What to Look for In an After-School Nanny

by Martha Scully

With the new school year up ahead, you may need someone to help with after-school care for you children while you are still at work.  If you’re planning on hiring after-school childcare, then we’ve put together a list of some qualities to consider when interviewing potential nannies.


Punctuality – Being able to keep to a schedule in a timely fashion is vitally important when picking up your kids from school or any other activities. Be sure your nanny is a multi-tasker who knows how to budget everybody’s time. While the oldest child is at a piano lesson and the youngest is at a friend’s house, make sure that nobody will forget that the middle child is still at soccer!

Flexibility – As most schedules can change from time-to-time and/or at last minute, whether it is your work schedule or extracurricular activities, your nanny should have some flexibility should these changes arise. You should also pay your nanny for the extra time if you end up having a late day at work. If this becomes a regular occurrence, consider officially extending the hours the nanny is needed for.

Educational Background – If your child needs help with homework and you usually won’t be home in time to assist them, having a nanny with experience in tutoring or who has a background in a particular subject might be a good idea. Having someone who can give helpful tips or help prepare your kids for tests can really make a difference.

Clean Driving Record – If your nanny will be driving your kids around, it is a good idea to ask them for a current DMV record with a copy of their driver’s license and insurance information for you to keep on hand. After all – they will be transporting your most precious cargo!

Assertive and Gets Things Done – Homework usually is not the first thing on your child’s mind after a day at school. They would much rather watch TV or play video games all night. Having a nanny who can make sure your kids get their homework done and enforce house rules that you have set (eg. limited TV/video game time) can be really helpful.

Basic Cooking Skills – Most kids come home and want an after-school snack and if your child is a picky eater, you want to be able to rely on someone who will make your child’s favourites while also getting them to try new things. If you’re going to be late for dinners, you may also want to look for a nanny who has the ability to cook healthy meals for your family.

Communication – Your nanny should be aware of your child’s mood and behaviour and be able to communicate with you if there were any problems or concerns to be aware of for the day. Strong communication between you and your nanny is essential.

About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.