top of page

The Quest for a "RIE Nanny" - Things to Look For, and How to Train Her

I receive many requests from people who would like help finding a "RIE Nanny." It can be hard to find a nanny already trained in Magda Gerber's Educaring® Approach (RIE®), but that doesn't mean you can't find an excellent nanny and train her yourself. You can stack the cards in your favor by being on the lookout for certain qualities during interviews.

1. A Peaceful Person

Does the nanny have a peaceful attitude and a positive outlook on life? The Educaring Approach is built on the underlying assumption that people are inherently good. A caregiver with a negative view of humanity, instability in her lifestyle, or a frantic, high-energy attitude will be less suited to this approach.

2. Meets Your Baby Gently

Does the nanny put herself in the baby's face as soon as they meet, with overstimulating attention and adult-initiated games? Or does she patiently give the baby space to greet her and follow the baby's cues? This first moment says a lot about her personality and the way she shows respect for children. 

If your baby seems comfortable enough, it's a good idea to give the potential nanny a chance to handle the baby during the first interview. A nanny well suited to this approach will handle the baby with confidence, joy, mindful movement, and unusual gentleness.

3. Shares Your Values

It's helpful to make a list for yourself of the things about parenting that are most important to you before the first interview. This might include the aspects of the Educaring Approach you resonate with the most. Which parts of the approach are the most essential to you: free movement, following the child's cues for eating, empathetic listening, a specific way of setting limits...?

When you interview the nanny, ask her how she would handle certain challenging situations. "What would you do if my baby was crying for a long time and you didn't know why?" is a great baseline question.

The nanny you choose will become a member of your caregiving team, a member of your family. Sharing caregiving values is essential for success.

4. Excited to Learn

It's not necessary for your nanny to already be familiar with the Educaring Approach, but it is necessary that she be eager to learn. Help her know what to expect by bringing up the possibility of training her in this approach during the interview. See how she responds to the idea of being trained. Some people with many years of experience caring for children are set in their ways. You are looking for someone who is flexible in her approach and excited to learn more about how to be a great caregiver.