Need a Summer Nanny? Here are 5 Things to Think About
Hiring a summer nanny can be more complicated than recruiting for a regular nanny position. By definition, it’s a temporary gig - which might be off-putting for many professional child carers. Families looking for nannies during the summer often require a different set of skills, as the nanny will be taking care of older children who are on their school holidays, and the work can be more demanding. Also, the competition is fierce, as your need for a summer nanny is shared by most families, so finding good people isn’t always easy.
We’re here to help smooth the way to finding the perfect nanny for your family this summer. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will make the process easier to navigate.
1. Start Early
Our most important advice is this: don’t wait until the weather warms up to start your search for a summer nanny. You need to start looking in May! Any later, and the best childcare providers will have their summer work lined up. It’s a task that easy to procrastinate on, but don’t be tempted to put it off any longer. (Luckily, at Good People we already have some great summer candidates on our books, so feel free to contact us for a match!)
2. Create a clear job description
Consider your family’s specific needs and dynamics over the summer holidays. The best place to start in the recruitment process is with a very clear job description to help you find the best person for the job. To arrive at this, it helps to ask yourself certain questions:
What are the family’s logistical needs during the day?
Will the nanny need to take the children to and from summer activities? If you’re not within walking distance she will need a driver’s licence. Do you have a car that she can use? Or should she have one of her own?
What will her typical day look like?
Will she need to play with the children all day, planning visits to the local pool and playgrounds? Do your children need somebody to help them with any academic catch-up work over the holidays? Is her job purely based around childcare, or would you like her to pitch in with some light housekeeping as well?
What qualifications does she need to have?
Do you have a pool, and need to ensure the nanny is water-safe and CPR-trained? Would you like somebody who is a great cook, or who speaks more than one language?
These questions should help you craft a clear job description to aid you in your search.
3. Prepare well for the interview
“Don’t assume that because this is only a temporary post, the interview process isn’t just as important as for a full-time post,” says Lindy Claire, founder of Good People. “Once you have a shortlist of candidates, come up with a standard set of questions you can ask them.
Make sure your interview questions are open ended - giving a chance for the candidate to elaborate on her answers. So for example, rather than asking questions that would have simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, ask things like, ‘What was your typical day in your last nanny position?’ or ‘What would you do in X situation?’ These types of questions will help you get to know a candidate much better.”
At Good People we screen candidates - according to your needs - ahead of the interview process, and we help facilitate the interview, ensuring you get to ask the questions you need to.
4. Have the important conversations before you commit
Once you have chosen your successful candidate for your summer nanny job, be sure to discuss anything that might complicate your working relationship upfront with her. Particularly, discuss things like salary and time off, and set clear expectations for both parties.
If you plan to go on vacation during her time with you, will she be joining you? How will that arrangement work? Will she have paid time off if you go away without her? Does she have any commitments during the timeframe that you need to work around?
How accessible will you be during the day? Will you be working a full day, or stepping in during certain times of the day? Is she comfortable being left alone for long periods with the children? Likewise, would she be happy to withdraw and do something else during the hours you’re able to enjoy being with your children?
Clarity and open communication during the recruitment process is vital. These are all potential issues that, if discussed and ironed out at the beginning, will help to avoid tension later on.
5. Draw up a clear and binding contract
Once you’ve agreed your terms together and are ready to officially hire your nanny, finalise your hire with a contract. You can find templates for a nanny contract online, or trust an agency like Good People to draw one up for you and take care of onboarding your new summer nanny. In the contract you can include anything you like, from compensation and hours to your family’s social media policy.
Having an agreement in writing will allow you to sit back and relax, knowing that your summer is organised and you can cross that one off your worry list.