If you’re a working parent, you already understand the struggle of juggling working on your business while taking care of toddlers and infants is like — and it’s far from being easy!
Whether you work from home or run a brick and mortar storefront, most entrepreneurs can benefit from investing in a nanny. According to Forbes, hiring a childcare professional might be the most important hire you’ll ever make with more than 1.3 million Americans identifying as childcare providers in the United States.
However, if you imagine the process to be as simple as having a Mary Poppins-esque professional arrive on your doorstep ready to take care of everyone and everything, well, let’s just say the reality won’t quite match up to that specific expectation.
Finding the right nanny requires putting in some time and energy to research and find a talented individual who’s the perfect fit for your needs. Putting childcare professionals on your payroll is also notorious for being a bit expensive, which causes some business owners to shy away from the process altogether.
If you know deep down that you genuinely need help to get your work-life balance on track but aren’t quite sold on the concept yet, ask yourself these three questions to determine what you need before you begin posting listings for childcare positions.
1. What are my needs and the needs of my family?
Before you begin researching for a nanny, strategize your specific needs. No small business owner’s situation is the same as another’s, and you will need to find a talented professional who understands your schedule as well as the needs of your children.
Here’s a quick checklist to cover:
- Will you need to hire a nanny full- or part-time?
- Do you need them in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings?
- Will they need to take your child to after-school activities and pick them up afterward? (If so, you will likely need the nanny to have a vehicle and a driver’s license. You may even request more information about their driving record too.)
- Do you want the nanny to help tutor your child or assist with homework?
- Is the nanny certified in CPR and first aid?
- Will the nanny need to help with non-childcare related tasks, such as running errands, making dinners, or helping clean around the house?
2. Should I conduct a background check?
Even if you have found someone you believe is the perfect nanny, don’t make them an employment offer without first interviewing them in-person and conducting a background check. It’s recommended that you meet with a potential childcare provider in-person three times before moving forward.
Your first meeting should be between you and the applicant only, where you talk to them more about their work experience and their work eligibility. During the second meeting, you can bring along the children and observe how they interact with the potential nanny as well as how that nanny interacts with them. The third and final meeting covers more details about the position including their daily responsibilities, pay and payment basis (whether that’s weekly, biweekly, or monthly), and benefits.
If everything checks out during the in-person interviews, you can then conduct a background check. As I mentioned earlier, information about their driving record should be included as well as any criminal history charges. You may also want to request references from previous families that you can call and speak to about the potential nanny.
3. What kind of paperwork should I file?
Once you’ve decided to hire a nanny and have provided them with a written employment agreement, your nanny will be considered domestically employed by you (the employer). As such, you’ll need to file paperwork with the government and your employee attesting to this fact. You will also need to pay half of Social Security and Medicare taxes, federal and state unemployment insurance, and cover them under your homeowner’s insurance policy in the event of an emergency within your home.
Hiring a nanny can be the best of both worlds, but you do need to consider these aspects before jumping in.
Have you hired a nanny? Where did you find them and what other tips do you have for other business owners? Drop us a note, we'd love to hear from you!
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Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @mycorporation.
Originally published March 27, 2012. Content updated March 20, 2018.