there is no specific award rate for nannies at this time.    Be open to negotiations,  a small change in favour of your favourite applicant could be the deciding factor for securing your perfect nanny.


Your nanny will not just be a employee, they are going to be part of your family.  You are going to be opening your home to a stranger who is going to help raise your children so making sure you choose someone who is compatible with your lifestyle is key to a happy and healthy relationship.  EXAMPLE: If you are very environmental, you hardly want someone who doesn’t believe in climate change.


This is something you should do anyway.  Being a parent is the most important role that you will play in your life and you should think about what strategies you want to implement.  Think about your approach on discipline, routines or any other part of parenting that you feel particularly passionate about.  Establishing what’s important to you will help you communicate it effectively with anyone who plays a role in raising your children.  They say  “It takes an army to raise a child” so when your nanny does come on board, you will become a team. Remember be open to the influence your nanny will inject with her own philosophy.

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