Sunday

Agency Practices....

Sunday, September 30, 2007
I am a young woman who is reentering the "nanny world" after a few years away at a corporate position. I decided to work through an agency, as I was having a difficult time finding suitable families on my own. I replied to a posting on Craig's List from a well known and seemingly reputable agency and provided them with my resume and salary requirements. The agent I was dealing with "Sally" informed me their was a position in my area with hours and salary that worked with my requirements. I interviewed with the family and it was an immediate love match. We did everything right and had a second and third interview. I e-mailed "Sally" to tell her how successful my interviews had been and she informed me that once my background check had been run and references had been checked I would be offered the job. I was shocked that it had not been run already, as I had already been in this woman's home and met her children. I was uncomfortable but met with my potential employer to discuss salary and found out she was offering$200/week less then I required as a STARTING salary. After devoting 4 weeks and several unpaid, good faith hours of "sample childcare", I had to inform my potential employer that I would not be a suitable candidate for the job.She was (understandably) upset. I e-mailed my references to thank them for their time and to inform them that I did not accept the position so they maybe receiving more phone calls and I got the same response back over and over again: "No one called me." "Sally" didn't even check my references! Here is my question: should I inform her that "Sally" not only did not check my references and (possibly) my background, but also told me that the position paid significantly more then it does? The potential employer and her family are lovely, wonderful people and I do not want them to continually find themselves in this position, particularly because they might hire someone unsuitable. I also don't particularly want to get involved in a whole mess,as I know that this family is desperate to find a nanny and might ignore my advice. Please respond honestly. Also, I am not interested in hearing that I should take this job, regardless of the pay scale, and that I am a "bad nanny" for refusing to do so. I was very clear at the outset what my salary requirements are; no true professional would work at an inadequate (for them) rate "out of the goodness of their heart". Thank you!!!

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would inform them of the fact that you were lied to, and that no background check or reference check was done. To me it sounds like "Sally" filled both of you up with lies.

I would warn them, and let them decide whether to listen to you or not.

Neither you nor the family are the ones at fault here, and I don't blame you at all for not taking the job. A job that doesn't pay enough is about as useful as being unemployed.

Lauren said...

I think that the potential employer would greatly appreciate you telling them that the agency they're using is being negligent in their duty to screen nannies and to be an honest liaison between employers and nannies.

pat said...

Dear Nanny,
Reputable nanny agencies don't advertise on Craig's list. They advertise in the back of Town & Country Magazine.

Tester:
When calling an agency about getting a nanny, suggest that you just might do it yourself on Craigs List. They will invariably bash Craigs list. Cut to a ton of agencies who use Craigs list.

The nanny agency business operates without any checks and balances.
They are the biggest scam going these days, especially since you can do everything they do FIRSTHAND from your own home computer.

Take the time!

Anonymous said...

Your experience doesn't surprise me at all. You don't say where you are, but here in NYC the city consul recently did an investigation of nanny agencies, and an alarming percent were in violation of licensing requirements. Unfortunately, parents have a false sense of security going through an agency, especially if they are new parents hiring their first nanny.
My personal observation, from experience, and talking to other nannies and parents is this. The agency will match the best candidates with the most difficult and demanding employers. Easy going "low maintenance" employers will get the less experienced nannies. For a highly qualified nanny, you will probably have better luck finding a good match on your own. For a family, an agency can provide contacts which will save time initially, but you MUST interview thoroughly, and speak extensively with references!

OP, I would definitely tell the family what you learned about the agency, and good luck.
NYC Nanny

Anonymous said...

