The Nanny Hiring Process

The thought of having someone else watch your children is probably one of the scariest and daunting feelings to date. Where do you start in the nanny hiring process? How can you possibly entrust your child in someone else’s care? A great start is to look into the different options available – daycare or nanny? Write a list of pros and cons for both!

If Nanny is the route you choose to go, here are some important things to consider.

Budget:  There are many things to consider when hiring a nanny to work for your family. What sort of responsibilities do you have? First off, you would be required to hire this person as your employee.

When figuring out your budget there are a few things to remember:

  • You as the employer are responsible for withholding and remitting your nanny’s taxes, EI and CPP to the CRA.
  • You as the employer are responsible for paying an employer portion of your nanny’s CPP and EI. It differs from each province but think between 7-11% over their gross wages.
  • Most provinces require you to have Worker’s Compensation insurance. This protects you in the case where your nanny hurts themselves at work.
  • Your nanny accrues and is entitled to vacation. This is 4% (or more, depending on your province) of their gross earnings.
  • Depending on what you are looking for your nanny to do (child care only or light housekeeping, driving etc as well?) will be your guide on how much to pay.

Determining your Needs:

  • Special skills
  • Hours and schedule
  • Compensation package (inclusive of vacation, extras such as bus pass or medical contributions)
  • Age experience
  • Education/special training
  • Discipline philosophy
  •  Responsibilities

Posting your job:

Find someone who can do the legwork for you! Finding a reputable agency that already has a pool of qualified candidates is great for those that want to save some time.
If you are looking to save money, put together a short job description. Be prepared to weed through all the resumes before setting up interviews.


Be sure to screen ahead of time so that you are not wasting your time! People will often apply if their hours or experience do not match your needs. Once you feel comfortable with a candidate’s answers, you can set up a face to face meeting. Make sure you connect with a candidate as you will need to communicate with this person on a regular basis. A good candidate should interview you as well!


This is imperative when finding the right fit for your family. Just because someone has a letter or gives you a phone number doesn’t make that good enough. It is essential for your peace of mind knowing that the person you hire to look after your children was given high praise from past families. It should not just be about child care but also about their professionalism, and maturity.

Decision Making:

What if you have met with a few candidates and aren’t sure who to pick? I typically tell people that when you meet the ‘one’ you will know. This isn’t always as easy for parents, especially when you have some great candidates to compare. Why not have them come back for a working trial shift? You can really see them work with your child/children and how they interact. Be sure to pay them for their time on a mutually agreed amount before hand!


Make sure to draw up (or have an agency assist) a detailed contract. It is important to start off on the right foot so that both parties are equally aware of expectations. A proper contract should be mutually beneficial, detailed and in written format! Verbal contracts often backfire as people interpret things in different ways. An agency is a great option for those that feel uncomfortable with the back and forth and what is acceptable in the nanny world.

Communication is key! It is important that you consistently check in with your nanny and have meetings and reviews. Find out what is working, what isn’t working and have a communication book to assist in any confusion.

About the Author:
Lisa Bruce has been Matching Nannies and Families at Nannies on Call for over 9 years now. She is a mom first and foremost and a taxi to their ever growing list of activities a second!

Photo courtesy of on Flickr.
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