Selecting someone to become a new member of your family, a person you will trust imperatively, is no ordinary staffing issue.
You consider general criteria, like qualifications and experience, but more than anything, it is a personality fit. I realise this may seem strange, but much like dating, it is an intimate relationship on many levels.
Jo Macartney, one of the Recruitment Consultants at The Lady Recruits, at The Lady Magazine, tells me that many families find it difficult to articulate their ideal match. “I help guide them by asking about routines, their child’s likes/dislikes, and all manner of personal questions to create a clear picture of who they are”. The easy part is age, skills, etc, and I encourage parents to consider candidates who don’t always tick all of the boxes, however, for other reasons would complement their parenting and lifestyle”.
I know this to be true. I have been told by an employer I was chosen not because I had a childcare qualification (I studied Business at University), rather, my philosophy on child development and ability to convey to them I would always have the interest of their child as my highest priority.
I also believe the fundamental ingredients of love, lots of cuddles, intelligence, and a healthy dose of common sense is necessary. And humour. Lots of it.
I once ran out of nappies and thought I could wing it for the drive home. However, Master R’s toilet habits did not coincide with my calculations and I found myself in a busy car park stripping his clothes as it was more than a gentle wee that had exploded from his body.
I managed to fashion an improvised nappy from a small towel I kept in the car and sang songs about “pooey” boys, and “smelly” bottoms to distract him from the discomfort of being buckled in a child seat almost naked. We survived. And sometimes that is all a nanny, and a parent, can hope for.
The variables of working with children are almost infinite so if you think more openly you might just find a special nanny with imagination and creativity with whom your child may have a magical relationship for life.