What Are The Qualities To Consider When Hiring A Yaya?

Hiring a yaya or nanny is a hard task for parents as she should possess good characteristics that may contribute positively to the holistic development of the child. Looking for the right person who will fit our description of what a good nanny is and who will be there for our child until his/her teen years seem to be now a fantasy. Gone are the days when nannies grow old taking care of their ward and even their kids in the long run.

Wanted: Dream NannyBeing a new mom four and a half years ago, I was very hesitant to entrust my child to a nanny. Like all moms, my daughter is so precious that I don’t even want a mosquito to get near her. Fortunately, my husband requested me to stay at home and take care of our baby together with her yaya. So from the start, I never had worries that my daughter will experience “nanny-cruelty” as reported in the news since I was also at home 24/7. But, this didn’t limit me from having parameters in choosing my daughter’s yaya.

Before I share with you my experiences with my daughter’s nannies, here are some tried and tested qualities that every parent should consider when hiring a yaya:

  1. First on my list, she has to be honest.
    I value honesty since this will be the foundation of our relationship as employer-employee and her relationship with my daughter. She has to be honest to me at all times most especially in cases when my daughter is accidentally hurt. A person who will inform you the truth on what transpired despite putting herself to bad light is for keeps. When I know that a person is honest, as days pass, she’ll definitely earn my trust.
  2. She has to be dependable.
    Dependability is important since there will be instance when the baby will be left solely under her custody even just for several hours. She has to have knowledge on proper childcare, sharp-mind and awareness on how to act on emergency cases.
  3. She has to know how to control her temper and has great patience.
    I think there are really people gifted with long patience. You can easily know if your nanny possess this characteristic based on how she treats your kid’s demands and reacts on his/her sudden tantrums and whims.
  4. Respect
    Knowing the value of respect plays an important part too. She has to know how to respect us, as parents, our decisions, our belongings. She has to respect our child and keep in mind that he/she is just a growing baby who’s starting to learn new things everyday. Respect should also be given to our parents, in-laws and other relatives that visit the child. Furthermore, she has to respect the privacy of our home and family life and not divulge our everyday affair to the other nannies in the neighborhood.
  5. Her openness and willingness to learn new things and adapt to change.
    There are nannies who are older than we are, and are raised traditionally. Most of the time, they scratch the new method presented to them in taking care of a child. The child should grow up the way his/her own parent want him/her to be.
  6. She has the capacity to love.
    She should not only consider baby-sitting a job that she has to do but  a job that she loves. When a person loves her job everything will come in a breeze. If she’ll learn how to love our kid, she’ll definitely give him/her the utmost concern and care like what a real family member will do.
  7. She should know how to communicate properly.
    She has to know how to correctly verbalize what she feels in Tagalog or English. Speaking the same dialect as we know is a must. I always believe that all great relationships are products of good and open line of communication. I will highly appreciate if she can report to me what my daughter does when I’m not around so thru her I can keep track of my daughter’s behavior because sometimes kids behave differently when they are not with their parents.
  8. Listening
    It’s important that the nanny knows how to listen to the parents and to her ward. I dislike nannies who are always pre-occupied listening songs in the radio or always busy chatting with earphones on.
  9. Set a good example and contribute positively to the development of the child.
    The nanny should be a good example to the child most especially to toddlers who absorb like a sponge the things they see and hear. More importantly, she should not use vulgar languages when talking to anyone since the child may adapt her words.
  10. Lastly, a good personal hygiene is a must!Who would want to have an untidy nanny, who knows, she might transmit virus or bacteria to your precious one. Being always neat and clean will also benefit the yaya since she won’t be susceptible to sickness.

And, now let me share with you my experiences with Keisha’s nannies…

I remember back then, two weeks before I gave birth, Keisha’s yaya was already with us. During that time, my husband and I were living with my parents since our house was submerged in the flood (Ondoy) and house reconstruction was in process. My mom taught her how things should be done – how to wash feeding bottles (just to be clear I breastfed Keisha for 2 1/2 years and those bottles were alternately used when I do errands but still with my stored breastmilk), how to use bottle sterilizer, proper way of washing and keeping Keisha’s garments, etc. Though, she grew up traditionally, she embraced and accepted the ways on how we want things to be done. Her personal hygiene was also discussed since she will be faced-to-faced with my daughter most of the time. She’s way older than my husband and I, with kids and husband in the province and left us after seven months.

Keisha's yaya for seven months. She left because she also had her own children to look after. After two months, she texted that she wanted to go back and asked us to send money thru Western Union for her transportation expenses. We sent the money and was informed after two days that someone stole the money from her after withdrawing it. Then, we never heard anything from her after that.

