90 Questions to Ask Nanny References

Selecting a nanny is a big step for any family, the cornerstone of which is trust and compatibility. It’s not just about finding someone with the right qualifications; it’s also about uncovering how they connect and interact with children, their work ethic, and whether their values align with your family’s.

When you’re dialing up a nanny’s reference, every question can shed light on the candidate’s fit for your home. Unpack the rich insights of a reference check with these critical yet warm questions designed to navigate you to your ideal nanny choice.

General Work Ethic and Reliability

  1. Can you describe the nanny’s punctuality and overall attendance record?
  2. Was the nanny able to follow a set schedule and routine?
  3. How did the nanny handle the responsibilities given to them?
  4. Was the nanny proactive in taking on tasks related to child care?
  5. How would you rate the nanny’s dependability in emergency situations?
  6. Did the nanny ever handle additional duties beyond their initial job description?
  7. Can you provide an instance where the nanny displayed exceptional reliability?
  8. How often did the nanny take the initiative to do something without being asked?
  9. Did you ever receive any complaints about the nanny’s work ethic?
  10. Did the nanny maintain a clean and organized work environment?
  11. How did the nanny manage time off requests and scheduling changes?
  12. Was the nanny willing to stay late or come early if the situation required?
  13. Can you discuss the nanny’s ability to adapt to unexpected changes in the routine?
  14. How did the nanny demonstrate responsibility for the children’s safety?
  15. Did the nanny show consistency in their job performance over time?

Childcare Skills and Experience

  1. How long has the nanny been working in childcare?
  2. What age groups have the nanny previously cared for?
  3. Can you give examples of educational or developmental activities the nanny engaged in with the children?
  4. What is the nanny’s approach to discipline, and how effective is it?
  5. How does the nanny handle conflicts or challenging behavior among children?
  6. Has the nanny dealt with potty training or aiding with other significant developmental milestones?
  7. Can you speak to any certifications or training the nanny has regarding childcare?
  8. Did the nanny incorporate any special skills or talents into their care for the children?
  9. How does the nanny stay informed about the latest childcare practices?
  10. What was the nanny’s role in the children’s daily routine?
  11. Did the nanny handle meal preparation, and are they knowledgeable about child nutrition?
  12. How equipped is the nanny to handle medical emergencies?
  13. Can you describe any long-term relationships the nanny has maintained with families?
  14. Was the nanny involved in the children’s educational progress or homework?
  15. How did the nanny contribute to the overall well-being of the children?

Interaction with Children

  1. How do children typically respond to the nanny?
  2. Can you provide an example of a particularly positive interaction between the children and the nanny?
  3. In what ways has the nanny shown they can build trust with children?
  4. How does the nanny balance being both a caregiver and a playmate to the children?
  5. Did the children seem happy and content in the nanny’s presence?
  6. How did the nanny handle moments of distress or illness with the children?
  7. Could the nanny effectively manage group dynamics when overseeing multiple children?
  8. How did the nanny nurture the children’s social and emotional development?
  9. How does the nanny encourage good behavior and manners in children?
  10. Can you describe the nanny’s general demeanor when interacting with children?
  11. Are there any specific techniques the nanny uses to engage shy or reserved children?
  12. How does the nanny help children to express their feelings and handle emotions?
  13. Has the nanny successfully helped children to develop friendships and social skills?
  14. How involved is the nanny in the children’s playtime and recreational activities?
  15. Did you feel that the nanny genuinely enjoyed spending time with the children?

Communication and Problem-Solving

  1. How effective is the nanny’s communication with parents regarding children’s daily activities and needs?
  2. Can you give an example of a time when the nanny had to solve a problem related to childcare?
  3. How does the nanny convey any concerns or issues that arise with the children?
  4. In what way does the nanny approach discussing the children’s progress or setbacks?
  5. Has the nanny ever had to deal with an emergency, and how was it handled?
  6. How open is the nanny to receiving feedback and constructive criticism?
  7. Can you talk about a situation where the nanny had to make a quick decision regarding a child’s well-being?
  8. How does the nanny ensure that they’re on the same page with parents about child-rearing philosophies?
  9. How does the nanny communicate with children of different ages or developmental stages?
  10. Did the nanny provide regular updates and communicate effectively about schedules?
  11. How would you describe the nanny’s conflict resolution skills with both children and adults?
  12. Was the nanny receptive to parental instructions and guidelines?
  13. Can you tell me about a time when the nanny had to advocate for a child’s needs or interests?
  14. How did the nanny handle giving bad news or discussing sensitive issues with you?
  15. Did the nanny maintain a professional demeanor in their communication at all times?

