Do You Have Written Reference Letters?

How Have You Asked for Written References?

An anonymous nanny contacted Be the Best Nanny Newsletter asking how she should ask the parents who employ her for a written reference letter without worrying her employers that she’s leaving the job. So, we want to ask our readers to help answer her question. Do you have written references and how have you asked for written references from your current and former employers?

To land a great nanny job, you need great references from former employers. Be sure to ask parents directly if they are willing to be contacted for a job reference before sharing their contact information with potential employers. Also contact your references to let them know they will be receiving phone calls to verify your work history. Do not list someone as a reference unless you have their permission.

Although parents should always speak directly to some of your job references, written references are important since many of your references may not remember key information included at the time they write the reference letter.

Many nanny placement agencies and experienced nannies recommend asking for written references from employers annually or during your job performance evaluation. At the very least, you should ask for a written letter of reference every time you change employment. Make a point of asking for a reference letter from the parent. They won’t write the letter unless you ask them to do it.

Some experienced nannies recommend providing the parents with some questions to answer in the written the reference. For example, here are some questions you might ask your employers to answer in your written reference letter:

1. Can you describe how I have been a reliable employee and have a good work ethic?
2. Am I able to take direction well?
3. Can you describe how I interact with the children?
4. How have I supported you as a parent?
5. Can you describe how I handled an emergency?
6. How have I stood out as a nanny?
7. How have I gone above and beyond being the best nanny for your family?

Please share with us how you have asked for written reference from your employers? If you asked them to ask specific questions, what questions did you ask the parents to answer?


  1. I think you covered everything and I can't think of better questions to ask parents to help them write a reference letter.But, I have written my own before as a sample for a mother I worked for that didn't have confidence in writing. Of course I told her to edit it and change it before signing it. She didn't change anything that I wrote.I also have written a letter of reference for parents once before I left that they could share with possible nannies.

  2. Email the parents this link when asking them to write the reference letter. Also find other samples online if you can and share those links too. I also like the idea of writing it for them allowing them to edit as they seem fit. I think most parents are just too busy and want to write it but it takes time and energy so they just keep thinking they will do it but keep putting it off and eventually forget.

  3. I do have written references. Great idea so parents don't forget what a great employee you were.

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