Helping Parents Write Letters of Reference for Their Nannies

SAMPLE REFERENCE LETTERImportance of Written Reference Letters

Before leaving a nanny position it is beneficial to get a written reference from the parents.

Having written letters of reference during nanny job interviews helps nanny candidates stand out from other job applicants because the parents can immediately see glowing recommendations from the nanny’s former employers.

Written references are a record of the nanny’s job performance for years to come. Ten and 20-years from now it may be hard for former employers to be able to answer reference questions. Written references can be used for the nanny’s entire career — spanning decades.

Typically nanny candidates shouldn’t provide prospective employers with the contact information of their references until both parents and the caregiver are certain they want to work together because they don’t want to burden former employers with too many phone calls.

It can be difficult for busy parents to figure out what to include in a written letter of reference. This list of questions can help guide parents as they write a reference letter. Of course parents will only pick and choose the topics they feel are essential to share with prospective employers.

Here are some ideas of questions to answer in a written letter of reference for your nanny:

  • Did your children like the nanny?
  • How many years did the nanny work for you?
  • Was the nanny prompt, arrive to work on time ready to work, and reliable?
  • Was the nanny warm, loving, and nurturing towards the children?
  • Did the nanny show initiative and make an effort to do a good job?
  • Was the nanny willing to openly communicate about the child and maintain daily logs or notes as required for the job?
  • Did the nanny show trustworthiness, good judgment, and confidentiality of private family matters?
  • Did the nanny respect your family’s lifestyle and traditions even if they were different to hers?
  • Can the nanny handle life stresses in a capable manner?
  • Did the nanny show attention to child safety?
    Did the nanny show attention to child hygiene, prepare food safely, and keep toys clean?
  • Did the nanny prepare healthy snacks and meals?
  • Did the nanny follow good judgment with appropriate discipline and follow discipline consistent with the parent’s wishes?
  • Did the nanny create a pleasant and enthusiastic environment for the kids to learn and play in?
  • Was the nanny helpful with straightening up the children’s living areas?
  • Did the nanny respect extended family when they came to visit?
  • How did the nanny help strengthen the parent/child bond?
  • How did the nanny go above and beyond at her job?
  • What stood out as the nanny’s biggest strengths as a childcare provider?
  • Why would you hire the nanny again?
  • Why do you recommend the nanny to other parents as a childcare provider?


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