Finding a perfect nanny for your family can be a long and a complicated process in Switzerland. There is a lot you might go through, from taking a sometimes difficult decision of having a nanny to the legal part of correctly hiring her. We decided to ask the experts. Kathrin Fankhänel is probably the right person to address our questions. She`s one of the www.babysitting24.ch team, a mom of 3 children who successfully managed to find her dream nanny and who is very happy about her decision ever since.
FF: Having a nanny is in trend. What are the reasons for hiring a nanny?
K.F: Having a nanny is often a solution when a family needs an additional help with kids and looks for alternative child care options. Here is a typical example of a random day of a family with three children – the youngest child is at home with the mummy (or a few days a week is looked after in a Kita), the middle one goes to Kindergarten and in the afternoon to the Hort. The oldest one goes to school and afterwards to the Hort, and still visits music or sports activities in the afternoon. As parents you have to manage to get to around 6 or 7 different locations, and this is in one day! This is extremely challenging already. In addition, if one of the kid gets sick – the perfect chaos is guaranteed.
In this situation, having a nanny for the various needs of the children would be the best possible solution. In addition, a nanny can be very helpful when parents go through difficult times, for example if one of the parents is seriously ill. However, one should not forget, a nanny is not only “a caring person” but also a valuable extension to the whole family.
FF: What are the concerns about having a nanny?
K.F: The most important for parents is their children’s well-being. At first you might ask yourself: Can I be sure about having my kids looked after by this person? Can this person raise my children according my values? Can this person enrich the lives of my children? And then you might think about the most banal things: Will she often be sick and not appear at work? Do I want to leave this person alone in our house? Can we afford this kind of support at all?
FF: What to look for in a good nanny?
K.F: First of all a good nanny loves children and can connect with kids easily. Important is that she`s fully able to take responsibilities during her hours with the kids. What is more, as a parent you must have a feeling you can trust her completely. It is important that she is honest and reports you on everything what happened during her day with the kids. This parent-nanny relationship is essential. Difficult points should be openly discussed as well. As a parent, you should know all about your kids while you’re not around, and you don’t only want to hear the good things that happened.
FF: Can a nanny become an added value to a family?
K.F: Yes, absolutely. A good nanny is a great asset to a family. On one hand, she can fully concentrate on the kids without running around managing hundreds of other things, which is usually the case for parents. On the other hand, she can take the pressure away from busy parents which is always a positive factor for every family.
FF: So, where to look for a nanny?
K.F: One can be lucky and find a good nanny in the neighborhood. Maybe she is working for a neighbour’s family and has some spare time for an additional job. This is the perfect case.
Otherwise, online platforms like www.babysitting24.ch offer a variety of nanny profiles. The perfect candidate might be one of them. Nanny profiles on Babysitting24 can be filtered by many different criteria. Language, age and experience all play an important role. Nannies also indicate if they are looking for a full-time or a part-time job and on which days they would be available. This all helps to narrow the search.
On Babysitting24, a family can also create their own profile and describe what is important to them. Nannies who think they can live up to those wishes and expectations will contact the family. It’s all about a give and take, and the nanny should feel as comfortable with the family as the family should feel with the nanny.
FF: How to choose the right nanny for your family?
K.F: To find the right nanny can take time and it needs a lot of patience. Before parents decide to look for a nanny, they should very clearly reflect why they need a nanny and what the requirements for this kind of child care are. Most importantly, parents should know exactly what they look for. The more transparent the job description is, the better chances to find the right nanny.
Therefore, the first step would be to put into words what you look for in a nanny. This will be very helpful for defining important qualities of your perfect nanny, and it can be used in the interview later on.
During the interview it is also important to address challenging questions such as: How would the nanny act in a very specific situation? Has she had already experienced critical situations? Can she prove she can deal with them correctly?
And of course, the final step would be to introduce her to the kids and to find out how they feel about her and if they would like to have her as a nanny.
FF: Why is it important to employ a nanny correctly?
K.F: When you engage a nanny you become an employer. A good working contract, the right insurance and correct registration at AHV are very important for both parties. To avoid any kind of financial and legal disagreements in the future, the working conditions should be clearly defined.
If a nanny wants to get paid directly in cash and without working contract, the only solution will be to avoid working with her at all. In Switzerland, as an employer, you take responsibility for employing your nanny correctly. If not, you might face high penalty fees and bad legal records. For all users of Babysitting24 and the wider public, we have developed www.fairboss.ch. It is an online assistant that will help with all the necessary paperwork when hiring a nanny.
FF: What salary can you expect to pay to a nanny in Switzerland?
K.F: The salary of a nanny depends on her qualifications and reflects how her work is valued. Both parents and the nanny should feel treated correctly and be comfortable with it. In Switzerland, the salary will differ from canton to canton. However, as a rule, the salary of a nanny should be not be less than the official minimum wage. The minimum wage is applicable to employments of 5 or more hours per week. It starts from CHF 20 CHF/hour including holidays and increases with the nanny’s experience. This minimum wage needs to be respected at all times.
FF: What would be your message to the parents who are thinking of having a nanny?
K.F: From my own experience, I know that there are family situations that make it really worth to have a nanny. In families with several children who need to be looked after, a nanny might even be a financially attractive option. From my own experience, a good nanny can contribute greatly to a happy and balanced family life. In any case, if child care is needed, it is always worth to consider hiring a nanny as one of the possible solutions!
FF: Thank you, Kathrin, for sharing all these insights with us!