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December 21st, 2012

There are many different types of nanny and the choice that you make will depend on many factors such as the age of your children, your work schedule, how much you want your nanny to be a part of the family, and the size and layout of your house. When choosing a nanny there are three questions to ask yourself.

  1. Do you need a full time or part time nanny? If both parents are working full time and you have young babies or preschool children, you will probably need a full time nanny. A full time nanny will work between ten and twelve hours, five days a week. As well as taking care of your children and planning activities with them, a full time nanny’s duties would usually include preparing meals and some laundry or housework. If you only work part time or if, for example, your parents are happy to look after the children for a couple of days a week, you many only need a part time nanny. Part time nannies work for anything from one to three days per week, and again will work for ten to twelve hours a day. Their duties are generally the same as for a full time nanny. A third option if you have school age children is to employ an after-school nanny. After-school nannies work between three and five hours a day and many study part time with student visas meaning they can only work 20 hours per week. An after-school nanny will pick up from school, prepare meals for the children or the whole family, help with homework, and arrange extra-curricular activities such as swimming, sports clubs, or dancing. Good after-school nannies are in high demand so try to provide 15-20 hours work to make sure you keep hold of them.
  2. Do you want a live-in or live-out nanny? If you’re planning to employ a full time nanny your next decision will be whether to choose a live-in or live-out nanny.  To employ a live-in nanny you will need to have a spare bedroom and ideally a spare bathroom that they can have sole use of. A live-in nanny is paid less than a live-out nanny but there are other costs to consider such as food, utility bills, and insurance on the family car. A live-in nanny will really become part of the family and will usually eat with the children.  They will live their personal life in your home so they may have friends to visit. Some people love their nanny to be part of the family, while others prefer the businesslike arrangement of a live-out nanny who will just work their hours and then leave so they don’t become so personally involved with the family. A live in-nanny can often be more flexible about working hours, and would be the ideal choice if you have unusual or unpredictable working hours. However a live-in nanny should also have agreed working hours and shouldn’t be expected to be on duty whenever they are at home.
  3. Should your nanny have any specific skills? If you’re raising your children as bilingual it’s a great idea to employ a nanny that speaks their second language. If your nanny only speaks to the children in that language they’ll quickly pick it up and communicating in that language will become second nature. Other special skills you might want in a nanny include specific experience in looking after twins, or the ability to combine housekeeping or PA skills with childcare. Once you’ve answered these three questions, you should be in a position to start looking for the right nanny to suit your family’s needs, whatever they may be.
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