How I found our nanny is one of the most frequent questions I get from other new moms. When you are a new parent, and rather sleep deprived, the idea of picking someone to be with your child for 40 plus hours a week is anxiety provoking.
If you have made the decision to use the services of a nanny instead of sending your little one to daycare, there are multiple ways to go about your search.
Use your network. This is how we found our nanny and it’s always my number one recommendation. Most families will at some point need to let go of their nanny as their needs change – particularly when the child starts school. If you join a moms group in your area (we used a Facebook group), then you will often find other parents advertising on behalf on their nanny who is trying to find a new family to work for. There are multiple benefits to this approach: you will find someone local to the area that already has references prior to the interview, and at no cost to you.
Advertise the role. There are multiple options for doing this, the most popular option being caregiver listing sites.
Care.com offers a free Basic Membership that will allow you to advertise a role. If you decide to use the service to contact applicants you will need to upgrade your membership. In addition, they offer various types of background check services for an additional fee.
Sittercity is a very similar service, with membership fees very much in line with Care.com. They also offer a variety of different background check services. This is the area where the options and costs are quite different between the two sites, so it is worth deciding on your approach to background checks prior to picking between the two listing sites.
Be prepared though, as you will likely receive a significant amount of applications in a short period of time, and you will need to go through them in order to decide which applicants you will interview. It can be an overwhelming process.
You could also look at college boards as another option for advertising. If there is a large college close to where you live, this can be a great option – particularly if you are looking for someone part-time.
Nanny Agencies. If everything you just read has you feeling too overwhelmed, using a full-service nanny agency is probably for you. You can think of this as your own personal HR department. There are very real pros to using this service. Firstly, it is much less time consuming (which can be such an important factor when you have a tiny human). They will do all of the research for you so you won’t need to worry about writing an advertisement, reading through resumes, calling references, etc. Secondly, they will take care of all of the screening including background checks. And lastly, if for some reason it doesn’t work out, you have a built-in backup option to provide you with ease of mind.
Managing a nanny on an ongoing basis is also a lot of work, and the nanny agencies will provide most, if not all, of the resources to help you with this.
The main downside is cost. You are essentially outsourcing a lot of the work to the agency, and it comes at an additional expense
However you decide to find your nanny, I would suggest starting the search about a month before you require their services. This way you will have sufficient time to decide on your needs, read through resumes, go through the interview process and conduct reference and background checks.