I had the worst experience with a westchester agency which I should like to warn you about but am hesitant about naming names. I interviewed the nanny. The nanny came and did a trial in my home. We hired her. She started on a Tuesday. On a Thursday, we got a phone call from a disgruntled boyfriend of hers telling us about criminal actions pending against her. It was obvious the boyfriend was attempting to cause trouble and I felt he was flat out lying since the agency assured us that a background check was done. My husband didn't just let it go. He ran his own background check (and took information from the boyfriend detailing theft and assault charges and case numbers) and it turned out to be 100 percent true. We were flat out lied to and when we tried to get our placement fee back, she tried to suggest that she should just replace this nanny with another one. As if we would use her services again. It took months of phone calls and threats but we got our money back. And all I can say is thank God for disgruntled boyfriends!

cali mom said...

What an awful experience!

I was NOT happy AT ALL with the nanny agency we used when our baby wa sfirst born and we needed a PT nanny when I tried to go back to work. They seemed to pay no attention at all to what we were requesting and kept referring candidates whose primary experience was picking up kids from school, doing art projects w/them, etc, which is fine but in no way relevant to caring for a 5 month old preemie. And after FINALLY finding a good nanny, my job hit the fan after only a few weeks and we couldn't get the placement fee back, not even in part.

No disasters like the above story, but still annoying and I wouldn't recommend them to anybody trying to hire a nanny in this area.

brenda rochman said...

Beware of the scam of the registration fee. Don’t get swindled. Agencies cannot charge an application or registration fee. Let me repeat that. Agencies cannot charge an application or registration fee.

For more information,
http://www.nyccouncil.info/tempissues/nannies.cfm

And be sure to thank NYC Councilman Eric Gioia for his advocacy in these areas.

Kate said...

I would email your potential employers the link to this website (ISYN) if possible.......or inform them of it somehow.....and I agree with 12:21...reputable services would NOT adverise on Craig's List. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear, what happened. One thing I would never babysit for free. I never had to, meet the family and the kids maybe an hour or two. Usually, when you go back after they hire you, you get paid. Don't babysit for free, even if its a trial. Look at most jobs in the real world, you get paid for orientation. Even if your not doing hands on work.

By the way, I have been reading about bad experiences with Advance Nanny Agency on the N.Y. Craigslist.

d said...

I am a parent of 3 small children in Westchester and have been outright disgusted by the practices of the agencies I have come in to contact with.

A few suggestions for parents to get around some of their tricks.
When the agency tells you they have a person that fits your requirements, they usually email or fax you her resume. At that time, tell the agency you need to see the background check and the reference check forms.

To make the maximum profit, an agency will not run a background check on a nanny until she is either hired or it looks like she will be hired. By this time, the nanny has been in your home and wasted your time. Demand to see the background check immediately. They are so inexpensive that the fact that agencies wait to do them on potential hires is outright repulsive. The same goes with reference checks. They aren't investing the time to check the references until they have your fee in their pocket.

Anonymous said...

I would certainly tell them. This agency is not a good one and they will never find a suitable nanny if this is how they do business.

Besides that, if Sally gave them the impression all your referneces and background checks were done when they were not, they have a right to know. I personally would be horrified if I trusted an agency to do a background check only to find, after I had this potential nanny in my home that they proper checks ahd not been done.

I am assuming in your case, there was nothing to worry about, but if this Sally does not check backgrounds ahead of time, the next person they "try" may be a pedophile.

They also need to know Sally is allowing potential candidates to think the parents are willing pay more than they are able to.

Bottom line, they need to know.

Anonymous said...

yes, let them know. as a parent- i would want to know. i would be pissed about the whole lot of it. from the non checking of the references to the failure to do a background check to the fact that the agency had wasted my time and that of a prospective nanny by sending over someone who had employment demands we cannot meet.

isn't that what agencies are supposed to do? match people?

what agency is this? can you tell us where they are located?

Nanny Dana From Philly said...

I would tell the family..I really think that they would appreciate it.Good Nanny agencies do not adverstise on Craigslist most of the time.

Anonymous said...

op.
I think you should tell the person. You have no ulterior motive. It's not like you want their position at less money.

