Hiring a Nanny - Is it The Right Decision?

It's the question that every parent has asked, or at least thought about, at some point in their parenting decisions. Now as the end of the Summer holidays approaches, the question "should I hire a nanny" becomes more prevalent.

The first thing to say is that every family is different - there is no one solution fits all. What might be the right decision in hiring a child minder for one family, might be the wrong decision for another family. The cost of childcare is inevitably one of the factors that parents have to take into account when making this decision. There is also the emotional guilt that parents, especially first time parents, tend to feel when making the decision to hire a nanny. However, there are also some significant benefits to hiring a child minder, which we have considered below.

One of the key benefits is that your child, or children, actually get to grow up in their own home. The beauty of hiring a nanny is that they come to work in your home, and your child grows up in the familiarity of their home. What this does is promote a stable routine for your child - it is significantly easier to maintain a routine when you are in the same place and used to those same surroundings.

We should also remember that being a nanny is a professional job. It is common these days for nannies to hold some type of childcare qualification or a relevant degree in childcare. In theory, this means that nannies are experts in this field, and they have the experience of looking after and bringing up children. For a lot of first time parents, it can be extremely daunting looking after a new born child for the first time. The opportunity to have an "expert" also looking after your child can be a welcome safety blanket and give you an extra layer of comfort.

Another question to consider is whether you should hire a live-in child minder versus a day-time child minder? On one hand, a live-in child minder provides an added degree of flexibility to a family. For example, if a parent has additional working responsibilities, or even is ill, the children will still be looked after. There are also many benefits to the live-in child minder, as they will usually receive free board, food, their own room as well as other perks, such as no travelling time to work!

On the other side, the advantages of hiring a day-time child minder include a separation between the child minder and your family. Many parents are keen to keep the child minder separate, almost as a business relationship and not to become too close as part of the family. The day-time child minder also has the advantage of being able to have a separate life outside of the family, as well as the opportunity to perhaps work with other families.

If you do make the decision to hire a nanny, you should always make sure that you interview the nanny properly. Some parents will interview multiple nannies and actually test their childcare abilities with the child in question. There are a number of useful interview question guides on the internet that will help you decide the right questions to ask.

It's crucial to remember that the nanny who is hired will play a significant part in that child's life. Your child needs to feel comfortable and safe with their new nanny. Finally, always remember to carry out the appropriate checks. You should use a reputable company to make sure they carry out the necessary employment checks and references.