Picture yourself: a first-time mother or father, looking for that special someone to welcome into their family and trust with her child. Or maybe you’re a more experienced parent but have had some bad luck with nannies or babysitters in the past. Whatever a situation may be, we can all agree that a child is one’s most prized possession. No wonder why people want to trust someone fully before giving him or her the sacred responsibility of helping to raise their child. If you can’t trust someone, then how could you go about your workday without worrying yourself into a frenzy?
So where does one find this trust? Of-course it doesn’t come easily. Especially if it has been broken in the past and, unfortunately, there are people in this world that shouldn’t be trusted to care for children. This, my friends, is why childcare has (or should have) one of the most in-depth and extensive screening processes. Personally, I know people that have a great education and intelligence, but I wouldn’t necessarily trust them with my child. Someone can look great on paper but it takes some very specific qualities to be a competent and trustworthy caregiver.
One of the most critical steps in the screening process for nannies/mannies is reliable professional references. More specifically, professional childcare references. The fact that you may have been employed at the local department store does nothing for a concerned parent looking for qualified care. People need to hear from other people, first handedly, about the quality of care that you have provided to that person. Consider this, wouldn’t you rather trust a personal recommendation from someone rather than an advertisement? It’s a second opinion, a testimonial, a personal recommendation. Whatever you want to call it; it makes all the difference when making an investment in a child’s future.
Don’t forget to look at the screening process as a very important step in trust and communication; view it from a parent’s perspective and be on top of your reference game!
This leads me to the main theme of this blog; the importance of having reachable references. After all, what is the point of having all of this great experience under your belt if your potential employer can’t even get ahold of your references? In the past, I have been in charge of Childcare reference checking myself and sometimes it can just be unbelievably hard to get ahold of these people. It is not always their fault, however. Communication is key. Communication between candidates and their previous employers as well as communication between candidates and their prospective employers. Meaning, you need to ensure that you tell your previous employers what time to expect a call. Equally important, don’t forget to tell a potential employer which time they need to make that call. The rest is up to those in charge of checking references!
Yes, being a nanny is undoubtedly a demanding, entertaining and rewarding profession that allows for great fun and creativity. Don’t forget to look at the screening process as a very important step in trust and communication; view it from a parent’s perspective and be on top of your reference game!