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July 30, 2012

Would You Hire a Young Nanny?

Blog-age-maturity-nannyI like young nannies.  I like old nannies and middle aged nannies too. I should, one of Care.com's services is nanny-finding, right?!

But I recently had a friend tell me she wouldn’t hire a college kid to nanny for her family. "They're not mature, yet" she said. That startled me – do more parents feel this way?

I guess I understand. My mom had that theory when she was advising me on my first nanny (before I started Care.com). She was "old school" and gave the motherly advice of looking for someone who had raised a family already. I was a young mom myself, and she felt I could learn from someone with this experience.

We've had a variety of experiences in caregivers for our boys – an experienced, older mom, a "manny,"  an au pair and numerous college–age "date night" babysitters and vacation sitters. When hiring a nanny, does age matter to you? 

One colleague here said she prefers youthful nannies. Her first nanny was in her 50s and was always planning low-key activities. She felt her kids were bored. But her new nanny is in her late-20s and can keep up with her very active 4 and 2 year-old kids.

Another colleague said she prefers the young nannies with child development training, but has to carefully look for signs of maturity during the nanny interview process.

"You have to find the ones who are comfortable with themselves. The ones who won't be doing their hair or fixing their makeup while they could be playing with your kids," she explains.  She said she can usually tell if they’re a good fit by how they dress for their interview: big earrings equal a quick rejection.

Too harsh? Tell me, do you think age equals maturity when it comes to hiring a nanny? How did you decide your nanny was a right fit?


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Comments

Annette Epstein


I have 4 kids 26,25.24 and an 8 year old with special medical needs. Needless to say I have had a lot of nannies, au-pairs, mothers helpers over the years.
On a general appreciation basis I prefer older nannies,(especially if they are live-in)
as they are generally more mature and have less of the "DRAMA" that comes with a 18-24 year old.
That said, my BEST live-in nanny was an 18 year old
back in the 90's when I had my first 3 kids - 3 years apart.
I got her from an agency and almost sent her home on the first day because I found out she was just turning 18. She was from South Africa and far from home. I was also worried she'd be home sick.
Lucky I didn't send her back. She was utterly fantastic.
Previously that year, I had gotten divorced and was starting a new business which kept me at my store from 8am-8pm for the first 6 months. I would have never been able to do it without her. I came home to kids in Pj's after their baths and dinner. Games and toys put away and dinner on the table for me. I felt like I had a wife! Unfortunalty she could only stay 1 year and I have never had that level of dedication again.
So there are always exceptions! Best to be open minded. ;>

gr

Age is a factor. If the nanny is, say, college age, then I will look for additional evidence of experience and maturity. If the nanny is much older, say above 50, then I may have concerns about relevancy of experience and ability to keep up physically. Thus, my preferred age range for a nanny is 30-50, and I prefer nannies who have raised their own children.

Angel

Yes. I would hire a college nanny. They are committed to school, which is a sign of maturity. I had my first child at age 21, my second child at age 23. My kids are very active because I am active. When I take them to the park I can do the monkey bars with them, run with them. I want someone young and energize as I am. Unlike the other parents that sit on the bench and watch their kids play, while their kid is too scared to play on the monkey bars because they can't get any help getting across.

Megan

Hi. I have 2 boys (3 & 4) and I am 27 years old. For the past 4 years, I.have had great success hiring nannies at a younger age. I feel that they are more prone to listen and follow MY rules vs make their own. Especially after dealing with a horrible experience of child abuse from a nannie who was almost 50 (NOT from care.com). I guess as a younger mother I feel they are able to keep up and also are more up for last minute sitting. Usually, I can call and they can be there in an hour. However, it is very important that they know cpr, what they can and can't have,.etc, and it never hurts to have anannie cam. Hope.this helps good luck!

Amanda

I think it depends also on the age of your kids. I have a 10, 8, and 2 year old and my (older) girls want someone young. Someone they can relate to. I totally get that! But the nanny must also know where the line is between being their friend and the one on charge. I think that if a younger nanny can make that distinction, and if they have common sense, younger is a good way to go. At the end of the day, you need to go with someone that clicks with your kids and YOU. And someone who you feel, in your gut, will take good care of your most precious family. To be able to go to work and not have to worry or think about what's going on with your kids is invaluable.

