Find the Perfect Nanny – 6 Steps

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As an expat being away from your family, means you will most likely have limited access to reliable and free child care options and you will most likely find yourself in a position where you are looking for a nanny, or some form of child care and this exercise can be anywhere from easy to extremely difficult, especially being new to the rules of the land, and in most cases not being able to speak the language. In order to ensure that you make the right decision and find a perfect fit for your family, here are a few steps to get you through.



Step 1 – Define clearly exactly what you want

With most things the first steps start with knowing what you want, do you require a nanny that is older or younger, speaks another language, has some form of child care qualifications or shares similar religious beliefs to your family, remember consistency is very important for the development of your child, so you want someone who echoes the beliefs and parenting philosophy of your family to ensure consistency in parenting. A nanny should be an extension of the parents and not a replacement, and as such be clear on what characters, what foundation and what skills you want imparted into your child and to ensure consistency, make a list of these attributes, and find someone who satisfies this. Remember, the first 3 years of a child’s life form a solid foundation on how they view themselves, others and the world around them.


Step 2 – How much can you afford to pay your Nanny

The next step would be to decide how much you can afford to pay and please remember although the best things aren’t always the most expensive you should also appreciate that finding a highly qualified nanny who ticks every box in a long list of requirements could come at a cost. Therefore, a good start would be to research the average cost of a nanny in your city, nowadays this is not always hard to find with different social media groups for parents such as “Amsterdam mamas” you can ask other Expats who have successfully found a nanny how much they pay. It would also be beneficial to check the employment law in your country to ensure you are in line with the minimum wage requirements.

Step 3 – Looking by yourself vs Using an Agency.

Deciding between looking for a nanny by yourself or going through an agency depends very much on how much time you have. As an expat in a new city it can often be daunting to find the right nanny for your family due to not being familiar with your new location, therefore if you are choosing to go at it by yourself the best place to start is by contacting other mothers residing in your new destination. This can be done via social media networks or other online forums where most likely someone previously in your position has asked the same question and been provided with helpful information that could also be beneficial to you. If searching via Google, you should consider searching as a nanny for example “Nanny looking for a job” as this search result will most likely provide you with potential nannies who are currently looking for a job, as opposed to searching as a family e.g “Looking for a nanny for my family” which prioritises results of parents who have asked a similar question. If you decide on going through an Agency this can still be approached the same way, by approaching other families through Social networking groups or forums who have decided to use an agency, and finding out their experience. Extensively read through the website of the agency and identify a consistency between your wants as a parent and the values communicated by the agency, because most likely an agency who shares the same values as you will know how to find candidates who satisfy these values. It is also advised to read testimonials and reviews given by other families who have made use of the agency.

Step 4 – Interview

After you have a few candidates identified the next step will be to interview these candidates to ensure you find a nanny who is a perfect fit for your family. You can find some interview questions online which can be adapted to ensure you confirm the nanny’s expertise and experience matches the requirements of your family. If you decide to use an agency, ensure you are given the chance to interview any candidates brought forward by the agency.

Step 5 – Security and Reference check

I believe this is the most important step as it directly affects the safety of your child, I always say you wouldn’t hand over your most valuable material possession to just anybody without knowing and trusting them, so how much more your child. At Knufflesitters we do not prioritise anything over the safety of the children in our care, and as such we advise that whether you are going at it on your own or you decide to use an agency, always ensure that a criminal background check is carried out before you place the safety of your child in the hands of someone. Also a reference check allows you to confirm your candidate’s professional suitability to the role. We advise you ask for at least 2 references from the candidate. This also applies to working with agencies, ensure any agency you work with carries out a security and reference check on any candidate brought forward and don’t be afraid to ask for proof of this. As with most things SAFETY FIRST.

Step 6 – Trial

And finally, when you think you have found the perfect nanny for your family, schedule for the nanny to meet your child. Don’t forget this whole process is indeed for your child and you want to find a nanny who clicks and connects well with your child and your family. Hopefully after all this you would have found the perfect nanny for you and your family



By Dozie Nwogbe

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