Posted - June 21, 2023

The Ultimate Guide: 20+ Essential Questions to Ask Potential Nannies

Finding the right nanny for your precious little ones can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. You want someone who is not only competent and experienced but also trustworthy and compatible with your family's values.

It's a tall order, but fear not!

The key to finding the perfect match lies in the art of the interview.
questions to ask nanny

Finding the right nanny for your precious little ones can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. You want someone who is not only competent and experienced but also trustworthy and compatible with your family’s values.

It’s a tall order, but fear not!

The key to finding the perfect match lies in the art of the interview. By asking the right questions, you can gain valuable insights into a potential nanny’s qualifications, philosophy, and approach to childcare. Join us on this journey as we delve into the ultimate guide of 20+ essential nanny interview questions that will help you navigate the interview process with ease.

Preliminary Screening

Before you schedule that first in-person interview, it’s crucial to conduct some preliminary screening when trying to find the perfect nanny. This step helps narrow down your candidate pool and ensures that you’re investing your time in the most promising prospects who are on the same page as you.

Requesting resumes and references allows you to assess a potential nanny’s qualifications and gain insights from previous employers. Additionally, conducting background checks and verifying the information provided can help you identify any red flags or discrepancies. Once you have a pool of qualified candidates, it’s time to move on to the job interview stage.

Essential Questions about Work Experience and Qualifications

When it comes to child care, experience, and qualifications are paramount. You want a nanny who has the necessary skills and knowledge to provide a safe and nurturing environment. Here are a few essential questions to gauge a potential nanny’s professional background and specific skills:

Professional Background

A nanny’s professional background encompasses their previous experience working with children, education level, and the relevance of that experience to your own children’s age groups and needs.

It’s important to understand their level of familiarity with the challenges and joys that come with caring for children. Consider asking the following sample interview questions:

  1. How long have you been working as a nanny?

  2. What are your strengths as a nanny?

  3. What are your weaknesses as a nanny?

  4. Have you cared for children in the same age group as mine?

  5. Do you hold any professional training or certifications relevant to childcare?

  6. Could you tell us more about your childcare experience? Why did you choose to be a nanny?

  7. What motivates you to be a professional nanny?

  8. Tell me about a time that you made a mistake, what did you learn, and how did you handle it?

  9. What is your preferred form of payment, and are you willing to be paid on payroll?

Specific Skills

In addition to experience, specific skills can greatly contribute to a nanny’s ability to provide excellent care. Certain skills like CPR and baby first aid training or experience with special needs children can offer peace of mind in unexpected situations.

Ask the following questions during the nanny interview to gain insight into a nanny’s skill set and if it meets the job description:

  1. Are you trained in CPR and first aid?

  2. Can you handle children with special needs?

  3. Do you possess any additional skills like cooking or tutoring?

  4. Can you swim? Have you taken care of children at a pool or beach?

Previous Employment

A nanny’s previous work environment or the candidate’s work history can shed light on their reliability, work ethic, and compatibility with aligning with your specific family life. Here are a few questions to help you understand their professional journey:

  1. How many families have you previously worked with?

  2. What did you love or appreciate most about your previous family?

  3. Why did you leave your previous job or nanny position?

  4. Can you provide references from your last job?

  5. What were your responsibilities in your previous jobs?

Childcare Philosophy and Approach

Every family has their unique values and preferences when it comes to childcare. It’s crucial to find a nanny who aligns with your parenting style and can provide a nurturing environment that supports your children’s growth and development. Explore the following questions to ask the nanny to delve into a potential nanny’s childcare philosophy:

General Child Care

nanny interview


General child care encompasses the daily responsibilities and tasks involved in caring for children. It involves providing a safe and nurturing environment, attending to their physical needs, and engaging in age-appropriate activities. When interviewing potential nannies, it’s essential to ask questions that assess their understanding of general childcare practices. Here are a few questions to consider:

  1. Do you have favorite games or activities that you prefer to play with kids?

  2. Share a day in the life of a nanny, what does that consist of for you?

  3. Would you be willing to cook or do laundry?

  4. Do you incorporate any educational or scholastic practices into your day, e.g., reading, writing, counting, etc.?

  5. Do you incorporate any educational or scholastic practices into your day, e.g., reading, writing, counting, etc.?

  6. Are you open to following specific sleep training methods? E.g. cry it out vs. rocking to sleep?

  7. Are you open to traveling with our family for vacations?

  8. In what instances would you use your cell phone while with the children?

Disciplinary Style

Discipline is an essential aspect of caregiving, and understanding a nanny’s approach to discipline is vital. It’s essential to find a nanny who can maintain a healthy balance between structure and understanding, especially during difficult family dynamics. Consider asking the following questions:

  1. How do you handle discipline and behavior management?

  2. What are your views on positive reinforcement techniques?

  3. Are you able to follow our specific parenting style? E.g. positive parenting vs. time outs and consequences

Educational Approach

Early childhood development is a critical phase, and a nanny who can actively support your child’s learning journey is invaluable. Here are a few questions to help you gauge a potential nanny’s educational approach:

  1. How do you promote early childhood development?

  2. Do you engage in educational activities or use specific curricula?

Screen Time and Technology

Technology plays a significant role in our lives, and it’s important to understand a nanny’s stance on screen time and the use of electronic devices. Find out their perspective on balancing technology usage with other activities using the following questions:

