If you’re hiring a nanny, there are many qualities you want in a caregiver. Experience, skills, personality, trustworthiness, and responsibility may be factors in ultimately who you hire to look after your children while you’re at work. With those considerations in mind, hiring a mature nanny may make sense for your family.
Let’s get a couple of things out of the way first.
While federal discrimination laws may not necessarily apply to household employers (typically you need at least five employees or more to be applicable), they offer guidelines to ensure equal opportunity employment and help prevent discrimination. Bottom line… do not disregard a candidate solely because of their age.
Also, do not focus on age in the hiring process. You’re looking for the best fit for your family and the qualities you want most in a caregiver. That could be someone right out of college with no real experience or it could be an older nanny with lots of experience. And your young children likely won’t know the difference between a young or older nanny. They’re going to remember the nurturing they received.
Here are six reasons why hiring a mature nanny may be right for you.
1. Nannying is Their Profession
Someone new to nannying may consider it a “stop-gap” position until they find a “real job.” Remember you’re not hiring a babysitter. You’re bringing someone into your home on a regular basis who will develop bonds with your child and contribute to their growth and development. A nanny with their eye on their next gig may not be as invested in your children as someone who has made nannying their career. This is their profession and they have pride in their work the same way a traditional professional like a lawyer or doctor does in their practice.
Also, it may take a while to find the right nanny for your family. You’ll want that nanny to stay with your family for as long as possible so you don’t have to go through the hiring process again. That could be more likely with a mature nanny who is not looking to hop from job to job as opposed to someone new to the profession who sticks with it for a short time until a better opportunity comes along.
A mature nanny has also likely worked with many different types of families and will have the experience and knowledge to adapt their nannying style to fit your needs and preferences.
2. They Have Life Experiences
There are younger nannies who may see child care as a career choice. Perhaps they went to college and received a degree in early childhood education or a related field. They may have enthusiasm and new ideas for you in raising your children. That may be what you want. However, a seasoned nanny has something that no amount of schooling can provide … life experiences. Whether through raising their own kids or by caring for other children, older nannies have probably seen it all and would be able to handle most situations with grace and composure. For example, they may recognize an illness that can be treated at home from one that is more serious and would need medical attention. They may also have more “tricks up their sleeves” to entertain children rather than sit them down in front of a screen to keep them occupied. This could be attractive for younger families employing a nanny for their first-born child. Having that experience and advice to rely on can be a big benefit when hiring a mature nanny.
3. Providing Advice on Raising Children
Hiring a mature nanny could be intimidating for young parents. They may feel like they’re being judged by their nanny for their shortcomings or the nanny could be condescending on how the household is being run. Obviously, that type of personality is not helpful to have around the house. But as your bond with a mature nanny develops, they may feel comfortable sharing advice and childcare techniques. Maybe it’s an easier way to handle a temper tantrum or how to get a child down for a nap. Perhaps they notice something specific about your child that they think you should know about and how they would handle it. While your relationship is first and foremost professional, it’s no secret that a nanny becomes “part of the family.” That can mean gaining a trusted advisor, which can be invaluable for any family.
4. Anticipating Your Needs
An experienced nanny may see their role being more than simply childcare. While you’ll have a household employee work agreement that spells out exactly what you want your nanny to do, a mature nanny may go above and beyond to help their nanny family. Maybe they see laundry starting to pile up and decide to toss in a load to help you catch up. Or they help you prepare dinner after they sense you’ve had a rough day. You’ll want to set boundaries of what is okay for your nanny to do but, often, your nanny being proactive and handling these tasks can help make your house – and your life – run a bit more smoothly.
5. They’re More Settled in Their Own Life
We mentioned that a mature nanny may be more likely to stick with a job rather than jump at the next attractive opportunity. Part of that is mature nannies have already gone through many of their life changes. They’re probably not going back to school, getting married, moving because a spouse is relocating for a new job, or deciding to have a family of their own. That means you have a nanny who is focused on their work and could stick around for a while.
6. If a Mature Nanny is Good Enough for a Prince…
A few years ago, after Prince George was born, Prince William and Kate Middleton hired a 71-year-old nanny to help care for their new son. She also happened to be the nanny for Prince William and his brother Prince Harry. If a mature nanny is able to handle the pressure and demands of a royal family, they may be able to deal with whatever you and your children throw their way!
Other Consideration When Hiring a Mature Nanny
If you’re hiring a mature nanny, make sure they’re current with their certifications. CPR, for example, has changed over the years so you’ll want a nanny – young or experienced – to be well-versed in up-to-date techniques.
If you have active toddlers, you’ll want to make sure any nanny can keep up with them. Don’t necessarily discount an older caregiver – or judge them on their looks – as someone who can’t handle energetic children. With any nanny, you’ll want to observe them with your children for a period of time before making a hire. During that observation, you can determine whether a nanny has the physical attributes needed to care for your children. Perhaps during this time, you all go for a walk to the park or playground.
GTM Can Help
Whether going for a nanny right out of college or hiring a mature nanny, GTM can manage the administrative tasks that come with having a household employee. We’ll remove the risks, hassles, and worries from payroll, tax, insurance, and compliance so you’ll have more time in life for things you enjoy. Call (800) 929-9213 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert.
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