Interviewing a nanny is the most important step in the nanny hiring process. You want to make sure you know as much as you can about the nanny before hiring her(or him). TLC for Kids pre-screens and interviews every nanny before they are sent out on an interview with a family. Hiring a professional nanny agency to do this work saves the family valuable time.
During a family and nanny interview the family wants to take the time to ask both work related and childcare related questions. Here are the top interview questions every family should ask a nanny. Remember to write down the answers so you can refer back to them when making your hiring decision.
1. Why do you want to be a nanny?
2. Tell me about your previous childcare jobs. What was the last job you had?
3. What are your strong points when working with children?
4. What would you do with my child/children on a typical day?
5. What characteristics are you looking for in a family?
6. How would you soothe a crying baby? Toddler?
7. What’s your philosophy on discipline? Does it change as kids get older?
8. How would you handle an emergency?
9. Have you taken any childcare related courses?
10. What TV viewing habits or screen time do you think children should have?
Keep the focus of the interview on the nanny and the job requirements. Once you have decided on a candidate you can negotiate salary and benefits.
TLC for Kids has been placing nannies in Missouri and Florida for 30 years. To learn more about our agency and what we can do for you visit our website tlcforkids.com.
Another month for our “Three minute Q and A with TLC nannies.” Each month we are bringing you some great Q and A with our nannies so they can share some info and insight about the nanny profession and educate others on some of the fun aspects of the job. This month we interviewed Maria. Maria is one of the temporary nannies on our babysitting staff.
1) Why did you apply with TLC? I was working as a substitute teacher in St. Charles County and there was a huge influx of retired teachers that entered the substitute teacher pool. My income was affected by this sudden change in the market. My sister was using TLC when family members could not help her and she suggested that I look into getting on board. My sister seemed very happy with the babysitters that had come to her assistance and I decided to apply.
2) What do like best about working with children and families? I love challenging children to use their imaginations and to pretend play. I took a course on “How We Learn” and pretend play is the best way to hone learning, problem solving, communication and creative skills.
3) What is your long-term career goal? When I am not babysitting, I am a touring actress for my own children’s theater company as well a touring actress for a murder mystery dinner theater company. I am living my dream come true. Working for TLC, keeps me grounded in reality and allows me to encourage others to pursue their dreams.
4) What is your go to ice breaker when you are meeting a new child? I try to make sure that I know the child’s interests going in. I bring up early upon first meeting that I have brought something that is in line with the child’s interest. I also include them in the conversation early on.
5) Do you a favorite organization or person you follow on Social Media that is childcare related? No specific entity. I work with Children’s Librarians throughout the Midwest, since they are a major client of my children’s theater company and we are constantly swapping ideas.
Are you looking to hire a nanny? TLC for Kids has full time and part time nannies available in St. Louis, Mo. and Florida! Through our extensive screening and hiring process, we always have access to a pool of highly qualified, skilled, and trained caregivers for all of your needs. Just complete these simple steps, and you’ll be matched up with your perfect nanny in no time!
- Complete our TLC Parent Application Form and Services Agreement – and pay your search fee. Please fill out the form in as much detail as possible!
- Talk to a TLC staff member about your application, what you’re looking for, and the procedures in place to help you get what you need. We will also provide you with the necessary paperwork to become a household employer, as well as guidance for creating and maintaining a positive relationship with your nanny.
- Interview nanny candidates. We will work with you to schedule interviews in your home, and will provide suggested interview questions. Remember, we also screen all candidates through in-person interviews, reference checks, background checks, and more. Our expert placement counselors only connect you with candidates who fulfill your requirements and qualifications.
- Make an offer and negotiate salary and benefits – again, with our guidance along the way!
- Complete remaining paperwork such as an “intent to hire” form and a Nanny Employment Agreement, and submit a Placement Fee to secure your nanny’s position.
