Hired help

Finding the right nanny can be a challenge. Dina Maaty has some advice.

Hired help

One of the most common questions among Doha families is: “How do I find a good nanny?” Not only does she help you take care of your family, but a nanny becomes part of it. So ensuring you’ve chosen the perfect one is essential, making the process of searching for one seem daunting and overwhelming.

Kids’ home care expert Angelica Robinson of the app Play:Date has ten years of experience in caring for children and training nannies in both the Middle East and the UK. She says that when searching for the right fit, clarity is key. She says that sometimes, what you want and what you need in terms of childcare support can be very different. So it’s important to figure out details such as hours and responsibilities from the start.

“A degree of flexibility is required in any job, but if you hire a nanny to look after your kids, and then constantly change her hours and responsibilities, she may feel unsettled and uncertain about her role and job,” Robinson says.

Consider the requirements
The first thing to keep in mind is to be clear. Consider what the role entails before you search and hire. Think of the number of hours you will require a nanny to work, the salary and living arrangements. Only then should you start putting together a job description that you can later share with your nanny. “The best place to search is within your own community or friendship circle,” Robinson says. “Ask for recommendations or consider nannies who hail from your native country if you have a trusted source or family member who could help you with the process.

“Posting ads in shopping centres or Facebook groups may also help, but if time isn’t on your side, you can choose a reputable agency to do the hard work for you.” For a one-off fee of around QR10,000, (depending on the nationality of the nanny), they will find your perfect fit.

The interview process
So what do you talk about in the interview? Start with a phone call, and if you’re happy, arrange a second interview in person. You can chat with the candidate about their previous experience, strengths, and why they believe they’re the best choice for the role.

“You’ll encounter some nannies with better experience than others. Some will have worked in Qatar longer, speak good English or Arabic, be able to cook, swim and drive. Ideally, you’ll have a salary bracket in mind when hiring, so you have a maximum for the more advanced candidates. The best nannies are in demand, so try to be flexible in terms of salary for the person who will care for your kids,” Robinson advises.

The importance of experience
Words like “qualifications” make us think about references, which in tern make us feel more comfortable. Experts say it’s not advisable to hire a nanny who doesn’t have previous experience working with babies or children. Ideally, a minimum of three references should be provided before you proceed to trial and hire. Should you choose a nanny from an agency, request the contact details of past employers. Once you’re happy, it’s contract time. “To avoid any potential conflicts or uncertainties down the line, a written contract or agreement will ensure you’re both on the same page and is highly recommended,” Robinson says.

Training your new nanny
Once you’ve hired your new nanny, you need to evaluate her pre-existing skills and determine whether she needs training on specific areas of childcare and safety. There are so many topics you may not even have considered, such as courses to develop the relationship they have with you and, most importantly, your kids. Enrolling them into a programme could benefit you, your family and your nanny’s future.
Agencies to try: www.nanniesinc.com/nannies-qatar; dohananny.com.

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