How to find a long-term babysitter in the Czech Republic

A Prague-based agency with an individual approach to connecting families with nannies shares tips for finding a caregiver your family loves. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 09.12.2022 17:00:00 (updated on 09.12.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

For many parents, especially foreigners in the Czech Republic who are without immediate family, finding a regular, long-term babysitter has a number of advantages. But how do you find somebody trustworthy who will commit to long-term cooperation and meet your requirements and preferences when it comes to childcare?

According to Sarah Kaplan, co-founder of the Prague-based Mary Poppins Agency, which specializes in connecting families with long-term childcare providers, enlisting the help of an agency can make the selection process faster and easier.

“We work primarily with families who do not have time to recruit and pre-select nannies themselves and come to us for help,” Kaplan explains. She believes that when families screen candidates on their own they can get a lot of inappropriate applicants, false promises, price changes, and subsequent withdrawal of cooperation.

"This can have a negative impact on families who really need help because it demotivates them and they look for other solutions such as sending a child to a grandmother, kindergarten, or even the mother postponing going back to work," she says. 

Mary Poppins Agency compiles nanny profiles that match specific criteria (languages spoken, education, personality, lifestyle, approach to discipline, suitability for a particular age) as well as the client's requirements for working hours and location.

They utilize a broad search network of different portals and people and have established a team that's specifically devoted to finding and screening nannies, with each person within the company specializing in a certain part of the process.

But the process, Kaplan says, works both ways: while the agency does an intake of a family's specific requirements and preferences, they also listen to the needs of their nannies who are allowed to weigh in if they feel like a family isn't a good fit.

This has led to the agency developing long-term relationships with their nannies as well, who are never forced to work for a family when it doesn't feel right, Kaplan says.

"Many of our nannies have been rotating with us during those seven years, so we can recommend one of our permanent caregivers," says Kaplan. Part of this long-term development also includes educating nannies on the ethical code of nannying and first aid for kids.

Mary Poppins Agency also maintains lasting relationships with families, extending care upon the birth of a second child or even helping parents begin their search for a caregiver at the pregnancy stage.

For those expats in the Czech Republic who are trying to navigate the ins and outs of finding a nanny, Kaplan provides some additional tips on safely welcoming a regular caregiver into your family.

Tips for finding a nanny in Czechia

Screening is the first step

Background or reference checks are typically the first rule of thumb for hiring a caregiver. These remain important first steps, advises Kaplan.

While word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or Facebook groups are a common way to find help, the intensive screening of candidates (checking a potential caregiver's criminal background, personal references, and verifying documentation) remain essential to the process and can be simplified with the help of an agency.

"A good agency with a database of suitable providers that finds, pre-screens and verifies, can also save the family a lot of valuable time and cost," says Kaplan.

Ask the right interview questions

“It’s essential to ensure that your sitter knows the basics of first aid, developmentally appropriate care, and is a good fit for your child’s personality,” says Kaplan.

Once a candidate has passed the screening, Mary Poppins Agency recommends (and offers its clients) a trial babysitting period with a pre-chosen nanny before signing a contract, to ensure that her approach and personality are a good fit for the children.

Agree on activities in advance

Although most babysitters only do certain activities with children, including development and educational play, others are open to helping out with basic housework, including dinner preparation or vacuuming. It's important to clarify responsibilities from the outset.

In addition to nanny services, Mary Poppins Agency provides regular cleaning services on a weekly basis to many Prague-based Czech and expat families in Prague. Cleaners visit the household can provide quality services, including window cleaning or deep carpet cleaning.

Stick with one babysitter

While some parents look to hire a one-off, occasional babysitter or afternoon shift help, many others rely on a full-time nanny. In fact, long-term cooperation is increasingly preferred. Hiring a regular sitter can also help kids develop a routine and sense of stability and consistency -- not to mention alleviate a lot of stress for parents.

Whether you are looking for a full-time nanny with a regular working schedule or someone who is more flexible based on the needs of the family, guaranteeing your caregiver a minimum salary helps to ensure her flexibility and availability.

This article was written in association with Mary Poppins Agency, Prague based service established in 2014. To read more about our partner content policies see here.

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