With the recent cases of children being mistreated by house helps, there is need for parents to do a thorough background check on house helps before hiring them.
How can parents better protect themselves from this kind of caregiver catastrophe?
1. Do an in-home trial.
In addition to screening a potential caregiver through interviews as well as employee references and background checks,it is essential to spend time observing her in the home prior to hiring. Remember, anyone can be great in an interview.
Anyone can also be great playing with a baby for an hour. But after two full days (the minimum I recommend), a candidate’s true colors begin to show.When starting the process, tell candidates you will be requiring a paid in-home trial.Those with something to fear will usually drop out of the process. During the trial, ask the house help to do everything that will be required of her while you are out of the home.
Observe her, leave, and pop back in unannounced. Have others drop by unannounced as well. If you have a nanny camera, monitor how the candidate is doing. If you don’t have a video nanny camera, you can get one at www.areaspy.com.
2. State the obvious.
Many parents are eager to welcome a house help with open arms, as they should. You want to be kind, respectful, warm and welcoming, but you should also openly lay down the laws at the outset for what you expect and what you will not tolerate.For example, you might say, “We believe in positive reinforcement instead of punishment, so we do not want you to ever raise your voice or hit our child. This would be grounds for immediate termination.” During the interview process, state your “deal breakers” openly and clearly.
During the first few weeks, monitor your house help. If you use a nanny camera, be open about it. Say, “This is not about not trusting you, but is a way to see how our child is doing and for us to make sure our home is safe while we are away.”
If you do not have a nanny camera, ask friends, family members or other babysitters to drop by unannounced often and regularly to see what is happening in the home.
4. Look for a child’s change in behavior.
It is given that children will miss their parents and will take time to warm up to even the best house help. However, if your child displays a radical shift in behavior, immediately investigate. Children need to feel “constancy of care,” which means they experience no drop in the level of care or their sense of security from parents to caregiver.
If they do not feel safe, not only does it affect their well-being, it can also cause developmental issues down the road.Again, this change may have nothing to do with your house help, but it needs to be fully investigated either by staying home or having a family member spend the day alongside the house help.
5. Create a work agreement up front.
Sometimes the best house help can be overwhelmed with housework duties and end up leaving their charge in a bouncer or rocker to handle it all. Your house help’s main job is to care for your child. It is best to outline that cleaning or other household tasks should only be done when the child is sleeping. By creating a work agreement, you can talk through what is expected and let the nanny weigh in regarding whether she can handle the extra duties.
You may agree to “complete what you can from this chores list during nap time.”
There are countless wonderful house helps out there.
Instilling honest, open dialogue and increasing the length of time in the interview and observation process can increase your chances of finding a good match for you and your child and help avoid nightmare scenarios.
You can also visit our shop In Nairobi, along Thika Road, Blessed House Opposite Garden City Mall 3rd Floor Room 306D. Contact us on Phone: 0701626922 or visit our online shop at www.areaspy.com
We offer delivery countrywide. You can also visit our shop In Nairobi, along Thika Road, Blessed House Opposite Garden City Mall 3rd Floor Room 306D.
Contact us on Phone: 0701626922 or visit our online shop at www.areaspy.com