Keisha’s yaya for seven months. She left because she also had her own children to look after. After two months, she texted that she wanted to go back and asked us to send money thru Western Union for her transportation expenses. We sent the money and was informed after two days that someone stole the money from her after withdrawing it. Then, we never heard anything from her after that.

When she left us, I had three other yayas who were all apparently unequipped with the traits that I was looking for. Then, came another one who was referred to us by a trusted person. Well, I may say that she passed on the qualities that I was looking for. We’re about the same age and I was truly praying that she’ll stay with us for a long time. The only reason that I see why she’ll leave us is when she’ll have a family of her own. With God’s will, she stayed with us for almost four years. So that’s almost four years of great service and genuine love for my little girl and peace of mind on my part. She left us last January 2. She only asked for a 2 weeks vacation, and, after a week she texted me that she will no longer comeback. That broke my heart because I know it will be hard to find someone as good as her. Later on, I found out that she settled down with her long time boyfriend in the province. That news made me feel better knowing that she left us for a better reason.

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Photo taken during my daughter’s fashion show in Sta. Lucia Mall last December 2013

Keeping a yaya for several years is not that easy nowadays, and I guess she stayed with us for almost four years because she felt that we are good to her and we value her.

Here are some tips on how to keep your nanny:

  1. Treat her as a family. When you ask my daughter the members of our family, she’ll say daddy, mommy, Keisha and yaya. I didn’t teach her that, that’s how she feels towards her yaya.
  2. Make her feel at home and at ease.
  3. Respect her as a person. Understand her moods most especially when it’s the time of the month.
  4. Let her know that you care to her family in the province as well.
  5. Give her fair wages, bonuses and salary increase yearly.
  6. Pay for her SSS contribution.
  7. Understand and forgive them when they commit mistakes.
  8. Don’t yell at them when they commit mistake or when you argue instead, talk to them calmly to settle your differences.
  9. Let them know that you appreciate their good work.
  10. Just be a nice and approachable boss.

Now, I’m back to square one looking for a yaya who may atleast equal the traits of the previous one. And, I know, many parents are in my same shoes. Finding our dream yaya has somehow become a struggle and far from reality now. But, let’s keep our fingers crossed, as what they always say, the right one will come along, we just have to patiently wait.

And in our search for the dream nanny, let’s not  forget to ask them the following:

  • NBI Clearance
  • Medical Clearance (you may sponsor their medical examination like sputum test, lung x-ray, dental cleaning)
  • Ask them to submit their bio-data and a photocopy of their government issued ID

I hope the qualities I listed above can serve as a guide for mommies who are also in search for their kid’s yaya like me. As always, it’s best to hire the one that is referred by a trusted person. Good luck to all of us!

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37 Comments

  • Reply Aisha Kristine Chong January 27, 2014 at 1:14 am

    It’s so hard to find one recently – my mom’s priority is someone who is truly honest and kind – and the others, matuturuan nalang kasi un daw ang importante.

  • Reply Joy January 27, 2014 at 3:20 am

    a nanny is a necessity for working moms, i agree with the qualities you mentioned above, however it is really hard to find one who will meet all the qualities we expect.

  • Reply Liza January 27, 2014 at 7:18 am

    It’s so hard to find someone you can really trust kaya dapat pag nakahanap ka ng ganun wag mo nang pakawalan.

    • Reply Maica Ocfemia-Figuracion January 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      I definitely agree.

  • Reply Dhadha January 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Marami na rin akong na experience sa mga yaya since madami na dumaan samin. Hehe. Iba-iba sila, merong mababait, merong sutil at meron din nananakit ng anak ko ng patago. Ang hinihingi ko lang talga na makakita ng yaya na honest at yung may puso for kids. Tapos yung mapagkakatiwalaan ko sa anak ko. Yung tipong si Maya (nung yaya pa sya) Haha! I don’t know if meron pa nag eexist na yaya na ganyan sa panahong ito. Hehe. 🙂

    • Reply Maica Ocfemia-Figuracion January 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Great example of a yaya! I hope nannies will idolize her.

  • Reply Adin Blankenship January 27, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Great tips and are very helpful for those who are seeking or considering getting a babysitter or yaya. Me, I am so scared to trust my kids to others. Hearing all these news and stories, scared the heck out of me. Gotta make sure to check the background of the person to be safe. Afterall, you are trusting them to take better care of kids and the house. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply chubskulit January 27, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Lucky you that you get to have a nanny for your daughter, over here, we do everything hehehe.

  • Reply April McGregor January 28, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Here in the US, only the rich folks can afford a full-time nanny. Anyway, even if I could afford one, I am not comfortable leaving my kids to a nanny. I am that paranoid.

  • Reply Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen January 28, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    It’s really very hard to look for Yaya you can really rely and and trust. Thank yuo for sharing these tips, Kaye!

    • Reply Peach and Things February 2, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      I’m here again and checking back on some of the tips..

