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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is this site different?

We've done most of the searching for you!

Drawing on years of in-home childcare expertise through a leading Australian childcare agency, Just Family knows what to look for when it comes to childcare. We incorporate the best web databases on offer to provide you with trustworthy choices. Whether you're after short-term or long-term care, daily or holiday care, for babies, children or young teens, here you'll find the right person to look after your family.

A note of caution - paying cash-in-hand for childcare is illegal. For your legal obligations please contact Fair Work Australia.

How do I register?

Two easy ways to get the right Nanny for your child:

  1. click on the 'families' page
  2. register and pay
  3. search the data base using your own search filters or your selected kilometer range, or
  4. post a job advertisement yourself.

TIP: Searching the data base as well as posting your own job ad will increase your chances of finding the right Nanny.

How this site can help

At Just Family, we understand that finding and choosing the right nanny can take time and energy. That's where we come in. We put great Nannies in touch with great families. This site shares many tips about how to find and keep the right person to look after your children.

Defining the job description

  • Just Family make this easy for you.
  • Use the filters provided on the search form to fine tune your family's care needs
  • Enter your postcode to find a nanny near you
  • Refine your search by choosing what type of care you require (e.g. casual, night Nanny for newborn, etc.)
  • Choose the remuneration you are willing to pay.

Note: Nationally accredited early childhood qualifications for nanniess include the:

  • two-year Diploma of Community Services (Children's Services)
  • one-year Certificate III Community Services (Children's Services)
  •  no other certificates, i.e. I or II are now recognised.

You may need to add these special items to your job description:

  • Do your children have special needs, allergies or ailments? Please describe them.
  • Have they been left in someone else's care before?
  • Describe the required daily childcare duties
  • Describe any other components of the job.

Note: If you are seeking a Nanny/housekeeper, please state so clearly.

The internationally recognised definition of a Nanny sets out in-home childcare work restricted to settling, feeding, playing, reading and engaging in appropriate childcare activities, including tidying up after the children and their meals.

Further reading:

  • The good Nanny guide by Breese Charlotte & Gomer Hilaire. Published by Century Hutchison, 1988
  • How to hire a Nanny by Maddalone Guy. Published by Sphinx, 2012
  • International Nanny Association www.nanny.org

How to screen and choose your nanny

Five steps to choosing the nanny you want

1. Pre-screen candidates using

  • Just Family filters
  • email conversation
  • resume

2. Telephone interview

  • Print and keep your nanny's job description by the phone.
  • Keep a notebook handy to jot down answers and any further questions. You're looking for a sense of the candidate's attitude and aptitude towards your family's childcare needs.
  • Verify their full name, address, home & mobile phone numbers. (You will already have an email address.)
  • Request names & contact details of any referees

Ask open-ended questions such as:

  • what do you like best about childcare in the home?
  • tell me of a great experience you've had with childcare
  • tell me of a bad experience you've had with childcare
  • when can you start?
  • how long can you commit? (if the position is ongoing)

3. Face-to-face interview

  • Set up a mutually suitable time.
  • Ask the candidate to bring their original certificates and driver's license, WWC (Working with Children Check) and first aid certificate, plus copies.
  • Plan the interview.

At the interview:
Remember: the candidate needs to be punctual and well presented.
Ask open-ended questions such as:

  • tell me about a time you looked after a child aged (insert your children's ages)
  • tell me about your typical day in childcare
  • in a typical day how do you organise your time?
  • describe some of the challenges you have had. How did you resolve these?
  • what do you like best about this job?
  • what do you like least?
  • outline the job as you set it and ask them how they would feel about it. Notice how they respond to these questions.

4. Decision

  • If, and only if, you have checked references, move on to discussing hours, remuneration, the position.
  • Make on offer
  • Ask if this is a job they would be comfortable accepting.

5. Build in weekly communication meetings and reviews

How do I pay my Nanny?

Before you proceed please check with the Australian Taxation Office and Fair Work Australia.

How do I retain a great Nanny?

It's quite simple, really. Show him or her the professional respect you would offer any of your colleagues. If in doubt, follow these basic principles.

Do:

  • Pay them on time, every time
  • Stick to timelines — coming home too early is just as bad as coming home too late
  • Value the work they do
  • Communicate clearly and often
  • Define and maintain clear boundaries. They work as your Nanny. They are not your best friend, little sister or Friday-evening debriefing buddy.

