Finding the Perfect Nanny Part 2 {Child Care Series}

We have a nanny.  She’s been with us since Preston was 3 months old when I returned to my 8-5 job in the medical field.  Those who know me know that I adore my nanny, and I’ll do just about anything not to lose her.   We are blessed, and we completely lucked out in finding our little gem of a nanny – who has affectionately been named “Ya-Ya!”

I often get asked how I found my nanny. In fact, I still have an e-mail in my inbox from when this sweet little mommy and fellow contributor e-mailed me and asked for advice on finding a nanny. So just like she shared her tips on finding the perfect nanny, I’m now sharing my experience in finding ours.  This is by no means professional advice.  Just the steps I took in locating and landing our nanny.

Finding the Perfect Nanny Part 2{Click image above for more posts within the series.}

1) Word of Mouth ::

The best advice I can give is ask, talk to, and pick the brain of your friends and your acquaintances.  Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a nanny, in my opinion.  There is no greater reference than a friend who has a beloved nanny that he or she recommends.

If you’re a member of a church, most definitely ask around there.  Chances are Sunday nursery workers might be available during the week, and if not – they might just know someone who is.

This is exactly how I found our nanny.  Months before I was due {and knowing about Preston’s heart condition}, I started asking around about nanny references.  I wrote down every name and every number given to me in a little Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake notepad.  By the time Preston was born, I had a nice little list of at least 12-15 names.

My second day home from the hospital with Preston, our cleaning company came in to deep clean our house.  The young lady who supervised the cleaning crew asked if I might need a nanny.  To be honest, I was a little annoyed that she kept talking to me – I was feeling a little overwhelmed and was trying to get the whole breastfeeding thing down – but I wrote down the name and number she gave me.  And guess what? That turned out to be the name and number of Preston’s beloved nanny.

2) Utilize technology ::

Along those same lines, use this wonderful technology we have been blessed with.  Use social media, use the internet, use Facebook, seek out nannies on your local or neighborhood moms group.  I looked at Sittercity for a while {they offer a free trial period}, but I never contacted any of the nannies on the site mostly because our list was adequate and I felt good about the ones I spoke to and interviewed.

3)  Interview, Interview, Interview ::

Now what?  What to do with those lists of names? About 6 weeks into my maternity leave and with about 6 weeks left, I started making my way through the list by calling each number.  I will say about half of the names and numbers were already working and not interested in looking for new work.  I easily became discouraged.  There were maybe five or six from the whole list who would be available when I was looking to hire and who seemed interested. I asked them a series of a few questions over the phone.  Questions varied but were mostly basic questions about 1) their experience 2) CPR certification 3) languages spoken 4) reliable vehicle and 5) tell me a little about yourself.

Of the five or six that I interviewed over the phone, I arranged for three to come to my house for a face to face interview.

4) Trust your gut  ::

Of the three who came to my house for face to face interviews, I struggled between two – my nanny we currently have and another nanny who came heavily endorsed and recommend and had previous experience in dealing with a heart baby.  I didn’t completely fall in love with the highly recommended nanny, but I ended up offering her the job since she had previous experience in dealing with a heart baby.  After offering her the job and during the few days she was considering our offer, my stomach was in knots.  I did not feel at peace with our decision.   When she called to accept the position, she shared some personal information with me – information that ended up being a game changer for me and information that I actually asked about through a very open ended question during her interview.  I immediately withdrew my offer.  I called up our sweet little “Ya-Ya” and offered her the job right then and there.  She accepted without hesitation.  Moral of the story is – trust your own judgement and your gut.

5) Trust your pets ::

Looking back now, my husband and I will say that our dogs completely hired our nanny for us.  When our sweet “Ya-Ya” walked in for her interview, our dogs went crazy – good crazy.  They only act like that when my family shows up for a visit.  They did not react like this when the other two nannies came to our house.  So if you’re not sure what your gut is telling you then maybe you can trust your pets.

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Sadly, our nanny might not be with us come the fall as she is expecting a grandchild of her own! I’m beyond thrilled for her, though my heart aches about the thought of my children not seeing their sweet “Ya-Ya” most days of the week.  Their eyes light up when she arrives, and my son wakes up every morning asking if “Ya-Ya” is coming.  I tried to keep it together when she told me she might stay home to care for her own family, but as soon as she was out of the door, I collapsed at the kitchen table and cried my eyes out.  All that said, I realize that a nanny might not be for everyone, but it has worked so well for us.  When I count my blessings at night, I’m always sure to mention my nanny’s name.  I adore her and the way she cares for my family.

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Tiffanie, originally from East Texas, has called Houston home for over 10 years now. She and her husband met during undergraduate studies at Stephen F. Austin State University. They have one son, Preston {Jan 2011}, who was born with a very rare congenital heart condition and underwent a very successful open heart surgery at Houston's own Texas Children's Hospital when he was just two days old. In October 2013, Tiffanie welcomed a daughter, Hadley, into this world. She adores seeing life and this great city through the eyes of her children. She is a practicing physician assistant, passionate about Endocrinology and diabetes. Committed to connecting moms and families to all the fabulousness of this great city, Tiffanie started serving as our Sponsorship Coordinator in January 2014. Her days are now filled to the brim with taking care of her family, her patients, fielding sales calls, and scheduling sponsored posts. Her favorite pasttimes include drinking a full-bodied glass of red, retail therapy, a nice long run, and being near a beach - water soothes her.

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