42 Questions to Ask a Nanny’s Reference

If you’re considering hiring a nanny, one of the most important steps is to check references. A nanny’s references can tell you a lot about her work style, values, and interactions with children.

When you talk to a nanny’s reference, be sure to ask the following questions.

42 Questions you can ask a nanny’s reference:

  1. How long have you known the nanny?
  2. In what capacity have you known the nanny?
  3. What are the nanny’s strengths?
  4. What are the nanny’s weaknesses?
  5. Can you give an example of a time when the nanny went above and beyond your expectations?
  6. Can you give an example of a time when the nanny didn’t meet your expectations?
  7. How does the nanny handle discipline?
  8. How does the nanny deal with difficult situations?
  9. What makes the nanny unique?
  10. Would you recommend the nanny?
  11. Can you tell me a little bit about your relationship with the nanny? 
  12. What are their primary responsibilities? 
  13. Would you say they are good with children? Why or why not? 
  14. Are they punctual and reliable? Do they ever call out sick or show up late? 
  15. Are they able to follow directions well? 
  16. Do they engage well with your children?
  17. Do the kids seem to enjoy spending time with them? 
  18. Are there any red flags we should be aware of?
  19. Any disciplinary issues? 
  20. Does the nanny have any experience caring for children? If so, how many children and what ages?
  21. Is the nanny reliable?
  22. Is the nanny patient and able to handle difficult situations?
  23. Is the nanny able to provide age-appropriate activities for children?
  24. Does the nanny maintain a clean and safe environment for children?
  25. Is the nanny able to cook meals for the children? If so, are the meals nutritious and well-balanced?
  26. Is the nanny physically able to care for children, including lifting them and chasing after them?
  27. Is the nanny comfortable with pets? If so, does she have any experience caring for them?
  28. Does the nanny have any experience caring for children with special needs? If so, what type of special needs does she have experience with?
  29. How would you describe the nanny’s personality?
  30. Is the nanny comfortable caring for more than one child at a time?
  31. Are there any areas that the nanny could improve upon when it comes to childcare?
  32. How does the nanny handle discipline?
  33. How does the nanny deal with tantrums or meltdowns?
  34. Is the nanny able to stay calm under pressure?
  35. How does the nanny interact with other adults? For example, does she get along well with grandparents, babysitters, etc.?
  36. Does the nanny have any hobbies or interests outside of childcare?
  37. Does the nanny have any interests or hobbies that children might enjoy? If so, please give an example.
  38. What is the nanny’s educational background? Does she have any training in child development or early childhood education?
  39. Is the nanny honest and trustworthy?
  40. Does the nanny have any medical training or experience in dealing with minor injuries or illnesses?
  41. Would you allow the nanny to care for your own children?
  42. Is there anything else you think we should know about the nanny? 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most important part of being a nanny?

The most important part of being a nanny is to be able to provide a stable and loving environment for the child. This means being patient, positive, and consistent with rules and discipline. Nannies also need to be able to engage the child in fun activities and help with their development both physically and emotionally.

What qualities make a good nanny?

First and foremost, a good nanny is patient and caring. She must be able to handle tantrums and meltdowns and take care of crying babies.

A good nanny is also resourceful and can think for herself. She should be able to come up with creative solutions to problems, whether it’s entertaining a restless child or preparing a meal on a tight budget.

Finally, a good nanny respects the parents’ wishes and guidelines. She follows their instructions and respects their rules while caring for the children and giving them the attention they need.

How many references should a nanny have?

A good nanny should have at least 3 references. These can be previous employers, other nannies, or childcare professionals. References help confirm a nanny’s experience and qualifications. They can also provide insight into the nanny’s character and personality.


Checking references is an important part of hiring any caregiver, but it’s especially important when you’re hiring a nanny since they will be spending so much time with your children.

By asking the right questions, you’ll be better able to assess whether or not a particular nanny is a good fit for your family.

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