How to hire the perfect nanny for your child

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.

Figure out what you need.

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?

Set up some interviews

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.

Do the legwork

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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