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July 16, 2007

How to Describe Your Family

You will soon be faced with the often difficult task of deciding whether or not a caregiver is a good fit for your family. First and foremost, however, the nanny or babysitter must decide whether your family matches her needs. The more accurately and thoroughly you describe your family, the better your chances are of attracting the right caregiver.


Make sure to include the ages of your children. If you fail to mention your daughter is an infant, for example, you may get replies from nannies who don't have experience with this age group. Your ad should also include any pets you have, what language you speak in your home, and if your children have any significant special needs. There is nothing wrong with incorporating your family's or kids' positive qualities (e.g., active, fun-loving), but don't be misleading or over-exaggerate. You shouldn't write that your children "never fight with each other," or that you "keep your house spotless," if this isn't the case. But it's OK—experienced nannies and sitters understand that no family is perfect.

An example of a family description is:

“We have two energetic boys, ages 6 and 8, who love playing sports and being outdoors with our two dogs. Our home is located in a kid-friendly suburban neighborhood outside of Boston. We are looking for a part-time afternoon nanny who is also fluent in English and comfortable with animals.”

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