Lessons Learned On the Nanny Front

In an effort not to make the same set of mistakes twice, we’ve been doing a bit of research on the nanny front. I’m looking for ideas and tips on how to:

  • How to hire hire a nanny that’s a fit with the family?
  • How to integrate your nanny with your family?
  • How to quickly address any issues that might come up?
  • How to be patient when your nanny does something that drives you crazy, but isn’t something that endangers the kids?
  • How to come across as a normal family to your nanny, when really I’m learning that we are very particular about some things:  what the kids eat, TV, jumping on furniture, talking with respect, etc., etc.

I’ve found a couple of resources that are useful on this front:

  • Aunt Emma’s Blog:  The name doesn’t do it justice, but this is the rule book on what to do and not to do with respect to hiring, firing, and compensating your nanny.  It gets straight to the point and has no nonsense advice.
  • Nanny Network Parent Resources:  This one was helpful because they’ve posted a collection of articles from all over the web on the entire nanny process from requirements, interviews, initial days, keeping your nanny and taxes.
  • Short List of Government Links: No tips and tricks here, just a straight up list of government agencies and their forms that you will need to tackle when hiring a nanny.

Over the years, Canadian Living has run a couple of nanny related articles:

Canadian Living Tips:



  1. Many parents become overwhelmed when recruiting and screening nannies. Often this leads them to rely on a stereotypical idea of what makes the perfect nanny. But even though Mary Poppins may seem to have a lot to offer, parents require more that a spoon full of sugar and a song to meet their expectations.
    Although the recruiting and selection process can seem complicated, it is manageable when you break it into these smaller stages: telephone screening, resume review and the interview process.

    For more information and helpful tips please go to


    Janet MacDonald




  2. I am a (fully employed) nanny caring for three children. I’m responding to your email because I share your questions about choosing the right nanny. I am a writer, currently writing a book about children’s emotions in child care and a blog about my day to day wonderful experiences as a nanny with three beautiful children. In the spirit of good communication with my employers, they read my blog.

    You sound like an very organized mom who has a good sense of where to find child care resource information. Typically checklists to help a family find good child care don’t address values and beliefs.

    A good child care /family relationship calls for an ability to ‘hear’ each other. A nanny may love to watch tv herself, but she has to be able to understand her employer’s wish to limit tv – not just agree to follow instructions.

    All sorts of values and beliefs guide how a caregiver or nanny will ultimately impact on your family…Nannies and caregivers don’t have to have the same values – but they do have to appreciate where each other is coming from……Somehow, for a good family match, selection of a nanny has to include exploring values and beliefs. These are values and beliefs that will influence your children.
    I wish you well in your search 🙂



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