It is absolutely essential that employers know that there is no free childcare involved in trial periods. Likewise, when a nanny is coming out to your home, it is preferred that you offer to assist the nanny or pay her transportation expenses to and from your home. If the prospective employer is not doing this, then I would not interview with them. It is a sign that they are interviewing too many people (and have not weeded out people via phone) or that they have no respect for what a nanny goes through trying to find her way somewhere new.

I would also like to say that I am not a nanny. I had tried to become a nanny 4 years ago. I came out here from Oregon to visit a friend and I decided to stay so I went to apply at a nanny agency. I had experience back home as working as an aide in a daycare and as a babysitter. I was giving a questionaire to answer that was very lengthy. It asked a lot of "what if questions". I answered them all and filled out the application. Then I sat down with the placement person. She "checked" my answers and gave me a new questionairre to answer with the "corrected questions". SO when she sent this to the employer, the employer would be blown away at my answers. Nevermind that I was 21 and got quite a few wrong, including a handful of safety questions. Then she set about working on my application. I became a "teacher" instead of an aide. And a "nanny" instead of "babysitter". The one college class I had taken (a french class) became "Majored in foreign Studies at X college, but stopped short of degree".

This is all good for me, right? I look better. She also told me how to dress and how to talk to the employers. What to ask, what not to ask. She told me to make sure to talk to the children, to hold the baby, to compliment the children, etc.

So employers really need to beware that for some agencies, nannies are nothing but cubic zirconias being shined up and placed in the right light so for a second they look like diamonds. For a second.

And if you are wondering what happend with me, I got placed in the home of a mega bitch and quit after 2 months. I then started working at a retail boutique and now, 4 years later, I manage the main boutique in NYC.

I don't regret for a second that I didn't make it as a nanny.

Anonymous said...

Great Info 2:09! Thanks!

l.a. said...

Of course you get paid for on the job training! I have worked as a part time nanny while getting through school and during school I tried some other positions, including office assistant.

My last non professional position was as an office assistant for an assistant who accepted a job, found out the pay of the job and tried to quit. The person she was working for tried to guilt her in to staying until she found her someone else. And she had only worked there two weeks. The pay rate was really low. $10 an hour. I took the job, met the person I was supposed to be an assistant for and I though it was a go. Then the person I was to work for said I needed to be trained and that X, her assistant would handle it and give me the keys and everything. So two days later, I am back in the office training. The job was ridiculously simple so by training, what I was really doing was working alongside the soon to be former assistant on a few mailings. We worked for four hours.
The soon to be assistant handed me the keys and gave me all of the contact numbers and told me I would get my check the next week.

The next week I go in and I am working in the capacity of assistant and the person I am working for starts whining and bitching that she cannot afford to pay me for the training. I told her that was not acceptable. So then she picks up the phone and calls her former assistant who was impossibly nice to her and bitches and whines that if she is going to pay me, then she cannot afford to pay her for that day of training.
The whole thing was so crazy. She didn't need an assistant anyway. She was as lazy as she was tight and I couldn't get out of their fast enough. After she fought both of us for two weeks over having to pay the FORTY dollars for the training, I knew it wouldn't work. The former assistant and I began exchanging her ridiculous ranting emails behind her back. To the former assistant, she said, "you left me high and dry". High and dry? She was already complaining about having to pay for the pitiful trainig of 4 hours. 4 hours which legitimate work got done anyway. And who pays their assistant $10 an hour? Especially in a town where you have to pay for parking?

Okay, this has nothing to do with nannies. But it brought a traumatic flashback to my mind of a training incident. I have never in my life fought so hard for $40!

Kelly said...

To OP: A bad agency is always worth reporting. They are putting children in danger, and that is just wrong.

To 2:09pm: What a wierd experience. Doctored resumes are not good. It is one thing to choose the best words to explain your credentials, but flat out lying is just idiotic. You made the right decision by not associating with the stupid agency.