Jennifer

My biggest concern with young nannies is the amount of driving experience. Two kids in the backseat can be distracting enough, but then throw in an inexperienced driver & texting,etc. - yikes! My girls need to go less than 5 minutes away, but that's far enough for a lot to happen if someone - whether HS or college or 20's - to get into trouble.

M

I think I have the opposite bias. As a first time mom, I may need the extra experience, but I feel intimidated about telling an older nanny what I want. I don't want to feel that they are dismissing my instructions or doing things there way without telling me - creating inconsistency I can't address.

Katie

I would not. I have used two nannies in their early twenties and was disappointed both times. For one, they hadn't yet learned the importance of professionalism-basic qualifications like dependability and communications skills were just not in place as I thought they were during the interview process. They also let their personal lives heavily interfere with their job performance. I recently set out to find a new nanny for our children. I noticed that the late-teen to early-twenties applicants in general had terrible writing skills. Your application is the first impression I get of you, and if it seems like you don't care about it, what makes me think you are going to care about anything else? And, if you say in your application that you will be like a "big sister" to the kids (which a number of them did), I won't respond. I want an adult in the house, not another child!

Ware at

My kids were 8 and 4 when I hired our a Nanny. I wanted a young Nanny so that she could keep up with them. She was in her 20's. It was a disaster!!!!!!! She spent more time with the 8 year old and very little time with the 4 year old. When she did spend time with the 4 year old, they argued all the time. It seemed as if I had another child to take care of.

There were even a few times I had to go and wake the nanny to look after the kids while I was working on an important project. This did not go over well. I have not hired another nanny after this bad experience

MomRepus

I'm currently looking for a "Nanny/ Babysitter" as I will be working full time and attending school full time in the fall. I have been interviewing all ages, but am leaning towards a younger Nanny/ Babysitter as my parents are in the home to watch over things and lend a helping hand if need be. I would prefer someone with a little enegry to keep up with my kids climbing, jumping and running.

Sara

I am a first time mom and am concerned about the amount of experience that a young person would have. I agree with the maturity concern and how they would handle a emergency.

Mrs

Like hiring the college age caregivers because of their energy and enthusiasm. The only problem is that constantly on search for new ones because they graduate and move, their college schedule changes, or they get a boyfriend and no longer want to sit.
Myself was a caregiver at a young age and played with the children so that is want I now expect. Don't expect someone to just sit on couch while they are here but be actively engaged with child.

Alyssa

I wanted to chime in on this simply because I am a young nanny. I am 19 years old, and work 20-30 hours a week as a nanny. I really think that a nanny should be chosen based on what you need and what you want versus hiring someone because they are the best "50+" or "under 30" applicant. I think that there are many people my age that aren't responsible enough to be a nanny, but then I know other people my age who are very responsible. Likewise, I think there are older nannies that are capable and some that are not. What I'm trying to underline here is that, when hiring a nanny, I think it's more important to look at things like transportation, background checks,, certifications, and experience, rather than simply rejecting someone because they are young (or old!).

Jessica

As a first time mom, when I was looking for a nanny for our three month old baby, I thought I wanted someone my mother's age. After a few interviews, I could tell this wasn't going to work...I got the feeling that they would brush off whatever directions or style I wanted because they knew best. Also, they didn't seem agile enough to crawl around on the floor or chase after a little runner.

Then I started looking at younger nannies. I was horrified by some of the provacative profile pictures! Perhaps they were looking for more than just a job. My luck turned when I found someone close to my own age but who had a 9 year old daughter. I was comfortable giving her direction but also relied on her experiences. We are blesed to have found her.