Don't:

  • Change the hours or job description without their knowledge and consent
  • Gossip about your Nanny
  • Fight with your partner in front of your Nanny
  • Expect housework from your Nanny. 
If you want a cleaner, professional organiser or housekeeper, go to www.placementsolutions.com.au

Is there a service that will do all the payroll for me?

Yes, our sister company Just Nanny Payroll can do all this for you. Please email or call to receive our information pack and price list.

What if my Nanny doesn’t work out?

There are two grounds for dismissal. One is clear (serious misconduct); the other can be grey (failure of attitude). Both are serious and need to be handled assertively.

1. Serious misconduct refers to abuse or neglect of the children

This amounts to instant dismissal, but you must follow due process. Generally speaking:

  • casual nannies – instant dismissal; no follow up required
  • permanent nanny who’s been with you less than 6 months – instant dismissal; no follow up required
  • permanent nanny who’s been with you longer than 6 months – instant dismissal on full pay; call Fair Work Australia for advice.

2. A failure of attitude can occur even after you’ve screened and interviewed

As opposed to serious misconduct, you have a little more time so consider the needs of your children – an abrupt severance might affect them more than it’s worth.

Of course, from the beginning you’re aiming to ensure clear and regular two-way communication. If this has fallen down, here are a few steps to follow:

  • talk to your Nanny about the issue without being accusatory
  • try to resolve the issue by talking about the problem, not the person
  • call it how you see it. Say something like, ‘You don’t seem to be enjoying this job like you were’ or ‘I’ve noticed the kids haven’t been doing their homework some nights’.
  • explain how the issue affects you and/or your children
  • allow time for the issue to resolve.

If the issue can’t be resolved, take steps to terminate the arrangement.

This process is complex and often fraught. If it becomes too hard or you’d rather place the logistics into the hands of people with over twenty years experience in the field of placement solutions, go to our sister agency www.placementsolutions.com.au.

Placement Solutions provides a full bricks-and-mortar service throughout Melbourne. With over twenty years in the business and government approval since 2001, we understand childcare. Over this time we’ve improved the industry through advice to government and setting benchmarks in the sector.

We recruit, screen, place and employ. For a full information package and price list, go to www.placementsolutions.com.au

Note: for families choosing Nannies outside Melbourne, please only consider government approved agencies and staff.

What safeguards can I put in place?

Keep your eyes and ears open ...

  • complete all relevant pre-employment checks, including trusting your own intuition
  • encourage your kids to share their experiences
  • talk regularly with the nanny
  • set and maintain boundaries around what your Nanny can and cannot do. For example, a casual babysitter would not be asked bath your children.

What standards and activities should I expect?

Children should look forward to a day with their Nanny as per the child who said, ‘Oh, goody is it a Jane day?'

As with any business relationship that crosses into the personal, you want this person to add value to your lives. A child in the care of a great Nanny will learn and meet development milestones. For example, she or he could encourage toilet training or help your child get ready for preschool.

Depending on your prospective nanny’s experience and qualifications, they should be able to outline their typical day. Within this you’re looking for:

  • understanding of their role
  • great communication skills
  • appreciation of your standards.

Make sure you set and communicate your own standards, particularly in non-negotiable areas such as:

  • nap time
  • bed time
  • eating & drinking
  • TV
  • social media
  • NO visiting friends.

Remember: you set the standards and the activities. Limit the activities to childcare only. If you want a Nanny/house keeper,this is possible providing the two jobs are clearly differentiated. 

In Melbourne our sister site www.placementsolutions.com.au can help you find a housekeeper or someone to fulfill the split role of Nanny/housekeeper.

What will make my Nanny leave?

At Just Family, we have heard it all ... apart from not mucking out the stables, cleaning the pool and making tins of shortbread for you to pass off as your own at the work Christmas party, there are a few other things to avoid:

  • Return home late
  • Return home early then only pay them only for the time you were away, not the promised hours
  • Take them for granted
  • Fight with your partner in front of them
  • Forget to pay them
  • Not pay them properly
  • Change the hours or job description without consultation
  • Be your Nanny's Facebook friend — this generally ends in tears
  • Similarly, don't complain about your Nanny on Facebook — it has been done!
In general, communicating badly with your Nanny will send them packing.
The golden rule = treat your Nanny like gold.