Candi Wingate says her two boys' nanny is both a role model and a lifesaver. "She helps simplify our life," says Wingate, who shares some tricks of the trade she has learned in her a new book, The Nanny Factor.
Some think nannies are used only by the wealthiest families, but Wingate says rising day care costs have made this a viable option, especially for parents with two or more kids.
We asked her to share three of her best tips.
Before you even start looking for a nanny, narrow down what you're looking for. Start with hours-full-time or just part-time helping out during certain hours. Do you want a live-in or a live-out? What are the responsibilities and duties going to be?
For the first meeting, Wingate suggests doing an interview at a neutral place like a coffee shop. If you like the nanny, bring her home for a second meeting with the children. Be sure to give her a few common situations that tend to come up in your household to see how she'd deal with them.
If the interview goes well, do a background check, call her references and draw up a contract. If time allows, do a test run or even a trial period. Leave a notebook handy for her to write questions that you can answer later.
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