Amy

We interviewed a lot of nannies for our daughter, and were very shocked that the age we thought would be best (late 20s/early 30s) were the people who didn't show up for the interviews. People can be mature or immature in all ages; and I did not necessarily think someone who raised a family was best. I wanted our nanny to raise our child as I wanted, not how they raised their children. We have a nanny who's 20, and our daughter loves her. She had previously worked at a day care for 2 years. We couldn't afford to pay much, so since she's just starting out this seemed like a good fit -- she loves her job and gets lots of days off due to our travel schedule. She's a better worker than I was at that age -- I was too hasty to criticize those in authority. I have been impressed by her ability to handle my requests to change things or do things differently without any complaint or misgivings. Just make sure to find someone with experience and good references who you feel would keep your child safe and secure.

Monica

I am a 1st time mom with a 1-yr old. 6 months ago we hired a nanny in her late 40's after much debate. We interviewed for 2 months and decided on this person. I originally wanted a young nanny while my husband wanted an older nanny. I wanted a young nanny for the same reasons mentioned above: not wanting to tell someone that could be my mother what do to. (my nanny actually has a daughter my age). The other reason is that I wanted someone energetic and will get on the floor and play in tents with my child. That is what I did when I babysat.

My husband wanted someone older for the reliability factor. In the end he won because I tried hiring a young person and she backed out before she started.

Our nanny fits the bill. She is reliable and dependable however she sometimes won't do what I say for her to do unless I make it very clear and she is not energetic. When people ask me how the situation is with our nanny, I describe her as "okay." I have thought about looking for someone new as my child gets older and will become more active; however I already dread the new nanny search. We will see as time passes.

Jo

I have found that the 23-28 range works the best for me. I am an older mum, and I like it when my nanny will run all over the place with my active 4yo. But being in their mid 20's they are usually mature enough to be fully reliable.

Javier Torres

Age does matter. A younger person is more concerned in video games or shopping malls and talking over the phone for hours. They don't have the adequate training or experience that an older person would have. An older person would keep there cool under pressure and can handle any situation much faster than a younger person. Some of the younger nannies have tattoos, weird color hair, pierced noses and lips, that does not instill confidence to me. I have a 6 year old and still have not found a reliable person to date.

J

I'm boggled. I've only had an older nanny aged in late 60's. She cared for my baby from 3mo-12mo. She was very attentive with immediate diaper changes and very loving. However, she was also opinionated and reluctant to take my advise unless she agreed. The next comment is positive and negative: she stayed home most of the time with a few walks and very few drives. I appreciated she did not want to take risk with the baby yet at the same time I wanted more interaction and outside the home adventures too. HMMMMM.

Christin

It was interesting reading through all of the comments from the point of view of a young nanny. The word I keep hearing is maturity, and for me I feel like youth does not always mean immaturity, I know for a fact the as a 22 year old with 10 years childcare experience, and experience running my own business that my "dramas" in life are not those of an immature individual. In my life the biggest drama is who is the best electrician to use, what do I need to have ready for the expo the next weekend, and what I spend the most time on what activities are going into next months plan for my families.

Tips and advice for parents interviewing a young nanny:

Don't be turned off by our age, some of us have chosen to make this a lifelong career. We are responsible, mature individuals, who can become a huge asset to your family.

Be aware of what your potential nanny does outside of work. Many families are afraid to ask about the nannies personal life. In my opinion don't be, it shows that you care about us as an individual. I also feel that how we personally respond is going to be a huge indicator of what maturity level they are on.

Religious views of your nanny. It may be an awkward question but remember your nanny is with your children all day, if your views are not similar you may be unhappy with the influence they have on your children.

Have a contract. An experienced nanny most likely has one already made and with her at the interview. If not and they are someone you just have to have, or feel would be great with your kids the write one up. Be specific with what your expectations are and what the consequences for not meeting them will be.

Remember you are our boss. Everyone makes mistakes don't be afraid to communicate with us when you are unhappy.

Have a supply list, and monthly calendar. If you want your nanny engaging with your kids, and you want to have a general idea of what they are doing having your nanny make an activities calendar is going to aid both of you in maintaining a fun engaging atmosphere for your child.

I hope that those few ideas can help you when interviewing, and please don't judge your nanny by age. Judge them by their actions.