2:21pm, you really suffered for the $40. My gosh, sounds like the woman who tried to employ you couldn't actually afford an assistant probably because business was really bad due to her constant yapping on the phone rather than working.

sd mom of 2 said...

agencies have been around since the eighties. back then, we needed agencies. how else could we find candidates? check their background? you can do it all yourself now. if you want something done right, do it yourself. i would never use an agency. their fees average about 3k anyhow. if you dont have time to do the legwork yourself, i can understand that. i would hire someone i knew and trusted, someone who had a vested interest in my life or the care of my children to do the legwork for me. i was fortunate that i had a sister in law who handled everything for me. and i have an awesome nanny.

chick said...

Yes, of course tell the family what you have discovered.

Just don't exagerate at all, or state anything but the dry facts. Otherwise, the agency could try to sue you for libel/slander.

And as far as agencies that advertise in Town and Country, they pull the same crap. Get REFERENCES from nannies and families that have used the agency. Check with the BBB. There are good quality agencies out there, if you look for them.

Meg said...

Yes I would call the family today.

I would also like to caution parents about using nanny agencies blindly. Even if someone reccomends an agency because they had a good experience, that doesn't mean much. It just means that a good nanny happend to walk in the door that day.

In the future, if you use an agency-inquire of the person you are working with what her experience is. Many of these women have no experience with children and little eduation. You have every right to inquire of the placement coordinators qualifications and the length of time she has worked for the agency.

Secondly, agencies don't seem to want to do much work but pull two names out of a hat and slam them together. As a mother who used an agency, I was put off by the long form that I was faxed asking me to describe my home, my children, etc.
What really drove my nuts is that she kept insisting I come to her office. How is that saving me any time?

If you are a nanny, I would only work with an agency that goes to the client's home and meets the family in person, does the leg work herself and sees for herself the accomodations. How frightening that agencies send these innocent young girls over to the homes of strangers without even verifying that the person actually has children.

So many revisions need to be done in the way that nanny agencies work.

From what I can tell any yahoo with a fax machine and a phone can run a nanny agency. And we wonder why there is a site called I SAW YOUR NANNY.

Anonymous said...

op,
you should never have went to work over there without verifying that you were going to be paid. if you don't stand up for yourself and suggest your time or you are worth being paid, why leave it for someone else to decide your worth? you either do or do not work for free. i would never give my services away. ever.

209,
i have heard that before. that nannies are groomed for an interview. which is a huge disservice to the real nannies that don't need to be groomed. these nannies are legitimately schooled on what they need to know and they are quite possibly going to the same interviews as these posers. talk is cheap. and most anyone can talk. why isnt 7 on your side all over these nanny agencies? and sleeping nannies in the park? its almost as if there is a pastel blue shield that protects bad nannies and worse agencies.

Jaquawn said...

Jaquawn doesn't think that these parents would appreciate their time being wasted with applicants that do not meet their criterian and habe not been suitably investigated. Jaquawn thinks you should call the family and then you should leave a message for the agency, specifically Sally the fuck-up and let her know that you in good conscience cannot have any further interaction with such a disreputable agency.

Anonymous said...

I am so unimpressed with the agencies in Westchester and NYC. They really will send anyone your way with no checking whatsoever.

OP: Tell the parents. They will appreciate it and they obviously thought highly of you or they would not have gone so far into the interview process with you.

Parents: Don't trust an agency. Create your own application form, do a phone interview with each candidate, then, if you want to proeceed, send them the application form to complete and send back to you. Then, Google thier name and the name of thier references before you ever have them in your home or meet with your children. Run their name and their emergency contact through the national sex offender registry. Check out any prior employers addresses on Zillow.com to make sure they are authentic. I've had sex offenders apply for nanny positions through a "reputable" nanny agency in Rye, and uncovered several falsified references--addresses that matched tenaments--not a likely address for a family with a nanny. Don't forget to check Facebook.com and Myspace.com to see if your candidate has a page and if they sound like someone you would want to hire. And, NEVER ask for an unpaid trial--you rarely get anything good for free.

