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The Better Nanny Guide

Top Ten Tips
 
During tough economic times, sometimes the nanny is an added expense that parents can no longer afford. If you find yourself in the predicament of having to find a new family to work for, here's a refresher course on ways to impress prospective families.
 
1.)    Make sure you have updated certification in CPR and First Aid skills. If you don't have recent training in these areas, some other nanny will.
 
2.)    Be extra prepared by having nanny work agreement forms. At www.nannynetwork.com, you can download copies for free, both for live-in nannies and live-out nannies. The agreements prevent misunderstandings, and are beneficial to both the nanny and the employer. Compensation, mileage, phone privileges, and holidays are all written down so as to prevent disagreements down the road.
 
3.)    Order a copy of your driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles to prove your record of safety.
 
4.)    Have three relevant references at the ready to vouch for you.
 
5.)    At the time of interview, if the topic of "nanny cams" comes up, welcome the parents to use them. Tell them that you understand their desire to protect their children, and that you welcome them taping you because they will see you at your professional best.
 
6.)    Show initiative. Tell the employer that you want to schedule meetings weekly to discuss any behavioral concerns regarding the children, and the kind of activities that may benefit the children.
 
7.)    Offer to do light housework during the hours the children attend pre-school/school.
 
8.)    Consider offering to work the first two days for free, with no strings attached, to give them a trial period. If you are a good fit, you will seal the deal with a family who was otherwise unsure about who to hire from a pool of applicants.
 
9.)    In a small portfolio, explain the kinds of activities or unique games that you like to play with children to encourage their growth and learning. This reflects well on your creativity and passion for the profession. Display any of your own educational achievements as well.
 
10.) Lastly, be yourself. People can spot a phony from a mile away, and don't want to hire one. Parents want to hire a human being, not someone who memorized a script to get hired.

By Michelle Simmons
Get Nanny Jobs, Contributing Editor

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