Emily

As a young mother and care provider I will have to disagree with most people about hiring a young nanny. I am 21 and have been providing care for children for over six years now without a single complaint. The generalization that young people are not mature or capable is not something that should be applied to all young people. I have spent the last three years in the military and caring for children of all ages, and I am more mature as a young adult (I even have a clean driving record and I wear big earrings) than a lot of caregivers in their fifties. My own son is special needs so finding the right caregiver is hard. I have had more luck hiring younger women (even younger than myself) than I have with older women. On several occasions the older women would be late or not show up, but expect to be paid. I have never had this problem with the younger counterparts. I think there shouldn't be an age bias when it comes to hiring a nanny because it is irrelevant to whether or not they can care for your child. That is what truly matters, if a person can adequately care for your children.

chantal

Absolutely. Age doesn't matter as much as integrity, work ethic, etc.

Chrissy

When you say young, how young do you mean? I have had wonderful experience with older and younger-it is all dependent on the individual. I have noticed that people who primarily deal with children on a daily basis seem to struggle with the adult conversation concept. They are very wonderful and nurturing with my children but upon initial impression-I was very concerned because general conversation with me seemed like they were timid or shy didn't have much to say to me. I noticed this first with my oldest sons kindergarten teacher-after a few months of warming up to me and talking to me frequently-her and I could communicate perfectly. She also was an amazing teacher and wonderful with kids. I have an early childhood education degree and have been babysitting for years and years. I no longer do this full time, but when looking for someone to care for my children-ages 11, 6, and 1 I look for high energy responsible people that will do things the way I WANT them. I don't like the person that tells me what they expect of me as a mother rather than what they bring to the table. I don't just walk away from those caregivers-I RUN! in my experience-those are the providers that will feed your children something you ask them not to, let your kids watch something you specifically tell them you are not ok with-and yes I have run into that primarily with adults that have raised all of their children and are "empty nesters" and above 50-60. They feel they know best-as do most grandparents-when maybe I have a different parenting style in mind.

Anjila Rodvik

I refuse to have younger nanny anymore. I went through 3 nannies within 6mon period, ages 18 thru 24. One was taking pictures of my house showing it to her friends didn't know how to make oatmeal for my daughter for breakfast. At times they forget they had to be at the house on certain time so then they'll be late. My daughter who is only 6yrs old found them sleeping or texting on their cell phones while my daughter getting ready for school, couple of the girls wouldn't even brush my daughters hair. I never had problem them eating but at least clean up after yourself they wouldn't , dirty dishes on the kitchen counter. No I did have any luck with young nannies. I pray I can find someone more mature and decent person who I can trust with my daughter.

Kelly

I went with an older nanny (56) because I have an infant in addition to a 2 and 8 year old. There is no substitute for first hand experience with your own child or grandchild. Too many of the young girls applying just wanted a job and didn't love kids.

Felicia

I had a nanny that was in college and she was wonderful. She took my child to the park everyday. Played games and helped him with his homework. The only problem was her college schedule. Every semester she attended different days and hours. So I had to find someone else who watch children as a career.

L

In my (albeit limited) experience, it depends on the person. A mature, responsible person who values their job and doesn't take things personally will ultimately be more successful than someone without those qualities, regardless of their age.

Of the two nannies we've hired so far, the 29-year-old is far more mature, reliable and responsible than the 46-year-old who had raised five of her own kids (and disappeared with no notice one day, after working with us for over nine months). This was the older woman's first time being a nanny - I thought raising five kids would have given her great experience, but I've now realized that a parent has a very different skillset than what's required to be a nanny.

Also, the younger nanny has far more energy and plays constantly...I don't know where she gets the energy, to be honest! Our 20-month-old daughter gets really excited when she knows the younger nanny is coming to visit. The older nanny was far more reserved and less playful...our daughter was just another one of the six kids at her house, so she learned more about picking up and cleaning than having fun. With the younger nanny, it's a better balance - at least, for us.

Danielle

I am an 18 year old college student and I nanny over the summer. I would consider myself mature for my age and others have told me I am. I know it was just one persons statement, but I feel like the big earring comment was completely unfair. When you go to an interview you want to look your best, how you look will determine if you get the job. Why should I be judged if big earrings make the outfit? Now when I'm on the job I don't bother to get all "pretty" because kids don't care they just want someone to love them and play with them. But not one parent here can deny that if I showed up in jeans, tshirt, and a pony tail you wouldn't stick up your nose. So don't judge us on tiny things like the size of our earrings, judge us on our overall character.

