More and more families are looking to nanny care arrangements as a childcare solution.  Whether it be via the government’s In Home Care Scheme, a private hire, or you choose to engage a specialist recruitment agency, such as Rockmybaby®.

Using an agency means a huge saving in time. They understand the ins and outs of the nanny industry and can guide and support you through the legalities of having someone working in your home. A reputable agency will have their own file on a nanny’s career.  They will often run a casual babysitting service and regularly collect client feedback on their nannies.  Nannies will sometimes stay with an agency for several placements, over many years, and value is placed on the professional relationship they have with the agency.  The nanny is also focused on making the right fit and values agency input in the process.

The agency can offer up a selection of experienced, fully screened, and high-quality nannies. You should feel supported throughout the process, and an agency will work hard on your behalf until they make that perfect fit for your family, saving you a lot of time and stress.

Linda at Rockmybaby® has put this list together to help Newcastle families, who may be unsure of what to ask a prospective nanny or babysitter in the hiring process.

Five Essential Questions to Ask your Nanny Candidates.  

1 – Tell me why you chose to be a nanny, what brought you into childcare?

This is a very important question because you want to make sure that the nanny you hire is looking after your children for the right reasons   i.e. she loves children and childcare and not because she just needs to earn some extra money.

2 – How would you structure a day for my children?

Rockmybaby® recommends that all parents suggest from the beginning that they want an “active nanny.”   It is very important to hire someone who is proactive, a self-starter, and someone who seeks out enriching, educational, and fun activities.

This is a very important question to ask and the nanny should be able to answer it without hesitation. Recently during the interview process a Rockmybaby® candidate answered this question by saying “Rainy days are the best days! We do arts and crafts, make our own play-dough, create, rehearse and then perform a show for the parents when they come home from work…”   Her enthusiasm and positive attitude were so obvious and sincere!

3 – How would you soothe a baby who could not stop crying in public or a 3-year old tantrum?

We have all had situations when our children cried uncontrollably (I am remembering a long-haul flight). It is difficult, maybe embarrassing or frustrating and can make any caregiver feel powerless. It is important to know how a nanny is going to handle this type of situation.   She should discuss the importance of safety at that moment, especially for a toddler having a tantrum, and be able to reassure you that first and foremost, the child cannot hurt themselves or anyone else.   Sometimes a child can be soothed, and other times they just need to be given supportive space to “ride it out”. As a parent you need to be sure your nanny can handle this type of situation.

4-What would you do to ensure there is a clear communication between us?

It is very important that the nanny and parents have a constant and on-going dialogue. Rockmybaby® recommends the nanny keeps a daily diary to record your child’s meals, naps, activities, mood etc., especially in the beginning.   We recommend for the nanny to send photos during the day so the parents can feel connected to their children. Another way to maintain dialogue and contact is a 5-minute weekly meeting to make sure that everyone is aware about what is happening, not only with the children, but also in each other’s lives.

5-Tell me about your style of behavior management?

It is very important that you and your nanny or babysitter have a “shared strategy,” when it comes to behavioral management.  The nanny or babysitter you choose is going to be spending a lot of time with your children and there will be times when she needs to manage your child’s behavior. As the parent, it is essential that you are on the same page as the nanny when it comes to behavior management or you will contradict each other, and your children will receive mixed messages. This is a disservice to everyone involved – the children, the parents, and the nanny. Consistency and communication are key here.

Linda Dawson established Rockmybaby® Hunter and Central Coast in 2012.  She is a wife, a mother to two school aged children, and lives in Newcastle.  You can contact her at or on 02 4009 1771.  More information on Rockmybaby®’s services can be found at or follow them on social media for industry news and information,