How to Find a Nanny – Part 1
In order to find a nanny, you need first to find a nanny. Bear with me! By that I mean that no amount of advertising or emailing community groups and websites will ever get you as close to finding a nanny as finding another nanny at a playgroup will.
You need to get out and about as soon as you arrive, chatting to other parents and attending playgroups. In this way you will advertise your need and the other nannys that you meet will be able to recommend you. That’s right, they will recommend YOU to their friends and colleagues. You may think it would be the other way around, but there is very much a nanny network here in Yangon and you would do well to dip into it as soon as you can.
If you already have other staff, such as a housekeeper, cleaner or driver, be sure to ask them if they know of anyone. This serves a dual purpose because all your staff need to get on, and they may well be able to recommend a friend or family member, even in the short term. Be aware of cultural differences however, because they may NOT recommend someone they know well, on the basis that if it doesn’t work out, all parties will be embarrassed by the transaction. It’s a delicate line!
What if your children aren’t school age yet? Then it can be harder to meet other parents but don’t be afraid to approach anyone you see, in the supermarket for instance. Don’t know what to say? How about “I’m new in town and thinking of starting a playgroup to meet some other parents, would you like to come?” It worked a treat for me; not only did I get a superb nanny out of it but a lifelong friend too. Likewise, it’s never too early to check out nurseries and schools and this is of course a great way to meet other parents who already have kids at school but may also have younger ones at home. Don’t forget to take this opportunity to ask what people are paying their nannys and bear in mind that live-in and live-out options make a difference (see my other post on How to Find a Nanny – Part 2 http://wp.me/p1MPyQ-5Z ).
When you do finally meet your nanny, make sure that you begin with a trial period so that if there is a lack of connection neither of you feel embarrassed to state that it’s not working and you need to move on (that said, if you have Myanmar nanny she will be so polite it’s very likely you will have to be the one to initiate the conversation).
If you’ve never had a nanny before it can be a daunting task, but be led by your children. If they interact well and are happy, then give them some time to play alone together and form a bond. If possible, let them attend a playgroup together and get some feedback from friends afterwards. Only time will tell, but having clear expectations and guidelines will be of enormous help at this point. Before you know it, you will be able to spend more time out of the house/at work and your children won’t even miss you. And that’s the hardest part!