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6 Things I Have Learned Must Be Done Before Hiring a Maid or Nanny (Part One)

By Feyi Kemi

Shortly after I had my daughter, I hired Queen, the 23-year-old nanny a friend who was travelling abroad was laying off. She had worked for her for almost 2 years without a hitch. She however stopped working about 5 months later when she gained admission to further her studies. I always recall the little time she spent working for me with lots of nostalgia – she was the best I ever had. Hiring her was a good choice.

Then came Molola; the homely and quite respectful 21-year-old from the village in search of a decent means to get by. I was desperate, so, I quickly looked past her poor etiquette, thinking she was bound to change with time and better exposure. I was wrong!

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To be fair, she was very hard working but the major problem was that we shared clearly different views on hygiene and I could never trust her to be alone with my daughter. I had to let her go about two months later.

Now that my searchlight is on again, I feel equipped to find a good one that suits my taste and needs this time because of these 6 major things I’ve learned.

See them below…

1. Hire through referrals from reliable sources. People do change, however, hiring from a reputable agency based on referrals from friends and family who have used same agency helps. I’ve found it’s always best to hire someone that an agency or friend can vouch for based on past work ethics and experience(s) and in view of your expectations, than opting for any random individual that is available because you’re desperate to quickly fill the vacuum.

2. Background check. Make no assumptions. Run a thorough check to find out all you can about her personal and family life. Ask to meet some of her relatives if you can and find out where they live for security reasons. Also, make sure you speak to her guarantors and they can convincingly vouch for her.

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3. Health check. This is very crucial and should include HIV test, blood type and group, screenings for infectious diseases and every other necessary labouratory tests. Ask about her medical records or any illness she may have and continue with random tests routinely after she resumes work. Did you say ahn-ahn? Well, I thought that was too much too until I found out a colleague’s 2-year-old son is now down with Tuberculosis, thanks to a maid who worked with them for only about 3 months.

Continued here
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