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  • The Essential first step: Hiring
    Do a background check. Look out for inconsistent statements to tell if she is telling the truth or not. Ask for a police clearance and test her problem solving skills. During the interview; ask open-ended questions that would elicit more than a yes or no answer.
    “Ultimately, the best yayas are the ones who love children,” says Boots Mendoza, child psychologist. “And the worse nannies are the ones who instill fear in kids and don’t understand the psychology of children.”
    Nanny Orientation
    Right from the start, the nanny should know the disciplinary methods she is allowed to use, house rules you impose, etc. She should also know when to draw the line between her role and responsibilities in the child’s life and her personal life.
    Make sure the kids are aware there’s a new member of the household.
    Dentist Aurora Lazol, mom to Audrey and Andrew, shares, “We only leave her with the kids for a few hours during the first month,” she says, to ensure not only the child’s safety but to allow the child and the nanny to create a bond.
    “We let the nanny be comfortable with us,” said Dr. Lazol’s husband, Edgar. “Because this is how you will see her natural behavior, and chances are, this is also how she will behave once we leave her alone with the kids.”
    Dr. Lazol also takes photographs when hiring a new nanny. “Whatever happens at least we’ll have a photo of her with the child.”
    The First Day Trial: Kids and nanny home alone
    Yaya should have the following contact numbers: the parents’ office numbers, relatives’, doctors’ or pediatrician’s numbers, and emergency hotlines. The nanny should also know child’s allergies to prevent medical problems. “We also make sure that she has enough cell phone load so she can contact us in case of emergencies,” said Dr. Lazol.
    It is also best to remember the following:
    Leave a set of house keys in case the nanny and child have to go out.If the child has to take some medicine, write down the instructions on how to prepare it.List the child’s day schedule.Give instructions on using the TV, telephone, and other household appliances that you give her access to.Give specific instructions on how to operate the alarm system if there are any. 
    Signs Of Trouble
    Take time to sit down with the nanny and ask about her first day alone with the kids, as well as on succeeding days.
    Before bedtime, ask your kids about their nanny or about things they did together during the day. “Kids usually tell us something about their nanny or about something good or bad that happened to them that day,” Dr. Lazol explains. Dr. Lazol, however, makes it a point to check on them even if the kids didn’t report anything bad.
    Want your very own basic guide to hiring, training, and managing your yaya? Check out the Smart Parenting Yaya Manual ! The SP Yaya Manual is available at local newsstands and retails at Php 195. Grab a copy today!

    Boots Mendoza, child psychologistWebsites: nannynetwork.com; 4nannies.com; careforkids.com; childcare.about.com 


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