Nannies: Do your homework too before ever going into a strange home unaccompanied. Look up potential employers' names on professional sites like Linked In as well as Facebook and Myspace and look up potential employers' address on Zillow.com and Google Earth to get a feel for what their neighborhood (and income levels in the neighborhood) is like. NEVER do an upaid trial. A parent who asks for one is not an employer you want.

It's hard, but the only way to find a good nanny is your own legwork.

a said...

10:00,
Did you report the incident with the "reputable" nanny agency in Rye? I may have used the same "reputable" nanny agency with disastrous results.

Where did the sex offender go after he/she left your home? That is so frightening. I don't understand why such businesses are allowed to operate.

Helen said...

"I am so unimpressed with the agencies in Westchester and NYC. They really will send anyone your way with no checking whatsoever."

Yes, yes, yes. I agree!

And then attempt to convince me that what I am looking for is a needle in a haystack.

Anonymous said...

If you are a parent using an agency to hire a nanny, you MUST still check their references. I have seen "reference checks" from agencies that consist of nothing more than a faxed or mailed form asking if the nanny worked for you and if you liked her. Not a good enough check. I am a nanny and with one exception, I have had absolutely no joy with agencies. They are quick to take a hefty fee from employers but do little to earn it. I have got all my NY jobs via Craigslist and have no intention of using an agency if i can help it. I was courted by one NYC agency recently who sent me on an interview with a lovely mom of baby twins. I realised at the interview that she wanted someone to work from 7 in the moring until 9.30 at night with a break during the day. She made that absolutely crystal clear. When i told the agency that this wasn't for me they told me I must have misheard as the job was 8-6. They then clarified with the mother (or at least said they did), and said yes it was 8-6. I did not take it as I knew they were liying.
Bottom line, if you must use an agency, either as a nanny or an employer, get a referral from someone else, ask to see reference / background checks, and re-check the references yourself.

Anonymous said...

Sally is a bitch.

Anonymous said...

A Nanny is a service worker who usually has limited or no college education, and is not skilled enough to get a higher paying job. It sounds like many parents are looking to hire Mary Poppins. In many cases, the nanny agencies are pulling their employees from the same barrel as the local McDonalds. If you want someone cheap to watch your kid all day, you have to accept what you get.

Did these people who wouldn't pay you the extra $200 own a fancy car? Just wondering. I love people's priorities.

Anonymous said...

1212,
I think you are incorrect. A real nanny is not a service worker with limited education. She is an educated professional with a background in child development, education or child psychology.

Unfortunately middle class America decided they too wanted them some nanny action and totally annihilated the concept of what a nanny is.

As for pulling employees from the same barrel as the local McDonalds, I think you are wrong. These awful nannies could never work at McDonalds or with a supervisor. They are obstinate,entitled, arrogant, lazy and inflexible. And if you forget to say good morning to them on a Tuesday, they won't speak to you until the following Friday. They have huge authority issues and/or oppositional defiance orders. Oy!

Sue Doe-Nim said...

It might be worth posting your experience on Craigslist in their forums.

Or even a phone call to the BBB?

Is there a group that sets the standards for nanny agencies?

Nanny B said...

12:12, I disagree with you 100%. A nanny is not a service worker with no education. I am a nanny, I have 2 degrees and after my full time nanny job I go to school to work on 2 more. All of them are child related and all to help me better understand my professional position as a nanny. True nannies, those who are professional, are educated in some form. Either they have degrees or have taken special training and continue to do so.

Anonymous said...

12:12, you arew not making much sense about nannies being service workers with no education. I am a nanny with an advanced degree, and I happen to be making a whole lot of money with that degree. There are families out there that specifically want a nanny with lots of experience and an advanced degree. Unfortunately, not every family that wants a nanny with an advanced degree can afford one.

Anonymous said...

