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Pocketnannies Top Tips For Hiring a Nanny

All 3 of us at pocketnannies are Professional Nannies, we now have 21 years of combined experience and have worked with lots of families, over the years.. We’ve had our fair share of interviews to ensure we find the right families to work with. In particular when taking on temporary nanny roles which you might like to read more about here.


We’ve written a list of our top tips to help you when hiring a nanny from our experiences they are the things that we feel it’s most important to get right. Hiring a nanny is a big deal – not only are you letting somebody into your family home, you’re also asking your new nanny to take care of your children. You need to be able to communicate with your nanny effectively and also trust them, and vice versa. In order for this to happen we would recommend that you:

Go through an agency. It is advisable to use an agency when looking for a nanny, primarily because most agencies now vet all of the nannies on their books. You will find more professional nannies use an agency and will have already had background checks etc. They will need up to date first aid certificates, training and / or experience and will have had to be checked using the DBS system. Whilst we know it’s more expensive to use a nanny agency it does give you more piece of mind, than if you post an advert on gumtree for example. You may find you have a huge number of applications which just aren’t what you’re looking for, where as the agency will have a certain level of expectations in their nannies and will be able to recommend suitable candidates for you.

Think of your top priorities that you need from your nanny – do you need flexibility in your nanny? Do you need a live in or live out nanny? Do you need somebody who can also tutor your child/ren. Do you need somebody who will proxy parent, if you have to travel with work? Would you prefer a nanny with years of experience who is older or a younger candidate, with less experience who you can perhaps mould a little more to your needs? If you are heading back to work after maternity leave you probably need someone who can hit the ground running. Where as you may find a Mother’s help role will suit you better if you are around and don’t need somebody to take sole charge of your child(ren). Perhaps you need somebody who does speak another language because there are multiple languages spoken at home? The list of high priorities will be personal to your family and your families needs, but we think it’s vital that you discuss this at great length with your parter, so that you know what you are looking for in a nanny.

Prepare a set of questions for the perspective nannies that you interview. But also expect the nanny to ask you questions as well. The fit between a nanny and a family needs to be explored from both sides. Think along the lines of discipline / routines. Will the role be sole charge, or shared care? Who will be ‘in charge’ when both the nanny and parent(s) are around? Also what are the nanny’s thoughts on discipline, routine, what the nanny likes to do with children, what the nanny believes are her strengths and weaknesses within nannying.

Trust your instinct. You will probably just know if a nanny does or doesn’t fit in with your family. Go with your gut instinct and don’t waste time (yours and the perspective nannies), by arranging second interviews with nannies who aren’t suitable for the role. Employing a nanny can happen very quickly but equally nannies maybe snapped up quickly, so try not to dither too much but make sure that you are happy with the candidates you ask to interview to avoid having to interview too many.
Discuss the nannies salary in Gross rather than net. Nannies salaries were generally agreed in net, (per week), however to avoid any surprise costs to you as a family, it’s advised that you agree a gross salary, which is the amount you will need to pay your nanny before any deductions. Additional costs on top of the nannies salary will be national insurance and tax, as well as a pension allowance, and employers and public liability insurance. By using a company like Nannytax the HMRC responsibilities that you take on as an employer will be cared for.

Draw up a contract.

Before your nanny starts working for you it is imperative that you have signed a contract. This should outline the role you wish the nanny to take, house rules, hours, renumeration, holiday entitlement, sick pay, as well as termination and notice period and dismissal and disciplinary procedure etc. You can request more information on contracts from Nanny agencies and companies like Nannytax.

The last thing for us to say is good luck in looking for a nanny!

This article was written by pocketnannies for The Daisy Chain. If you would like us to write for you do get in touch our email address is

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