Shaylan

My current nanny is 19 and she is such a blessing! Honestly I do not personally believe that maturity comes with age, it comes with your personality. My nanny is more mature than some of the late twenty-early 30 years that I interviewed. That being said: interviewing your nanny is extremely important!

Kendra

I have 2.5 year old triplet boys who ate very high energy and require strict discipline. We had a 25 year old Au pair for a little over a year who turned out disastrous. I would say age was a major factor so much so that I will not consider another young nanny. Her communication skills proved to be that of a 15 year old causing my family to feel like we had a teenager in the house. She abused car privileges, constantly broke curfew and was very manipulative. When it came to the boys she did rarely played along with them and only spoke to them to discipline them. I don't know who I would trust other than myself at this point to provide stellar care in this unique situation with many unique dynamics and tackle our next milestone of potty training. I've taken careful consideration of the next nanny we hire being old or young. I've felt that an older one would provide more maturity and experience but now after reading others posts I'm concerned they won't have the energy to keep up. For the time beig I've put my career in hold to provide the best care o my boys but would love it if I could have a nanny we could trust whole-heartedly.

Kendra

@danielle...I'm a marketing professional who has worked with Fortune 500 companies for over 10 years. Unfortunately what you wear in an interview can either make or break you getting the job just as the previous poster mentioned. This is true in any professional environment whether it is fair or not but is the reality. Instead of being defensive, my best advice is to consider this always when trying to put a best foot forward.

Dave

I believe the most important thing when hiring a care giver is that you understand their background. You need to understand their family dynamic because that dynamic is going to be brought into your home. Find a dynamic that is similar to yours. Age does matter and it always will. Parents who hire purely on age are not putting their children first they are putting their insecurities first. One of the biggest mistakes I see made is that some mothers are very insecure and are threatened by great care givers. They are worried their children will like the caregiver more than them. My ex-wife made this mistake many times and my children suffered for it. All I can say is that put your children first. Maturity tends to go with age but there are very immature older caregivers. In regards to the caregiver who said that don't judge on the size of our earrings. You are going for a job interview not a friend interview. You are trying to get a job not a friend. Asking an employer to accommodate to you is selfish. I think as young individuals we think that it should be our way but in the working world you work for someone else and not yourself. So does age matter to me and my five kids. Yes but who they are and how they think is much more important.

EB

I agree with pp - Alyssa, age does not matter. There are resposible and irresponsible nannies of all ages.
I started babysitting at a very young age and then became a nanny while still in high school! I cooked, cleaned, and took care of two kids when I was still a teenager. I even watched 3 kids for a family whos oldest child was only one year younger than me (very immature, to say the least).
Now, in my 30's with 3 children, I just hired a nanny who reminds me of myself at her age (she is only 18, but very mature and responsible). I hope everyone else will look past the age, but instead look at the core traits (maturity, resposibility, experience, etc.)

MBK

Our nanny is a VERY young 55 year old. When I first saw her picture and her description, I didn't think the picture was of her. I am an older mom (41) and she looks around my age, but has the maturity, integrity and experience I needed. She takes very good care of herself physically and has no problem handling my toddler. There are times where I feel strange about telling her what I need her to do, but that's because of me, not anything she has done. We have a great line of communication. Always remember to pick your battles - the little things don't matter. We have a great relationship and I consider her a friend as well as an employee. She takes such good care of my daughter and my daughter loves her. That's all that matters to me really. I'm glad I didn't let her age be a factor in my decision, it depends on the person and how well you click with that person. These are your children and you have to make sure they are protected and well cared for.