  1. What is your stance on screen time and electronic devices?

  2. How do you balance technology usage with other activities?

Safety and Security Measures

Ensuring the safety and well-being of your children is of utmost importance and is a part of the nanny job. A nanny must possess the knowledge and skills to handle emergencies, identify potential hazards, and create a secure environment. Consider the following questions to assess a potential nanny:

Safety Procedures

A nanny’s ability to prioritize child safety is vital. They should be well-versed in safety procedures and take appropriate measures to prevent accidents. Ask the following questions to gauge their understanding of safety protocols during the nanny hiring process:

  1. How do you ensure child safety in various environments?

  2. Are you trained in handling emergencies and accidents?

  3. Describe a situation where an emergency arose, how did you handle it?


If transportation is part of the nanny’s responsibilities, it’s essential to assess their comfort level and capability. The safety of your children while traveling is paramount. Consider asking these questions:

  1. Are you comfortable driving the children?

  2. Do you have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record?

Home Safety

Even within the confines of your home, potential hazards can arise. The perfect nanny for your family should possess the knowledge and attentiveness to identify and mitigate risks. Ask these questions during the hiring process to gauge their understanding of home safety:

  1. Will you be able to identify potential hazards in our home?

  2. Can you provide examples of safety precautions you have implemented?

Availability and Flexibility

Finding a nanny who can accommodate your family’s schedule and adapt to unforeseen circumstances is crucial. Explore the following questions to ensure a potential nanny’s availability and flexibility align with your needs:

Working Hours

Your family’s schedule determines the work hours a nanny needs to be available. It’s important to ensure the candidate can meet your requirements. Consider asking the following questions:

  1. Are you available to work during our required schedule?

  2. What is your availability for evenings and weekends?

  3. Are you open to occasional overtime or weekend hours?

  4. Are you open to traveling with our family for vacations?

Vacation and Sick Days

Nannies, like anyone else, require time off for personal reasons or self-care to prevent burnout. It’s important to understand how they handle time off and what backup plans they have in place. It is also an important step to consult a nanny payroll service that fully understands the tax and overtime laws pertaining to your state. Consider the following questions:

  1. How do you handle personal time off?

  2. Is paid vacation a requirement for you? If so, how many weeks per year is ideal?

  3. Do you have a backup plan in case you are unavailable?

Long-term Commitment

Long-term stability and consistency are valuable qualities in a nanny. Assess their intentions and career goals to ensure a potential nanny is seeking a long-term commitment. Consider asking these questions:

  1. Are you looking for a long-term position?

  2. Are you able to make a one-year commitment?

  3. What are your future career goals in childcare?

Communication and Updates

nanny interview questions

Maintaining open and effective communication with your nanny is crucial for a successful partnership. Ensure that a potential nanny’s communication style and reporting methods are a good match with your preferences. Consider asking the following questions:

Daily Reporting

Getting updates on your child’s day is essential for peace of mind. Determine how a nanny keeps parents informed about their child’s activities and well-being with these questions:

  1. How do you keep parents informed about their child’s day?

  2. Do you provide written reports or use any communication apps?

Parent-Nanny Relationship

Conflicts and misunderstandings can arise between parents and nannies. It’s important to gauge a potential nanny’s ability to navigate such situations and maintain a positive nanny/parent relationship. Consider these questions:

  1. How do you prefer to communicate with parents regarding their child’s progress?

  2. Can you share an example of resolving conflicts with parents?

Compensation and Benefits

Discussing compensation and benefits such as health insurance is an important part of the hiring process. It’s crucial to ensure that both parties are on the same page regarding salary and any additional benefits. Consider these questions:

Salary Expectations

Understanding a potential nanny’s salary expectations is vital to ensure it aligns with your budget. Use these questions to initiate the conversation:

  1. What are your salary expectations for this position?

  2. Do you require any additional benefits, such as health insurance?

Payment Schedule

Determining a payment schedule that works for both parties is essential for a smooth working relationship. Consider asking these questions:

  1. How do you prefer to receive payment?

  2. Are you open to discussing alternative payment arrangements?

Personal Background and Interests

Beyond qualifications, understanding a potential nanny’s background and interests can provide insight into their values and compatibility with your family. Consider the following questions:

Personal Values

A nanny’s values shape their approach to childcare. Understanding their values can help determine if they align with your own. Consider asking these questions:

  1. What are your values when it comes to childcare?

  2. How do you incorporate cultural or religious aspects into your care?

Hobbies and Interests

A nanny’s hobbies and interests outside of work can enrich your children’s lives and provide additional opportunities for learning and growth. Ask these questions to learn more about their extracurricular activities:

  1. What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

  2. Were you involved or are you involved in any professional groups or sports activities?

  3. How do you integrate these activities into your time with the children?

Ready To Find Your Perfect Nanny With Hello, Nanny!

In the search for the perfect nanny, knowing the right questions to ask nanny is key. We’ve provided you with a comprehensive list of 20+ essential questions to help you make an informed decision.

Remember, finding a nanny who possesses the necessary qualifications and experience is crucial, but also consider their fit with your family.

At Hello, Nanny!, we understand the significance of this decision, and our nanny placement services are here to assist you in finding the ideal caregiver for your children.

Learn more about our nanny placement process and begin your journey toward finding the perfect nanny for your family’s needs.

Learn More About Our Process Today!