Need to find a nanny? Follow this step-by-step approach to find the best nanny for your family.Do you want to learn more? Visit law.
- Write a nanny job description
Start by writing a nanny job description that outlines the key terms of your nanny’s employment: salary, work hours, childcare and other job responsibilities, childcare experience or job qualifications and any special circumstances. Do you work late or have an uncertain schedule? You may need a live-in nanny or au pair. Do you need a nanny who can drive? A nanny who is comfortable with pets? A nanny who can help with homework? The answers to these questions will help define the type of nanny your family needs.
- Tell everyone that you plan to hire a nanny
Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a nanny. With a little luck and some targeted networking, you may save money and time by finding a nanny through word-of-mouth. Good nannies often become available when a family moves or when work circumstances change. These families are usually very happy to help good nannies find new jobs. Good nannies also tend to know good nannies, so your co-worker’s nanny may be your best resource. By telling everyone you know that you are looking for a nanny, you can maximize the chance that you will find a good nanny through word-of-mouth.
- Advertise your nanny job locally
Spread the word throughout your community by advertising your nanny job in your local area. Create a simple flier and post it at the local library, the neighborhood pool, local preschools and toddler programs, and the nearest Starbucks. Place a classified ad in the local newspaper. Community papers that cover just one or two towns are usually the least expensive and best alternative. Importantly, for any public advertising, do not provide your last name or your home phone number or address. Instead, use a cell phone number or set up a free email account as a means for candidates to contact you.
- Sign up with an online nanny service
Sign up with a reputable online nanny service. Membership fees at most online nanny services range from $25 to $50 per month and most online nanny services let families browse candidate profiles without payment of a membership fee. Compare online nanny services, choose the service with the most qualified local nannies, and sign up for a month or two. Take full advantage of your membership by posting your nanny job and contacting nanny candidates as soon as possible. Also, use your membership to find local candidates interested in occasional babysitting or providing temporary or backup care.
- Hire a local nanny placement agency
You can also hire a local nanny placement agency to conduct your nanny search. Local agencies typically charge an activation fee of $100 to $250 to start a search, and a placement fee of $1,500 to $2,500 or more if you hire a candidate referred by the agency. Call local nanny services to inquire about their services and compare fees. A local nanny agency can also help evaluate your needs and provide information on the salary you can expect to pay and how long it may take to fill your position.
- Screen nanny candidates thoroughly
Before hiring any nanny, complete a thorough screening that includes a comprehensive interview, a reference check and a background check. During the interview, ask detailed questions about the candidate’s work experience that can be confirmed during the reference check. When checking references, ask probing questions to evaluate the nanny’s childcare expertise, reliability and trustworthiness, and also to confirm that the reference is valid. Finally, commission a background check that includes a search of criminal records in all known states of residence, a search of motor vehicle records and a credit check. Inform nanny candidates of the background check requirements early in the process to screen out those who are not likely to pass.
It often takes 4-6 weeks or more to fill a nanny position and the waiting and uncertainty can be frustrating for parents. To ensure success, start early and recruit aggressively so that you have the opportunity to meet as many candidates as possible. Your efforts will be rewarded when you find the right nanny for your family.