12:12
I am another nanny with a college education. I am fluent in two languages, swim, ride and play an instrument. My salary is 52 K I know I could make more in another field, but it is more important to me to do work I love.
Service worker? I am an academic tutor, sports coach, nurse, art teacher, behavior modifier, music teacher, cook, story teller, and dispenser of hugs and giggles.

Anonymous said...

52 thousand is nothing for a nanny in the ny area. don't get me wrong, congrats to you- but I know a nanny who makes over 100k and has a 401k. talk about people who value their nanny's contribution to their life.

Anonymous said...

I attended the English Nanny and Governess School in Chagrin Falls, OH. I can tell you that we were screened with white gloves. Nothing got missed even 2 traffic tickets and you were booted. The place nationally and internationally....so if you really have bang beind your buck..expensive...you'll get the best. After leaving the nanny field for some time to finish school I decided to return, I was in the Columbus OH area and used an angency called "Professional Childcare Solutions" I highly urge anyone to avoid them. I met with the owner for less than a half hour, and was only asked generic questions, I was sent to 3 families for interviews. I was told by the agency they all knew my price range and fell into it accordingly. Not True. I was offered jobs from 2 out of 3 and both were floored at my salary requests!!!! Seems the agency hadn't informed them. Secondly I came to find out that only AFTER I was offered a job would they run my background, all the while I have now been in your home, and I know where you live...what if I was a bad person??? The thing that threw me for a loop was a phone call from the agency 3 weeks later asking me to phone interview with a doctor who wanted a nanny who worked for near nothing, they wanted me to be his "wake up call". To teach him that lesson that nannies don't work for pennies. so sorry but after they lied to me and wasted my time and the time of 3 families there was no chance I was helping them in any way shape or form.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, there are a lot of useless and even harmful agencies out there, but I have found several good ones in NY. I tried Craig's list and referrals and found those were the worse candidates I saw. The best NY agencies sent me only highly qualified candidates, although I must admit I interviewed many before finding the one that is right for me and my family. An easy way to weed out agencies is not to use any that charge a registration fee. The good ones know they can earn their money on the placements. And plenty of the best nannies find it easier to list with a service vs. doing their own job search.

Nanny B said...

For those of you who know me, this is exactly why I still want to open my agency. One that understands the personal and professional needs of a nanny and yet caters to parents needs. Is there no such thing as making sure both sides are going to be happy and not for the money. ARG, I just wish I had the time and resources to start this at this point in my life, give me a few years, I promise a nanny agency that is the best of both worlds.

Anonymous said...

Boy, I wish anyone with information on bad agencies in Westchester would state them by name. Why protect them? Get the word out there!

Anonymous said...

I would totally tell the person you interviewed with that the agency did not check your references. That is disgusting!! I was looking for a nanny, and got the same feeling when I worked through an agency. I felt like I was doing all the work and the agency was doing nothing. I found my nanny on my own, and did all the legwork. What is wrong with people??

Anonymous said...

And its one thing to groom a nanny for an interview and another thing entirely to fill the nanny's head with the "correct" answers. Makes me so glad I ditched the nanny agency and did it myself. It wasn't easy, but I found someone who I could relate to and felt comfortable with. She had two children of her own and that is valuable experience by my book. She has been with us a year - it was just our anniversary and my dd gave her a digital camera as a gift. Anyway, my point is we love her!!

momof2inaz said...

I would tell the woman why you aren't taking the job and that your references weren't check. I am sure she is paying some sort of fee to this agency to find her a nanny and they are not doing their job.

Anonymous said...

I am very stressed and unhappy dealing with multiple agencies over the last 5 weeks as I try to find my next nanny job. I have four fabulous letters of recommendation and it is embarrassing for many agencies to call my references (busy, busy professionals, leaders in the community, etc.) when the agency may or may not have a job for me to interview for, but wants to have another top notch candidate in their pool. Letters of recommendation should suffice until a family decides on me, and at that time, everyone can call my references and talk for an hour. Before then it is ridiculous, unprofessional, embarrassing, inappropriate... these people have lives. Some of these agencies have no scruples. I won't even mention the ones who send me to the interviews for housekeeper and ones that pay nothing in the range of what I am looking for, i.e. they send all candidates to all interviews.

