Our guest blogger this week is Ken Burns, President of Morningside Nannies.
Having a child with special needs, you want to make sure he or she gets the care they require while you’re away. Not every nanny is equipped mentally and physically to deal with the kinds of stresses and requirements that are demanded of your child. You need to be able to trust that your nanny can handle any situation that may arise. When looking for a person that can fit that criteria, keep a few things in mind:
1. Experience – An ideal nanny would be one who has had experience dealing with children who’s needs are similar to your own. Those who have experience in particular afflictions such as various stages of autism or ADHD can prove to be excellent nannies. While experience is definitely a bonus, it shouldn’t completely account for your decision on whether or not you should hire them to be your childcare provider.
2. Adaptability – Asking the right questions surrounding your specific needs can provide some insight to whether or not the candidate is going to be a good fit. Questions such as those that cover real-life daily routines and circumstances could provide you with a great deal of information on how well the nanny will perform. You should devise the questions to cover situations yourself has had to deal with in order to gauge the candidate’s answers against how you handled them. They might have a better solution than one you implemented.
3. Education – Special needs children require the caregiver to have a certain level of knowledge dependent on the type of care that is needed. You wouldn’t want to have a high school student with no knowledge of autism to care for your autistic child. Even if the person is pleasant with a spectacular nature to them, you still want someone who has knowledge of what to expect from your special need. A potential nanny that can produce that kind of knowledge and educational records is an ideal candidate. You shouldn’t have to train your nanny in order to care for your child.
4. Medical Training – Although you probably don’t need an actual doctor, medical training of any kind is always a great bonus. Nannies that are perfecting their skills caring for special needs children usually have more than basic CPR abilities. However, you shouldn’t allow the lack of medical training to dissuade you from a candidate who shows great potential in other areas.
5. Background Checks – It is always a good idea to perform a background check anytime you are inviting anyone to work, and possibly live, within your home. While they may have a shining resume, perfect application, and extensive knowledge of your needs, they could also be hiding the fact they are dodging an arrest warrant. Besides, the background check can reinforce the potential nanny’s information about experience and education, which can put your mind at ease that you hired the right person for the job.
Your nanny needs to be able to provide a safe and stable environment for your child. Depending on the needs of your child, this can become quite an involved task and you need to trust your caregiver to provide that environment. The last thing you need to have looming over your head is doubt that your nanny can be up to the task of caring for your child.
Ken Burns holds a master’s in business leadership from Upper Iowa University and multiple bachelor degrees from Grand View College. As president of morningsidenannies.com, Ken’s focus is helping Houston-based parents find the right childcare provider for their family. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his three children and his wife.