Remember, this process takes between 2 and 6 weeks, and you are under no obligation to hire any caregiver we send you. You should also know that once you hire a nanny, the first 10 weeks (two weeks during summertime) are considered a probationary period. If you or your new nanny are not satisfied with the match, TLC will start a new search at no additional fee. It really is that simple!
Health insurance is a big concern for nannies, especially single nannies. TLC for Kids has found that nannies are looking for health insurance as part of their full time job compensation package. Offering health insurance to a nanny is possible and a tax free benefit! Saving both the family and the nanny money!
Here is a blog from Regarding Nannies on the best practices of nanny health insurance.
Q. What does the family need to do regarding documentation to keep the health insurance non-taxable?
A. A family needs to have evidence that the nanny actually HAS health insurance in place, and that the policy cost is equal to or greater than the stipend. The easiest way to do this is for the family to write the check for the stipend directly to the insurance carrier. If that is not possible or desired, the family needs to:
1. Obtain and retain a certificate of coverage that shows the period and amount of the premium. This needs to be up to date, so you may need to do this semi-annually or annually depending on the policy.
2. Either write a separate check for the stipend with the memo clearly stating the purpose (BC/BS POLICY NUMBER July 2013 for example) OR provide a pay stub to the nanny stating gross wages, itemized deductions, net pay, and the addition of the premium contribution to the net pay as a reimbursement item.
Q. What are the tax benefits to the family?
A. The health insurance premium stipend is not taxable wages. The employer does not include this in the employee’s taxable wages on the W-2 form, and does not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (7.65%) nor Federal or State Unemployment taxes on the premium (~3.5 – 4% depending on the situation).
Q. What are the tax benefits to the nanny?
A. Because the health insurance premium stipend is not taxable wages, the nanny does not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (7.65%) nor income taxes (variable, estimate 15% for Federal and state) on the premium stipend.
A. Are there any audit risks involved?
Q. The biggest risk is that the family is paying the stipend and the nanny allows the policy to lapse. Retroactively this would make the premium stipend taxable, and at that point the family would be on the hook for the employer and employee Social Security and Medicare taxes (15.3% total) as well as the unemployment taxes. This is why it is a best practice to make payments directly to the carrier.
A typical health insurance plan for a healthy single nanny can run $500 or more a month. This is $6000 a year. Many families offer a partial premium benefit at time of hire, and will discuss picking up more in lieu of a raise when the compensation is reviewed.
A family who contributes $3000 a year saves approximately $330 in taxes (11% of the benefit!) and the nanny saves approximately $675 in taxes (about a week’s pay!).
As kids get older the needs of the family change. The family you are working for no longer need you to plan play dates, work on gross motor skills, and work on imaginative play. Instead you are needed for house organizing, chauffeuring duties, and homework help. TLC For Kids places nannies in full-time Household Manager positions.
I came across these tips from the Regardingnannies.com blog.
Understand that you won’t be punching a time clock. While you may be used to starting when the parents leave in the morning and being done when they come home, the role of a Household Manager isn’t so black and white. An urgent repair may require a vendor call at 7 am, a delivery may have truck trouble or get stuck in traffic, and will now arrive at 8 pm. It all requires flexibility, lots of patience, and the ability to think quickly, problem solve and multitask. If you work more than forty hours in the work week you will be compensated for overtime.
Be Organized. Keeping an accurate and detailed calendar is a must. I keep a paper calendar for quick reference on my desk, as well as notes on what tasks were completed that day, follow ups to be done and general notes to self. I also utilize Gmail and their calendar is great as it syncs with my cell phone and I can color code vendors, school, work and personal appointments. The capability to keep notes on the appointment is a plus as well. Technology is your friend! Get to know the latest apps available to help with organization, time management, note taking, mileage tracking and more.
Clearly define your work agreement. We highly recommend a detailed work agreement. Since you be doing childcare and household managing make sure the contract covers both. The contract should clearly define all of the responsibilities and include which role plays a priority in special circumstances, such as sick child, vacations, and inclement weather. Remember to be flexible. Not every day goes as planned.
If you are interested in learning more about Household Manager positions please contact us.