Frequently Asked Questions from Parents
We often get asked similar questions from parents who want a solid understanding of our services before leaving their child in our care. Understandably so! Through the FAQs below, we hope to put your mind at ease.
How does a night with a night nanny work?
Our night service typically starts at 10 pm and ends the next morning around 7 am. Within this time frame we can take over the last feed of the evening and the first feed the next day. You will already have had an initial intake with The Night Nanny. On the first night the nanny will arrive half an hour early so there is time for her to settle in and for you to explain things. Then you either go to bed or leave the house, and the nanny takes over the care of your child. This includes feeding, changing nappies, comforting, cradling, rocking, putting your child to bed and settling her if she wakes up again. If you prefer, the nanny can always start earlier or end later. Regardless of your preferred start and end time, the shift will always be a minimum of nine hours. The next morning the nanny will transfer the care of your baby or child back to you and update you on how the night went.
I’m nervous about leaving my child in the hands of someone I don’t really know.
We totally understand – your child is your most precious possession! Our nannies take their work very seriously, act with the utmost care and pay dedicated attention to your child’s specific needs. We stay in close touch with both the parents and our nannies. We also have high standards when it comes to recruiting our nannies and take extreme care before admitting someone to our ranks. We’ve learned from experience that a personal meet-and-greet with the family is not only a pleasant experience but also removes any lingering doubts. Some parents tell us the first night was a bit tricky to get through. But after that, their concerns go out the window and they feel 100% comfortable with The Night Nanny.
What does the nanny need during a night shift?
During the intake, we explore the best place for your baby/child and nanny for the night. If the baby still needs multiple feeds per night, it is practical to have everything ready in advance and close to the baby’s room. The nanny needs a place to sleep, preferably as close to the baby/child as possible so she can be there quickly and make the least noise for the parents. This may be in the baby’s room, in a spare bedroom or in the living room.
How will I manage to sleep when I hear my child cry?
We get this question a lot. From experience, we can say that once parents have decided to put their trust into us and the nanny, they may briefly wake up from the sound of crying during the night … only to roll over and go back to sleep, safe in the knowledge that someone is giving their child the care and attention she deserves. The initial night may not be as easy as subsequent ones and we understand this all too well – which is why we and the nanny invest the extra time to help parents feel at ease.
How does the first night go?
It’s natural and healthy to feel a little tense on the first night. That’s why the nanny will take the time to help you feel at ease. She will arrive half an hour earlier to learn how the household runs and discuss the care your child needs. And in the morning, she will take the time to tell you how the night went. It’s quite special to be entrusted by a family in their own home with their most precious possession – their baby!
Does the nanny stay awake all night or does she sleep?
Our nannies sleep when the baby or child sleeps. This is why she needs a place to sleep. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a simple bed, couch or air mattress will do. As long as she can be as close to the baby/child as possible, or with a baby phone.
What are your nannies’ qualifications and how do you vet them?
We personally screen our nannies through an extensive interview process. This allows us to get to know the candidate, thoroughly assess their experience and motivation and ensure that they meet our minimum requirements. Our nannies:
Why is The Night Nanny cheaper than a freelancer? What is the difference in quality?
We are an employment agency and our nannies work for us under the Dutch home services law (Wet dienstverlening aan huis). Pursuant to this regulation, a person may work for a private party for a maximum of three days a week as long as the work involves tasks in or around the house, such as childcare. Because this type of employment does not require payment of taxes or other social premiums, it is relatively cheap for the employer. The employer does not need to register as having employees; the nanny herself is responsible for filing the proper tax returns.
As The Night Nanny, we mediate between the nanny (employee) and the family (employer). We monitor and guarantee the quality delivered by personally vetting and screening the nannies to ensure they meet our strict minimum requirements.
Can I meet the nanny beforehand?
Yes, of course! It is certainly possible for the family to meet the nanny in advance. The most important thing is that you feel at ease with the nanny and confident about putting your trust in her. We can arrange an initial meeting to help you see whether you have a rapport with her.
Can parents actually relax and let go, given that their baby is so close by?
We completely understand the fear of handing your baby over to someone else for the night. During the first night, the parents are usually still getting used to the idea. The second night is generally easier: they are able to let go and trust that the nanny will take good care of their baby.
As one of our clients wrote: “I was very happy when I eventually called The Night Nanny. I felt trusting of their service immediately. When our nanny first entered the room, I felt as though she was a niece or cousin of mine. I was able to let go from the very first night and get a good night’s sleep.”
Should parents stay at home, or can they also leave the house?
You can employ The Night Nanny with the aim of getting your sleep at home or elsewhere (e.g. at a hotel, your parents’ or your parents’-in-law). You can even go out! Say you have a wedding to go to: the nanny will come to your house earlier, during the day, or she may even come with you to the wedding. She takes care of your baby throughout the evening and night, so that you can relax and enjoy the party. A full weekend is also one of the possibilities.
A brief description of the Dutch home services law (Wet dienstverlening aan huis)
Do you babysit in and around the house for a private entity (i.e. a family rather than a company)? Do you do this kind of work for fewer than four days a week? You may fall under the Dutch home services law. This means you are not a permanent paid employee. You must declare your earnings to the Dutch tax authorities.
You can work under the home services law if you meet the following conditions:
NB: The number of hours you work per day is irrelevant. Even if you do only one hour of work, this counts as one working day. But you are allowed to babysit for numerous families at once, as long as you meet the above conditions for each family.
How is The Night Nanny’s rate determined?
If you book a nanny for one to ten nights per month:
The rate for hiring a nanny is €16 per hour. €16 x 9 hours = €144 in total.
The nanny is paid €11 per hour, and The Night Nanny, as intermediary, receives €5 per hour.
If you book more than ten nights per month:
The rate for hiring a nanny is €15 per hour. €15 x 9 hours = €135 in total.
The nanny is paid €11 per hour, and The Night Nanny, as intermediary, receives €4 per hour.
More than 20 nights (or days) per month?
We can create a special package deal for you! Please ask us about the options.
I am still breastfeeding. Can I hire a nanny?
Yes, certainly. We are frequently hired by breastfeeding mothers. The nanny will bring the baby to the mother to be fed, after which the mother can continue to get her night’s rest. The mother will usually express milk into a bottle at the beginning of the evening.
How much experience do the night nannies have?
Few organisations in the Netherlands offer professional night nannies, especially for parents whose child might need extra care. As one of our parents said, “I think that many parents, like me, would initially be too scared to surrender the care of their baby into the hands of another person for the night. Our child was so tiny and vulnerable. You really want to be assured that your nanny has a track record of the right kind of experience.”
As The Night Nanny, we carefully screen and select our nannies. Every night nanny must have relevant experience as demonstrated by two references, be in possession of a certificate of good conduct as well as a first aid certificate for babies and children, and have studied (or be studying) in a relevant area, such as obstetrics, midwifery or medicine.
Do you look after older children as well?
Sure! There are no age limits. Anything is possible. We are happy to discuss your options with you!
I am looking for a nanny who has experience with newborn babies
Good news! Although our nannies are experienced in taking care of babies of all ages, they specialise in looking after the youngest of babies. This includes babies born prematurely, who no longer need medical care but may need extra attention. Our nannies are typically students of medicine, obstetrics, midwifery and other relevant subjects, and have completed childcare-related work placements. They have proven experience in looking after babies, as demonstrated by at least two professional references.