Vrishali

I was so glad to see this post as I am in an extreme dilemma regarding the same.My baby is now 6 month old, I had an elderly nanny who was really great,loving...reminded me of my grandmother and hence I decided to hire her disregarding the age factor but that seemed to be a problem when she actually started work as she was not able to provide the constant care in terms of frequent feeding, diaper changing ,napping that a newborn needs. So I had no other alternative and hence hired a middle aged one who was not bad either but tried to do things her way despite explaining multiple times how I wanted my baby to be raised and she started creating ego issues leading to conflicts.Now I have a young babysitter who is trying to work with the baby but needs to be reminded of the daily tasks, is unable to calm the baby at times,has left the door open many times and has even left the baby unattended to get something from downstairs...fortunately i have been around so far!!She gets stressed out right away and seems to lack the organisation skills or maturity needed for taking care of my baby.I do not have the confidence in her yet. I am really stressed out since I am in a professional career and cannot be a stay at home mom. So I am not sure if age matters... i think what matters is the person..individual and some are just lucky to find their perfect babysitter!!

Andrea Wilson

Maturity has far less to do with age than people think. The best sitters I ever had were high school girls. They did what I asked, gave the kids attention, and were flexibile in their thinking. All the women I had who were 30+ either smacked my kids (for just about nothing) or wouldn't let the kids play with anything because they wanted everything and everyone spotless. Also they overloaded themselves on clients, trying to use children as cash registers. And as for the comment just above, get used to the fact that there is no "perfect" babysitter, and people are going to come and go the whole time you are raising children. If you can get it down to just changing sitters once a year, you're doing well.

dee

My concern about hiring "young" child care providers has to do with having an understanding of what it is like to have a child/children. If the provider has a family they tend to understand where I am coming from regarding safety, screen time, homework, etc. I've gotten eye rolls with those who don't know what it's like to have a family.

Additionally, I have noticed a trend regarding profile pictures and interview attire as well as hired clothing options. A provider should be comfortable while able to be active with the children, but wearing next to nothing is not appropriate. String tank tops and tiny shorts are not professional. Just because you aren't in an office doesn't mean you get to dress like you are at your home / school. You're in my home - working.

Sonja

Does age matter? I don't think it's a deal breaker. We interviewed many, and even did trial (few days) with several nannies.
So far we had 2 nannies, both in their mid-late 20, and from our experience we found that each age (person) has pros and cons.
We found that young caregivers can provide environment that is dynamic and can play and run more with an active toddler; however, that does not mean they will do that - some nannies were sitting and texting on the sofa. Also, some of them don't have maturity required for the job, some have very poor communication skills; one 21 year old was with us 4 days, and at 11 PM sent an email that she is not going to come back to work, since it's too much of a commute.
Older caregivers provide some sense of security and maturity, however most of the ones we interviewed would just sit with little one to draw and do puzzles; one actually said that she will drive our daughter most of the day in the car and asked for us to pay for her gas expenses.
Based on current experience, there is no age that is perfect, but it depends on a person.

We are also looking if nanny has her family (kids). We try to avoid single mothers with little kids - from our experience, their kids get sick, and they either need to stay home with them, or they catch the sickness themselves; I don't want sick nanny in my house, so that means that she is not coming to work... and if she does not come to work, then I can't go to work either.

We prefer to have mature person who can be active with our toddler. We also are looking for a person who can follow our directions, will give us sense of security and who our daughter will enjoy being with. Her availability is also important, we need her to be punctual, and not absent from work frequently. Those are priorities. Age is not really important.

For nannies: it's important how you look and act during an interview. I do interviewing for the company I work for, and I have experience in interviewing/hiring IT professionals, as well as nannies. We believe that everyone puts their "best foot forward" during an interview, and if you don't look like a decent, responsible, reliable person who will follow my instructions and take a proper care of my daughter then we are not going to hire you.

Dbron

For the first few years I thought I would never hire a college nanny. Too young, and not old enough to understand the responsibility of taking care of a child. Well, after a few years, and with my kids personality growing, I realized our older nanny was not working out anymore, and gave a college sitter a chance. It was amazing, I've had college sitters that have worked out wonderful. They were lots of fun, responsible and creative. The downside is that they are not around for long term, though. But, I've learned alot from them. I look for one's that have past experience with kids, good references, and just a pleasant attitude and demeanor. Keep an open mind, there are good one's out there.

