What if the nanny I want to hire gets a bad reference?
You have found a nanny you want to hire. She seems confident, experienced and trustworthy. Then you call her references and they do not say good things. What do you do now? You were so sure her references would be excellent.
Make sure you do enough digging. Was there one incident or was there a recurring problem. Was the nanny open to fixing the issue or did the family fire her without any discussion. A bad reference is not the end of the road.
Give the nanny a chance to explain herself. There are always two sides to each story and since you were not there you can gain more insight by gathering all the facts. Once you have all the information you have to decide if you want to proceed. Was it just a personality clash that lead to the bad reference or did she put the child at risk. If it had to do with the safety and security of the children you should move on. You would never forgive yourself if the same thing happened after you hired her. On the other hand if it was much more vague such as the nanny never cleaned up you should take one more step.
Ask the nanny for another reference. Good nannies have many references they can give. A school teacher, a neighbour she baby-sits for or a volunteering position with children would all be useful.
Once she gets one more good reference you should be confident enough to hire her. You should have a minimum of two glowing references before offering the nanny the job. In the end you have to do what you feel comfortable with and if the bad reference scared you off that is absolutely reasonable.