It can be difficult, when searching for someone to take care of your children, to find someone trustworthy. There are babysitters the neighbor refers you to, family members, friends of friends, and, of course, nanny agencies.
The problem with babysitters, family members, and friends of friends is most of them are for short amounts of time or only occasional days. Sometimes there is no guarantee they will be available when you need them. You will probably want to talk to the people first and find out what characteristics they have, what they charge, what their availability is, and talk to others that have used them. This process can be very time-consuming and frustrating.
Then there is a nanny agency. Though you may still need to research the nanny agencies to find out things like:
- What services do they offer
- How long they have been in business
- Their professional affiliations
- What they require from their nannies
- How do they screen their nannies
- What their charges are
- What insurance coverage do they have
- What they offer for short notice
So if you still have to research nanny agencies before picking one, why choose a nanny agency over other options? There are many advantages to hiring a nanny agency.
- Saves time and stress
- Nanny Screening
- Professional Affiliations
- Support services
Saves Time and Stress
Searching ads, interviewing, researching, calling referrals, and finding a childcare provider on your own can be extremely time-consuming and stressful. A nanny agency does all of that work for you. They are essentially a match-making company. They hear your needs and search through their qualified nannies to find the best match for your family. Most agencies already have several nannies with different skill sets for different families. They understand that each family is different, with different ages of children and special needs.
Nanny agencies have experience in matching candidates with families. They will have experience working with their nannies to find specific qualities. They ensure the nannies meet certain requirements, ensuring each party is fulfilling their contractual duties, and offering support services. Nanny agencies also have the experience to weed out applicants that do not meet the proper qualifications through their screening process.
Each family is unique. Some families only have one child, while others have multiple. Some families may have an infant, which requires certain skill sets. Some families may only need a short-term caregiver, whereas another family might need someone for every day. Nanny agencies are contracted with several nannies and may have someone available on an emergency notice, for an event, or if your nanny quits without notice. A nanny agency will offer different options. There are a variety of availabilities for nannies and a variety of types of nannies. Here are some of the options that may be available:
- Live-In An experienced childcare professional that resides in your home and helps alleviate some of the pressures of trying to be a parent and maintain a work life. You don’t necessarily have to contact a live-in nanny agency to find one.
- Live-Out Have the same responsibilities as live-in nannies, except they reside outside of yours. They require a set schedule, outlined contract, and guaranteed hours.
- Full-Time and Part-Time Help care for the child’s day-to-day needs, with fewer responsibilities than live-in and live-out nannies.
- Part-time Nannies typically work 29 or fewer hours per week
- Full-time Nannies work 30+ hours per week.
- Temporary nannies provide services for a family on a short-term basis, usually less than twelve months.
- A nanny will watch over your family and care for their daily needs.
- The Household Manager is the caretaker that keeps the household in running order. They will oversee staff, including the nannies.
- A Mother’s Helper is an assistant who is there while the parent is there, such as a stay-at-home parent or parent working from home.
- A Babysitter is a nanny responsible for caring for the child/children while the parent is out for short periods.
A professional nanny agency will do a thorough screening of its nannies. They will do things like:
Employment timeline verification and thorough professional & educational reference checks.
In-depth social media audits & personal reference checks.
Collect and verify vetting items such as CPR & First Aid, TB, and Tdap vaccinations. (Flu and Covid vaccinations if requested by a family.), Valid ID, Valid Car Insurance.
Candidate interviews with families.
Complete thorough background and DMV check BEFORE scheduling a working trial.
CA nannies only- Trustline process begins once a working agreement between the candidate and family is signed.
Most nanny agencies are exempt from state licensing, but most will have professional affiliations. These are professional membership organizations that establish and enforce standards of professional industry practices. These professional affiliates help keep nanny agencies professional and make sure they are offering nothing but the best, safest services. Some of the agencies in the United States are:
- Association of Premier Nanny Agencies
- International Nanny Association
- US Nanny Association
- The National Domestic Workers Alliance
Association of Premier Nanny Agencies
APNA is a regulated membership organization that establishes standards in the nanny and household staffing industry. APNA member agencies have their contracts, applications, and business practices scrutinized by peers to ensure that only the best agencies bear the APNA seal. Ethical standards at all times, members must maintain high standards of professional conduct and integrity.
International Nanny Association
As the umbrella association for the nanny industry, the INA’s mission is to elevate and nurture the quality of childcare throughout the world by:
- Establishing standards
- Increasing awareness
- Promoting information
- Providing support
US Nanny Association
The US Nanny Association unites parents, nannies, and childcare professionals, working to promote resources, information, tools, and opportunities that elevate our community.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance
The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) works to win respect, recognition, and labor rights and protections for the nearly 2.5 million nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers who do the essential work of caring for our loved ones and our homes.
Variety of Specialties
Every family is different, and some have special needs. A nanny agency can help you find someone that meets the qualifications for your family’s specific needs. Some special needs might be autism, down syndrome, or cerebral palsy. These special needs require extra attention, patience, and education. Working with these special needs children may require knowledge in health and certification such as CPR and first aid.
There are stages of life such as newborn baby, toddler, and teenager, that can sometimes require certain levels of education and experience. Newborns require constant attention, diaper changing, feeding, etc. Toddlers and children need age-appropriate activities to do. Teenagers require guidance. There is a professional educator, who does homeschooling, or tutoring.
Newborn Care Specialists
Although there is a difference between a full-time nanny and a newborn care specialist, you can find a great newborn specialist through a nanny agency. The best part about hiring a newborn care professional through an agency is that you will know everything about them before they ever step foot into your home and touch your baby.
In addition to knowing who they are you will also be able to have confidence in their capabilities while caring for your newborn. Since caring for infants requires a special level of skill any agency that offers newborn services will require their professionals to have adequate experience and the required certifications that they need in order to care for babies.
The Nanny Work Agreement
Hiring a nanny through an agency has far more advantages than hiring one through private channels because there will always be that cushion of security between the nanny and the family. Whenever a family hires a nanny through a quality agency there will be a clear, detailed, and legally-binding work agreement between the family and the nanny. Because of this agreement, there will never be any questions regarding the duties of the nanny and the expectations of the employer.
A great nanny agency will offer services beyond placing your family with a nanny. They can advocate on your behalf. They can mediate any conflict that may arise between you and your nanny. They can assist you in creating a contract, what benefits to offer, and what responsibilities are expected. They will maintain a professional yet close relationship with you to ensure that your family is happy through the entire process of finding the right nanny.
Most nanny agencies offer a limited refund policy. Should your needs change, or your nanny stops working for you in a certain amount of time then you receive a refund of some amount of the services you purchased. They may also offer a replacement nanny, should you choose. Some agencies can guarantee a length of time for their nannies. Others can guarantee they have selected only the best nannies for their agency.
When it comes to bringing a person into your home and around your children there should never be any question about your nanny’s competence. Hiring a nanny through a trusted agency will not only allow you to screen your potential nanny but also give you an opportunity to get to know them before you agree to a contract. What better way to hire somebody that your kids will depend on than to truly know them before you commit?