Anonymous said...

1:15 AM
Are you also looking on your own? I found my current wonderful work family on Craigslist. Depending on where you are located, on line boards, and bulletin boards at schools and peds. offices can be good sources as long as you have great refs. I have never had good experiences with agencies. GL

Anonymous said...

I never found good employment thru Craigs List. Most of the employers are cheap. Thats why they don't go thru an agency

Anonymous said...

There are some false assumptions in regard to who uses agencies, Craigslist etc. Some families who are able and willing to pay well, and some top professional nannies avoid using agencies because they have had bad experiences with them.
Some families with high HHI use agencies but are extremely cheap once they hire the nanny.
Many mediocre to poor nannies register with agencies, it is free for them, and as the recent NYC council investigation reveled, even some of the most prestigious agencies are very lax in screening.
You have to vet a lot of unsuitable responses, but there are some high paying jobs, and tt nannies on Craigslist, and other boards.

in need of nanny today said...

Help! been reading the emails and there are definitely two sides === some say there are good agencies and other don't like the agengies or Craig's list. So as a mother of two young babies whose full-time nanny just had a very bad accident and may be out for months if not more....how do I find a full-time nanny ASAP in Westchester?? With no family around to help us and my job on the line....we are desperate! Any advise you can share would be greatly appreciated!!

imj said...

11:22,
what are you looking for?
someone temp?
are you a working parent?
Be very careful how you procede, rushing finding a nanny is never a good thing. I know it is justified but you cannot cut corners. Can you pay well? That can help. Is it full time? Where in Westchester are you?

VD said...

12:54
hi,
looking for FT, permanent...will relunctantly replace our nanny if I have to, since I don't know the extent of her injuries, though they sound severe and she is older.
I do work FT in Manhattan and do not want to put my kids in daycare for 11 hours as my son has never been in daycare for even 1 hour. Maybe in the future, but he would be shell-shocked if i did it now. Live in W. Plains, and I believe we pay the typical "going rate"...if not slightly more. Can't afford much more as it's already about the price tag of another mortgage with no tax benefits, since we paid off the books. I will most likely have to take an unpaid leave from work until I find the right person...

imj said...

If you are going the agency route, I would call the agencies in NYC, the better ones and see if they place in your area. There are agencies that must be avoided in your area, if you cannot tell from the stories told in this thread.

Have you tapped your friends, good nannies that you know? Friends with good nannies? What about your place of worship?

So sorry that you are in such a pinch. Try putting an ad on urbanbaby under childcare jobs. Stress exactly what you are looking for. I know someone who has helped me and friends of mine out in a pinch- that is what she does, but she is a pricey. I feel for you, really.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Try sittercity.com. I live found some fabulous help there--including a temporary when my nanny had to take a two month leave. Really good site. It lets you leave feedback about the nannies (I think that scares the bad ones away) and the nannies to leave feedback about the parents. Of course, you should do your own screening, and personally, I don't trust their online background check--an electronic quickie through Lexis/Nexis--but there are alot of nannies near white plains on the site.

Anonymous said...

As a parent, I would want someone to tell me that an agency was sending unchecked people into my home, even to interview. One word, Dangerous! I am not gonna explain it, you should know. Also being desparate to find a nanny doesn't mean they should be neglectful in finding one.

Anonymous said...

vd: Try The Service in Larchmont. It is not a traditional nanny agency. It specializes in temporary nanny placements and babysitting. You pay the service and they pay the sitter. There are some very good people who work for them--they just don't want full time nanny work. The person I used as a temporary when we had to get rid of our nanny (long story--it was with cause and sudden) has moved south to Maryland, but she taught college at night but was happy to take temporary childcare work during the day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks all for the great info and suggestions! This site is a wonderful way to get help when it is needed!! VD