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Categories: Parenting

Owner of Durham's Cardinal Nanny and Companions, Moyra Stephen, provides some tips on how to hire the right nanny for your family.

Finding and selecting a nanny for your child has to be one of the most stressful experiences a parent can go through. Not only do parents often feel guilty for leaving their child, but they also have the worry of leaving them with someone who is often little more than a stranger. To help parents through this process, recently spoke with Moyra Stephen, the owner of Cardinal Nannies and Companions in Whitby.


According to Moyra, more and more parents are considering nannies as their childcare option because it helps provide for more flexibility and balance in their lives, especially when parents are working long or irregular hours, or have a child with special needs.


Many parents have the misconception that the nanny must live in, but parents have the choice of having a nanny live in or out.  Parents that work shift work, however, often opt for a live-in nanny, so they don’t have to worry about finding childcare for late nights or early mornings.


Other benefits of having a nanny live in might include light housekeeping (laundry) and meal preparation. Parents need to remember, however, that if you have very small children, it’s not reasonable to expect that nannies take care of all of your housekeeping duties, says Moyra. Parents must ensure that the first responsibility of their nanny is watching and playing with the children, not housework.


A popular trend is nanny-sharing, where two or more families share one nanny for the care of their children. In a nanny-sharing situation, one nanny may take care of all children at the same time, or the nanny may work for each family on a part-time basis. Nanny agencies, like Cardinal Nannies, can help you find and share a nanny.


If you think that hiring a nanny might be the right childcare option for you, Moyra has provided some tips to help you get started:

  • Contact a reputable agency, which ensures that their nannies have references, criminal record checks, and CPR training for infants and/or children
  • Ensure that your nanny comes to your house for a home visit to meet you, but more importantly your child/children so they can get to know the activity level and needs of your kids
  • Ensure your nanny is suited to your child’s age. For example, some nannies might be better suited to infants, while others are better suited to older, more active children
  • Make sure the nanny spends some one-on-one time with your kids during the interview process
  • Set up ‘what if’ scenario questions for the nanny to answer (i.e. what if my child was choking, or if they was a fire)
  • Go with your instinct. If you feel that the nanny is not right for your family, they probably aren’t.
  • After they are hired , always provide your nanny with guidelines and rules for your children so that everyone is on the same page and your children have consistency.


For additional information on hiring a nanny, contact your local nanny agency, or Moyra Stephen at Cardinal Nannies and Companion in Whitby at 1-800-219-8059 or visit their website,