1. Consensual surveillance

Discuss this with your nanny. Welcoming a stranger into your home to watch your children can be terrifying. Even though they will have passed an astringent background check and gone through an interviewing process, it’s likely you will still be a hot mess for the first week or so. Decide whether consensual surveillance is a deal breaker for you and how long you believe you would like to use it. See both pros and cons to using a nanny cam here.

2. Employee vs friend

Be kind and compassionate but firm with clear boundaries. Nothing is messier than an employer-employee relationship with unclear boundaries. To avoid this, be upfront about your boundaries with your new nanny from the very beginning. Boundaries should be discussed in the interview and periodically through your working relationship.

3. Probationary period

Consider having a period of time to get to know your nanny and have a set plan to break up if it’s not working. Discuss this beforehand to defuse tension. You could agree to a period of a couple weeks or a few months. Check out these ideas to help you develop a plan if the relationship doesn’t work.

4. Your needs

Be sure that there are clear boundaries and guidelines that are thoroughly discussed to avoid any miscommunication. Ask your nanny often if they have any questions or anything they would like to talk about. You want to be sure that your nanny feels comfortable enough with you to clarify. As tempting as it may be sometimes, don’t ask your nanny to do a bunch of odd ball stuff out of nowhere. If you need a housekeeper or helper, be clear about that from the beginning. If you really do start to need the help, discuss this ahead of time and provide additional compensation.

5. The opinions of previous employers

This is when you will have to tap into your instincts. Pay careful attention to the tone of the previous employer and ask questions that will give you an idea of any potential problem areas. Here you can find a list of what previous employers can legally disclose.

6. Be decisive

Good work goes fast. Make a list of your needs and preferences and begin to narrow down your selection pool. Narrow the pool even further by going with your gut. Then arrange interviews with this newly narrowed pool. While this process is extremely important and should be carried out very quickly, it shouldn’t take you weeks on end. It would be a true shame for you to go through all that work, only to have your dream nanny hired the day before you make your final decision!

7. Discuss benefits

During the interview, you will want to make yourself very clear on the needs of your nanny and what you are able to provide. Most benefits are very basic but that will be for you and your new nanny to decide.