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How to Spot Potential Problems with Your New Nanny

2017 June 15

Hiring a new nanny for your children can be a stressful experience. Whether you’re hiring a replacement or hiring your first nanny, this can be a trying time for you and your children as you go through numerous interviews to find the perfect nanny for your family.

During interviews and the initial induction period, it’s important to be on the lookout for any red-flags about your new nanny and their behaviour to avoid a constant stream of new nannies in your children’s lives.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you spot any negative traits when looking for a new nanny.

Responsible Driving

Whilst your nanny’s primary job isn’t to chauffer your children to and fro, if driving is a part of their job it’s important to know that they can do so safely.

Take time to check the driving history of all applicants to see if they have a clean driving license. Other, smaller but still important factors can be monitoring to see if your nanny wears a seatbelt when she gets in a car or if she answers her phone whilst driving.

Both are serious problems as they pose major safety risks whilst also setting a bad example for your children.


If you cannot trust your nanny, your working relationship will not survive. A large part of this is based on gut instinct, but there are also signs that you can watch out for. Does your nanny talk to you about her previous employer, providing personal details or rumours that she has no right to share? If so, take care as it may indicate a likeliness for her to do the same about you.

It might also be a good idea to search for your applicant’s social media profiles, as these may reveal more about their personal character than a short interview.

Constant Texting/Social Media Use

In the age of social media, it seems that everyone is constantly glued to their phones. However, excessive phone use and childcare don’t mix. Paying attention to a text or social media alert instead of the child in your care could lead to a serious mistake or accident, which is why it’s important to monitor how often your nanny is using her phone.

During the interview, pay attention to where your nanny places her phone. Does she leave it out in front of her so that she can check messages or does she put it away and focus on you? Does she only correspond with you via text message before or after the interview?

Whilst your nanny could be checking something important, it’s essential that your policy on phone use is communicated clearly.

Media Usage

There’s nothing wrong with your nanny watching her favourite tv show whilst the children are napping or listening to music whilst making dinner. However, it’s important to ensure that whatever is playing is child appropriate.

Again, you need to sit down with your nanny or nanny candidate and explain your rules and what you expect from them.

As always, finding the perfect nanny for your family is all about communication and research. Pay attention to the person you are interviewing, note down any red-flags, investigate them further and make your rules and concerns clear from the start.

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