  • Reply Fernando Lachica January 29, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Nice and comprehensive tips in hiring a nanny, and this article could help readers in a way that they could have enough knowledge to do so.

  • Reply Carlo January 29, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Mahirap humanap ng yaya ngayon, lalo na yung mapagkakatiwalaan. Masuwerte ka sa nakuha mong Yaya

  • Reply Franc Ramon January 29, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I think it’s nice that we go for Yaya we can trust and has an NBI clearance and they should also love kids.

  • Reply Janine January 29, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Nowadays,to have a yaya is really difficult especially that there are already requirements that we should ponder. What if you have accomplished her SSS then suddenly, she won’t stay for long? It’s like the effort is “sayang.” Nevertheless, we will always really need their help and that we just got to be patient to look for the right one. Parang pag-ibig lang. Lol

    • Reply Maica Ocfemia-Figuracion January 30, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Great point! But, we always have to abide with the law. Even though, they’ll long or not, it’s our responsibility as an employer.

  • Reply Roch January 30, 2014 at 1:35 am

    These qualities should all be considered in hiring a yaya. The problem is that it is not easy to find all these at once during the interview, so how would you know if it’s right to hire the one in front of you?

    • Reply Maica Ocfemia-Figuracion January 30, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      You can’t really find the perfect one but given these considerations, you may personally assess them and weigh if they somehow possess the attitude you prefer.

  • Reply che January 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    good tips you have there. it’s really hard entrusting our kids to a stranger. i really prefer someone i really know or is blood-related.

    • Reply Maica Ocfemia-Figuracion January 30, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      You’re lucky if you find a relative who’s willing to work for you.

  • Reply Rossel January 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Trustworthy, dependable and patient are on top of my list. The nanny must have experience in handling babies and toddlers too. But as what Joy said, it’s hard to find one with all these qualities, so when my daughter’s nanny got married, I decided to stay at home and take care of my daughter myself.

    • Reply Maica Ocfemia-Figuracion January 30, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      True that, its best not to leave children at the sole custody of the nanny. Nannies should still be supervised by moms.

  • Reply Giz Elle January 30, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Yup, I totally agree with what you’ve written in this post. However, it’s just so rare to find all these qualities in an instant. Sometimes, you have to help the nanny to match your needs. I think if you’re out looking for one, please don’t hire one from an agency. A referral is way much better.

    • Reply Maica Ocfemia-Figuracion January 30, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Yes, I haven’t tried hiring from an agency.

  • Reply ralph January 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    being trustworthy would be first in my list… really hard to find one these days. Yahweh bless.

  • Reply Jerwin February 4, 2014 at 2:10 am

    I agree with your suggestions. We should have the standards in choosing YAYA for our child.

  • Reply Ronel February 8, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Great! will surely consider all the suggestion states on the top post when I got my own kids soon.. ehhe

  • Reply Angie Vianzon February 12, 2014 at 2:29 am

    Looking for a nanny is such a difficult task. I am so thankful for the list that you provided for it will surely help me a lot to find a good one.

  • Reply Fernando Lachica February 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Totally agree with you about this topic. People must be aware always about hiring a maid or house helper nowadays.

  • Reply Aisha Kristine Chong February 20, 2014 at 5:15 am

    These things are truly a must, we have a hard time ourselves finding the right one.

  • Reply jheylo February 20, 2014 at 6:10 am

    I hear you! I myself have trouble finding the best yaya for my kids especially now that I’m working. I wish my mom can come here in US to help me out.

  • Reply jared's mum February 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    finding a nanny to care for your little one sure is a very tricky thing to do nowadays. it is simply too difficult to trust people, what with all the horror stories we see on the telly involving yayas. those sure are nifty tips anyone looking for a new nanny ought to consider before making a choice.

  • Reply chubskulit February 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I am a full time nanny to my kids, it’s better that way.

  • Reply Rossel February 21, 2014 at 4:00 am

    It’s really hard to find yaya that is dependable and trustworthy. Thanks for these great helpful tips.

  • Reply Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen February 22, 2014 at 4:35 am

    A yaya with good personal hygiene is really a must for me!

  • Reply Dhadha February 22, 2014 at 10:28 am

    As much sa possible, if you have relatives who are willing to take care of your baby when you’re gone is much ok at least kilala mo na talga. Mahirap kasi ngayon ipagkatiwala ang mga anak mo sa mga hindi mo pa masyadong kakilala. Mahirap makahanap ng yaya ng yung tipong mapagkakatiwalaan mo ng husto. 🙁

  • Reply April McGregor February 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I don’t really like the idea of hiring a nanny even if I could afford one here in the states. I am very hands-on with my kids ever since they were born. I have nothing against mommies who have nannies for their kids. It’s just me.

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