Suzanne

Experience has shown me that college age candiates are not the most suitable. I have had much better success with caregivers in their late 20's or early 30's. They have a greater level of maturity and professionalism that I look for. I found with caregivers in the 18-24 year range, they spend a great deal of time texting, involved with their own personal lives, and there is very little accountability. They don't seem to care (or realize) how things like being late, calling in sick, or not giving enough notice if they have a schedule change, can hugely impact the family. Older and wiser has been my prescription for success. The only time I would use a younger caregiver is for a night out, but not for routine nanny duties. I am a full-time working single parent, with a very demanding high-level job. I need a "junior CEO" at home while I'm working making the bucks to pay them.

Nhill

We have a fantastic nanny who is mid-50s and has raised her own kids, has recent training in child development, and thinks with both a "teacher" and a "mother" perspective. She is physically fit so she can handle running after/carrying our young child. In looking for a nanny, the biggest issue with the younger applicants is their lack of experience and their lack of understanding of the difference between being a nanny and being a babysitter. I was approached by several 20 somethings who claimed to have 8-10 years experience!! Occasional babysitting or looking after a younger sibling is not the same as having experience as a nanny. Whereas babysitting means keeping the child safe and wholesomely entertained for a shorter duration, I expect that a nanny will have a longer view of my child's developmental needs and build upon the child current developmental level. There are some younger nannies who have that experience and knowledge or courses in child development/child care. But, many do not and think that nannying is simply babysitting for a greater number of hours.

NKel

I am 22 years old and have been watching children for 10 years. I have also taken numerous education classes in college, have nannyed 2 familys for over 3 years, been a certified teacher for 3 years, taken many cpr and first aid courses, and lived with an infant in my home. Yes I'm young! But I feel as if I know so much useful information on how to care for babies and what is safe. At times, I feel like I know more than first time mothers do such as carseat safety and which certain foods are safe for young toddlers. I think that older nannies are a great for for moms that already know what they are doing. But their diadvantage would be their "old school" ways and times have changed.

Beth

We needed a part time nanny for two days a week. We interviewed both older and younger nannies. We ended up having to decide between a grandma and a 21 year old. They were the best with my twins during the interview. We ended up going with the young lady as she had energy to keep up with my 1 year old twins. She is certainly the best in terms of being on time, willing to work late if needed, and spends her entire time playing with the girls. She is not a fan of TV and although I know she texts when the girls are taking their nap, her phone is put away the rest of the time (we have cameras and my husband has worked from home on occassion). She takes them on daily walks in good weather and lets them play at our local playground. I was a nanny when I was in college and very mature. I think you have to find the right person and not the age. I also had some of the older interviewees seem to think they knew best which would not have been a good fit (although they sounded great on paper). I also had some younger interviewees sound great on paper and not show up for the interview. So, I think it is very possible to find great young nannies if you take the time to interview them and ask lots of questions.

Jodi

I interviewed serveral nannies and decided I perfered someone near my age vs an older mother, grandmother. I am 36 and not new to being a mother/caregiver yet I found that older nannies wanted to give me advice on how to do things and raise my children. I didn't like feeling like I needed to defend my parenting to a babysitter. I wanted the caregiver to be just that, not my parent/teacher/advisor. I don't mind a little helpful hint now and then but not to that degree. Also, I liked someone that would get down and play with them vs just sitting and watching. My family is very outdoorsy and I wanted my kids running and playing outside or reading a book under a tree vs sitting and watching tv all day and a younger person was a little more active than the older caregivers I interviewed.

Shannon

I have to agree with the previous comment. When candidates state experience as watching younger siblings or cousins I move on. That is not adequate. Something that helped me differentiate between the babysitter types and nannies is asking about their experience watching a child for a full 8-10 hr day and what was involved ie nap/feeding schedules etc. How they adapted etc. I did interview 18-22 year olds and unfortunately did not find a good fit. One kept flaking last minute on the interview, another mislead me about her availability, and another it was just clear she wanted a job and didn't know a thing about kids. I settled on a 26 year old recent grad. While she doesn't communicate very well I outlined all our expectations in a house rules doc and had her sign a contract so that there were no surprises. She follows the rules and takes care of my son but she's not an obvious kid person who gushes over him or gets goofy with him. I have settled for responsible/reliable instead.

