Our babies are so precious and invaluable to us. It is understandable why making the decision of finding a nanny for twins or more can seem overwhelmingly daunting.
Amanda is founder of The Nanny Balance, a Brisbane based childcare solutions agency specialising in nanny and au pair connections Australia wide.
She is going to lighten that load by running through some questions you may have been pondering in your consideration of employing a nanny for twins or more.
Where to start when looking for a nanny for twins or more?
The most important place to start is to knuckle down and work out what it is your family needs in a potential nanny. I like to call this a Family Needs Assessment. Essentially answering a list of questions to determine what it is you require in regard to support. And what style of carer is going to best suit your family.
Some questions may include:
- What are our care requirements?
- What will our relationship with our nanny look like?
- Am I looking for a mothers helper or a sole charge nanny?
- What is our family budget?
- What is our parenting philosophy?
- Do we have any deal breakers?
By the time you complete your family needs assessment you will know exactly what you want and what you need in your nanny for twins or more. Some questions will likely pop up in this process that are unique to your family. Make note of these to ask your candidates in an interview.
What credentials should I be looking for in my candidates?
In Australia, it is mandatory that all childcare providers have a current Working With Children Check, also known as a Blue Card. This check proves eligibility for working with children, and will divulge any charges or convictions for any Australia based offences including child related offences whether charges were laid or not.
A current First Aid and CPR certificate is imperative for your candidates to hold. Keep in mind a First Aid certificate is valid for 3 years however the CPR component is valid for only 1 year.
Australian citizenship or permanent residency is important should you be looking for a long term contracted nanny.
Paid experience caring for children. More importantly, experience caring for multiples, caring for the age group associated with your twins or triplets, sole care experience if you are not going to be around to supervise.
In the event of requiring your nanny to transport the children to places, your candidates will require a valid drivers licence, a clean driving record, and a reliable vehicle.
Can I just pay my nanny cash in the hand?
The only scenario where cash in the hand would be deemed legal and fair is if your nanny were more of a casual babysitter who worked a low number of hours, and the ATO considered this work to be of a hobby in nature.
The most common employment model is engaging your nanny as a domestic employee under the Miscellaneous Award 2020. You can decide whether you employ your nanny casually, or on a permanent part time or full time basis. Pay rates can be found within the award document which you can find here:
Keep in mind the different entitlements required are dependent on your selected set up.
Alternatively, should your nanny meet the ATO requirements as a contractor, they can operate as a sole trader under their own ABN, and invoice you as their client. Often a contractors rate is higher than that of an employee, as the rate takes into consideration the entitlements they do not receive.
I strongly encourage you to explore the Miscellaneous Award document, understand your employer expectations. Do up a budget to determine affordability before you launch an ad campaign to find your perfect caregiver.
What can I do to prepare for a successful, long term working relationship with my nanny for twins or more?
Many underestimate or overlook the importance of a healthy nanny-parent relationship. This relationship should not be compared to a typical employer-employee relationship, as a nanny holds quite a distinctive position.
Set boundaries and expectations in the beginning – try not to chop and change expectations without notice, or without pre approval from your nanny. Include all of this in a working agreement, and review or revise when necessary.
Decide how you want your working relationship with your nanny to be. Such as strictly business, like an adopted family member, or somewhere in between. Decide how you want to manage your nanny. Do they have full autonomy in their role or will you be taking control of their daily routine? Set this relationship out clearly from day one and remain consistent in your dealings.
Be open and approachable in regards to communication. Agree to how you will communicate in the beginning and stick to it eg. text messages, emails, face to face. Check in periodically to ensure everyone is happy and all needs are being met. This could be a formal quarterly review or as simple as a text message. Maintain a communication diary to remain connected and across your childs developments.
Most importantly……… if you have a concern, put the kettle on and raise it.
That was a lot of information, I know! The point I am wanting to drive home is just how imperative it is to do your research to best prepare yourself for a successful nanny hunt, and long term working relationship with them.
The right nanny for twins or more is like finding gold. It is worth the time and effort in the beginning.
For more information feel free to reach out to Amanda at [email protected].