How to Choose the Right Nanny Agency for Your Family’s Needs

Finding the right nanny is crucial for your family. Whether you find your nanny through word of mouth, a nanny agency, or a nanny database website, you should request references and run a background check for each candidate. Also, ask your nanny for her discipline strategy and ensure it’s compatible with yours. Good childcare depends on a healthy parent-nanny relationship.

Ask for Recommendations

Your friends, neighbors, and local parent groups can provide recommendations for nanny agencies that they’ve used. As with any other job, it’s important to interview candidates for the nanny position and have a written contract prepared for your new employee. Ensure you cover all the bases, including pay, hours, vacation days, and more. Some nanny agencies can offer a standard contract for your family to review and use, or you can create one yourself.

Check Their Credentials

When looking for a nanny, make sure you ask about professional references. This can include other families the nanny has worked for, a daycare center, or even their previous job in a hospital. It’s important to know how often the nanny came to work late, called in sick, and other employment issues that their employer may have resolved. For instance, a reputable nanny agency Beverly Hills, CA, will do a thorough background check on each candidate. In addition to the standard criminal check, a civil court record check is also a good idea. This will reveal any lawsuits against the candidate for damages, bankruptcy, or personal injury. It is also a good idea to do sex offender registry checks and international background checks for candidates who are not U.S. citizens. 

Check Their Fees

One of the biggest advantages of hiring through a full-service agency is that their candidates are far more vetted than those you’d find online. The agency team will typically interview candidates over the phone and set up in-person meetings with only those who meet all of your family’s criteria.

Ask the candidate for professional references from families they’ve worked with in the past, and be sure to call them. You can learn much about applicants from their professional references, including how long they stayed with each family and why they left. If you have kids, you’ll want to ensure the nanny is up for running around, playing with them, and having a strong grasp of child development and discipline. Similarly, discuss the candidates’ work hours and responsibilities to be sure they align with your family’s needs.

Check Their Track Record

Nanny agencies typically screen their nannies, so they may be able to weed out candidates who don’t meet family-specific criteria such as being CPR and first aid certified or having a clean driving record. In addition, a good agency will ask questions that probe references in a way that elicits honest answers and can uncover hidden information.

They also should be willing to share all of the applicant’s information, including background checks (many agencies include this in their fees). And remember to do a trial interview in your home and with your kids so you can see how the nanny interacts with your children and if they gel well together. Finally, consider how a nanny agency can help you with the hiring process, ongoing payroll support, and mediation and conflict resolution services after the hire. These can help ensure a smooth transition and peace of mind in knowing your child is safe and happy with their caregiver.


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