Joyce

I believe that age has a factor in choosing the best nanny when you are stereo-typing. More importantly though, I believe that a good interview and finding the fit for your family. Younger does not necessarily mean more energy nor does it mean a lack of maturity. Older does not mean less energy nor does it mean a level head in an emergency. I say interview the nanny and get to know what that person is capable of doing. For myself, I am nearing 50 and walk several miles daily and can still run a straight mile. Try not to stero-type your nanny before the interview and don't let age prevent you from hiring the right fit for your family.

Debbie

I am a middle-of-the-roader, I guess! From my experience, I've learned that late 20s / early 30s is a great age for our family. Our oldest nannies were 48 and 55. Although they brought more maturity to the table, one of them (48) had her back go out from all of the lifting and twisting action of picking kids up to cribs/changing tables and the other (55) was not very energetic at all. On the other extreme, we've had 19-22 year olds who were only with us for a few months because their life direction (going back to school, going back to family) changed so much--they were still figuring things out. They also didn't have cars that I felt were safe, so we had them drive our vehicle, which ended up being abused. Honestly, a nanny who has nannied multiple times, i.e. is a bit later in her 20s or in her 30s, is energetic, can act silly, but still teach the kids serious lessons, and has figured out that this is truly her career and owns a larger, safer vehicle (for which we reimburse mileage, of course!) is our ideal woman (or man)!

celia luckinbill

I have been a Nanny for over 25years and am over 50,I do
agree with some of the comments,such as wanting to do things my own way, but then I stop and think the parent's are paying me to do thing's their way, even if I dont agree,I am taking care of a almost 2yearold and I think I do a good job keeping up with her,I feel very lucky to have this position at my age,I had another position a year ago for almost 6years taking care of two sweet little girls when the parent thought I was getting to old she said she did'nt need me anymore, so I am very blessed to have found good people who trust me with their most precious possesion

Jeannie

I prefer a younger, college-aged nanny for my 10 year old son and 7 year old daughter. Being very active children, they need someone who is also active and creative. I've chosen nannies who are studing to be elementary school educators. That being said, if my children were younger, say infant/toddler age, I would defintely select someone older, with more experience with small children. As they get older, they need less hands-on attention and care, but more guidance and support.

VC

I recently employed a young, 20 year old nanny, to care for my infant (4 month old) son. What a mistake that turned out to be! On my first day back at work, I received a phone call from the sheriff inquiring about my child's "well-being". I was horrified and terrified at the same time. I told the sheriff that my son is supposed to be with my nanny. The sheriff told me that my nanny had called the authorities to report suspected "child abuse" because of some "bruises" that were on the back of my child. I had no idea what she was talking about and was upset at the fact that she did not call me first to ask about them. Turns out, these so-called "bruises" were my son's Mongolian spots/birthmarks that were present at the time of his birth. These marks are commonly found among Asian, Mexican/Hispanic, and sometimes African-American babies.
In addition to the sheriff visiting our home, the Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS)had to do a full investigation. I lost a day of work and had to take my child to the doctor to get his birthmark/Mongolian spots cleared. My husband and I are furious and are considering legal action.
I don't know why this nanny would go to such an extreme.
When selecting your nanny, be sure to choose a more experienced, logical nanny.
We have since found another, older, wiser, more mature nanny and so far she has worked out nicely with our son.

Pam Silas

It is good to hire a young Nanny as she can maintain all the task of new born baby and his mother but an experiences Nanny have sufficient knowledge about the baby care as she know all the things of different situations.

vanessa

I hired a nanny just now aged 23. It was a horrible mistake. I had a rule to not hire a nanny under the age of 30. There was a nanny with an impressive CV who was 23. Not only did she quit in one day (Sunday during induction, after she had been in my house twice), I begged her to stay on for a day or two so I could sort out a new nanny (I'm a working mum and needed to figure out what to do). While we were out, she packed up, and left to go partying with friends. I had every instinct telling me 23 was too young, even for an apparently mature 23 year old nanny. This has been a horrible, and tough experience. Tomorrow is Monday, I have no nanny and no idea what to tell my boss.

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