09 Sep When Should You Hire a Nanny? Every Family’s Decision Depends On Circumstances.
Hiring a nanny is a big decision. Is there a perfect time to make that decision? Like so many things in life, the answer is – it depends on a lot of variables.
If you’ve just had your first child and are going back to work in a few months, hiring a nanny to help make the transition smoother may be the ideal moment. Conversely, if you’re home with more than one child and another is on the way, it might finally be the time to get the extra help you’ve needed for a while now, but for a number of reasons decided against. Other factors influence the decision, too. Here, we outline some of those factors, but in the end, the best time to hire a nanny should be determined by only one thing: does it feel like the right time to you? If so, we hope Elite Nannies can assist in finding you the perfect candidate.
1. Is the timing right financially?
Having a child can place major stressors on a family’s financial situation. Depending on your income and cash flow, adding an employee to your list of expenses may cause additional stress, but it also allows parents to return to their careers after short-term parental leaves. That can mean higher income, and paying a nanny may not be burdensome, in the long run.
2. Are you comfortable with the idea of leaving your child with a caregiver?
The answer to this question is different for every parent. Some can’t imagine leaving their baby for hours at a time until their child is past their first birthday. For others, a few months is enough to make them at ease with the choice. Only you know if the idea of not seeing your baby or child for several hours at a stretch sits well with you. If it doesn’t, it’s best to hold off until you’re certain you can handle it.
3. How do your other children feel about it?
Chances are, if you’ve got two or more children, they’ve had babysitters at one time or another. But a nanny is much more than a babysitter! They sometimes live with their charges, and play a much larger role in the family system and structure. Having someone new under your roof changes the family dynamic, and it’s important that everyone is on board with the change. Many children are thrilled when a nanny moves in, because it increases the consistency of care they receive, and they have a chance to spend time with, and get to know well, the individual looking after them. Even if your new nanny does not share the family home, their role is still bigger, and often permanent, unlike a casual babysitter recruited from the neighborhood park
4. Do you have enough room for a live-in nanny?
On that note of shared living space, it’s important to ask yourself whether you have enough room to accommodate another adult living in your home. A live-in nanny doesn’t simply occupy a bedroom; they use the kitchen and ideally have an en-suite bathroom as well. Be realistic about how that arrangement might work, and consider whether a nanny who doesn’t live in might be a better solution.
5. Never rush – let that be your guiding principle.
It’s important to take your time when you start thinking of hiring a nanny. In fact, taking several months, weighing the decision from all sides, is vital if you are going to make the best decision possible for your family. If you know precisely how long you’ll be away from work, that gives you a framework, a schedule to go by when thinking it over. For example, if your baby is born in May and you’re planning to return to work in September, you should begin assessing candidates no later than mid-summer. That gives you plenty of opportunities to interview candidates and choose from a shortlist of qualified nannies.
6. Both partners (if applicable) need to agree it’s a great idea.
It may seem obvious that both parents should be on board, but sometimes one is not overly enthusiastic about the hiring, while the other is anxious to get the process underway. If your partner is reluctant, for any reason, to bring a nanny into your home, keep the dialogue going and give them lots of time to adjust to the idea. Sharing your space with a new person brings a lot of big changes, and it’s only fair that your partner is genuinely okay with it before going ahead.
All these factors play a role in deciding when it’s the perfect time to hire a nanny. Ultimately, however, your instincts will drive the decision, along with any pressing, practical considerations. For example, if you have three children under six at home, both of you have busy careers to attend to, and on top of that, you have to pay attention to each other, it’s highly likely you need a nanny as soon as possible!
But only you can decide when the time is right. Weigh the factors we’ve outlined here, talk it over a lot with your family, and see if everyone warms to the idea. Chances are, the notion of having a childcare professional close at hand will bring a welcome sense of relief and joy.