One of the great joys of having the privilege to pair childcare providers with amazing, interesting families is seeing that moment that I like to call the “click”. So often I am told “we know what we are looking for” or “I know what type of family I work best with” but just like any match, the best ones are made when we make that unique human connection. I recently had the pleasure of placing an amazing nanny with a wonderful family in San Francisco. Both had previous experience of household childcare and were fairly adamant they knew what they wanted but when this nanny was presented something unexpected happened. She didn’t tick all the boxes. She didn’t meet all the requirements. But for my recruiter and I, something in our gut told us that this match would work. Our team had taken the time to get to know nanny and family and I am grateful and humbled that the family not only listened to my advice but moved forward with the meeting. The nanny was a little apprehensive as it was not her regular type of set up but the kids hit it off with her immediately and our team was able to successfully help through the entire process.
What makes a successful placement? I believe the true answer is open and honest communication as well as open mindedness. Be open to finding that rare person who fits perfectly within your family & not someone who just looks great on paper. Be honest about what you really want in a nanny. Do you really want someone who is college educated or do you need a nanny that has a knowledge and understanding of your child(ren’s) academic life and the experience to help them through that process? A nanny that can help with homework and also take educational trips around town to broaden your child’s experiences and mind set. My goal is to always find that magic touch with every placement and I have been fortunate to have an amazing team that supports this vision. It’s not always easy and families have to work hard with their nannies to build a successful partnership but for those who are willing to put in the work, the magic shines through. Some tips that I always share during the interview stage:
- Keep in mind not to limit a particular type of nanny because of a bad experience in the past. For instance, I have had many families ask for their nanny to fall within a specific age range (i.e “Mature”). They have asked for this specification because in the past they had a poor experience with a younger nanny not being mature. I can say that I have paired many mature, young nannies with families that have had terrific on-going relationships!
- If you have the opportunity, have your child present during a portion of the interview to see how the nanny interacts/engages. That is where the “click” usually takes place.
- Ask open-ended questions during the interview, rather than yes/no questions. It will really help to open up the nanny and see what she is about.
In the end, we always remind ourselves that matching great families with great nannies is a process, and one that all parties must be committed to working on. Keeping children happy and enriched is the ultimate goal so finding “the click” is ALWAYS worth it.