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Sandy Alouete, SVP Music & Talent Relations For VH1, Shares Her Tips For Securing Childcare

What resources/advice can you offer moms who are looking for a good sitter?

I would recommend checking online community bulletin boards if they exist in your local area. I signed up for the Hoboken Family Alliance board while still on maternity leave and found a host of good referrals of nannies/sitters from families, as well as postings from nannies seeking employment.

I would also recommend talking to other moms and nannies while you’re on maternity leave. Nannies in particular tend to know of others looking for work. My pediatrician’s office was also a good source for recommendations. We interviewed three other nannies before hiring ours. I found a great list of interview questions to ask nannies online…I’d highly recommend taking a moment to review that and keep it handy while interviewing. All in all, you want someone who has a similar approach to parenting, someone loving and caring and, of course, someone who comes with reliable references.

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Comment by Alene Mathurin on July 24, 2009 at 9:29pm
So, you’re hiring a nanny…..what should you look for?

Hiring a nanny for your family is a delicate and intimate task which, when done right, can be extremely rewarding. However, when parents neglect important information the process can become a nightmare that haunts every member of the family, especially the children involved.
It is important in today’s world to be detailed about hiring a nanny. Too often families leave out important issues like background screening, and rely instead on the pleasant smile and demeanor of a woman who shows up on time for an interview. Who was the pleasant individual? Who told you what an excellent employee she is? Was she a friend of a friend’s nanny? Or someone the nanny’s friend is employed with? We’ve seen it all and families must remain vigilant and aware of the danger these trends hold.
It is important that a thorough background check is performed on a potential nanny. A national criminal background check, sex predator check, DMV check and social security verification should be obtained. Furthermore, it is equally important not to gather that information from online databases that often do not update their records frequently enough.

The norm with families is to interview a nanny and offer them a start date, often within days of the initial interview. This could lead to problems that might have been avoided. If times permits, it is advisable to offer the candidates with whom you feel satisfied at least a two day trial period; during this time you can observe their interaction with your children as well as look for all the qualities that are important to you as a family.
An employee checklist must be created to ensure that the nanny’s job description is explicit. It will come in handy during evaluation periods as well as the times you might hear, “That’s not my job.”
Stereotypes continue to be proven false with regards to which ethnic groups make the best nannies. Regardless of whether the nanny came from a small Caribbean island, the countryside of Brazil or a large city in Europe, what matters is that the nanny could be an addition to your family, and bring with her values that promote an environment of growth for your children.

I am often asked, “How do I get my nanny to stay with my family?” and often enough I am lost for words. What I know to be true is that all individuals regardless of economic status, cultural background, or gender, thrive when respect and care are shown towards them. Kind words such as “You are performing well.” or “The kids enjoyed the day at the museum with you.” make a nanny feel appreciated.
Lastly, remember that your home is like a stage and that the kids are your audience eager to emulate what they see, which could be the good, the bad and the ugly.

Good luck with your search and if you need a qualified nanny please call us at 973-559-6175 or visit us at We are local and part of your community!
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