Adaptability and Improvisation

  1. Can you describe how the nanny adapts to changes in the family’s routine or plans?
  2. How does the nanny improvise activities or games when the situation calls for it?
  3. Can the nanny effectively transition between different caregiving tasks and priorities?
  4. How flexible is the nanny with last-minute changes or requests from the parents?
  5. Has the nanny shown an ability to learn new skills that enhance their childcare abilities quickly?
  6. Can you give an example of the nanny being resourceful in a challenging situation?
  7. How does the nanny keep the children engaged and occupied when plans fall through?
  8. In what ways has the nanny adapted their childcare techniques to suit individual children?
  9. Did the nanny successfully cope with any unforeseen circumstances while on the job?
  10. How did the nanny handle taking over new responsibilities or roles when required?
  11. Did the nanny show creativity in coming up with solutions to everyday problems?
  12. How does the nanny stay calm and efficient in times of stress or upheaval?
  13. Has the nanny had to adapt to significant changes in family structure, such as the birth of a new sibling?
  14. Can the nanny balance the need for structure with the ability to go with the flow?
  15. How willing is the nanny to learn new parenting styles or approaches as requested by the parents?

Nanny’s Personal Traits

  1. How would you describe the nanny’s personality and how it fits with childcare?
  2. Can you tell me about the nanny’s patience level with children?
  3. What are the nanny’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of character traits?
  4. How does the nanny demonstrate maturity and sound judgment?
  5. Is the nanny compassionate and nurturing with the children?
  6. Can you provide insights into the nanny’s enthusiasm and passion for working with children?
  7. How does the nanny maintain a positive and encouraging environment for the children?
  8. Does the nanny show respect and professionalism towards parents and family members?
  9. Can you describe the nanny’s overall attitude towards their work and commitment to the family?
  10. Does the nanny have a sense of humor, and how do they use it in their interaction with children?
  11. How does the nanny handle stressful situations personally and professionally?
  12. Does the nanny exhibit integrity and honesty in their work ethic?
  13. How would you characterize the nanny’s creativity and ability to engage children?
  14. Can you tell me about a time when the nanny’s personal qualities positively impacted the children or family?
  15. How do the nanny’s personal goals and values align with their role as a caregiver?

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any red flags to listen for when speaking with a nanny’s reference?

  • Inconsistencies in the nanny’s work history or references are evasive about certain topics.
  • Reluctance to provide specific examples of the nanny’s skills or experiences.
  • Negative feedback about the nanny’s work ethic or issues with reliability.

What if a nanny’s reference gives a glowing review but I’m still unsure?

  • Trust your instincts. Consider setting up a trial period with the nanny or asking to speak with additional references to help make your decision.

How do I verify the authenticity of the reference?

  • You can ask how the reference knows the nanny and how long they’ve worked together. Follow up with questions that require detailed responses to confirm the reference’s legitimacy.

Final Thoughts

Finding the perfect nanny for your family is a journey filled with many considerations, and asking thorough questions to their references is a crucial step.

By using these questions, you can uncover key aspects of a potential nanny’s work ethic, childcare skills, and personal traits, ensuring you choose someone who will not only keep your children safe but will also enrich their lives.

Remember, the right nanny can make all the difference, fostering a secure, happy, and nurturing environment for your little ones to thrive in.

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Bea is an editor and writer with a passion for literature and self-improvement. Her ability to combine these two interests enables her to write informative and thought-provoking articles that positively impact society. She enjoys reading stories and listening to music in her spare time.