Received Tuesday, November 27, 2007- Perspective & Opinion
I'm the mother of a lovely baby girl who has been postponing going back to work for as long as possible but the time has come and I have to be back at my desk no later then February 1. After having friends and neighbors (and websites) share their agency horror stories with me, I have decided to conduct the search myself so I can have the absolute confidence that the process has been thorough, accurate, and satisfying to my husband and me (and safe for my daughter). However, after screening through the resumes I've received from my Craig's List ad, I really feel like there is no one in the area who fits my needs and expectations. I do not want to pay an agency thousands of dollars for something that I can do for myself but I also do not want to endanger my child - I WILL not endanger my child - by hiring someone under qualified, irresponsible, or undocumented. I would love feedback from nannies and employers on the best course of action for selecting a nanny - I have pages of questions and no one to ask them to. My ultimate candidate would be educated (or in the process of receiving their college degree), honest, and loving. I don't want a housekeeper, errand runner, chef, or personal assistant and I'm willing to pay a competitive hourly rate on the books (with a guaranteed minimum per week) with paid vacation and benefits so I'm not looking to take advantage of anyone - I just don't want to be taken advantage of either. Does anyone have a positive agency story to share (for once) or recommendations on how to self screen without getting suckered? This isn't about saving a buck, it's about finding the right person for my family, whatever the cost might be.
From the OP-11/28/07-I appreciate all the thoughtful and knowledgeable responses. I would much rather do a thorough search myself (for next to nothing) and reward the successful nanny with a nice Christmas bonus instead of paying an agency fee! I will explore the sites that I have not heard of and spread the word that we're on the hunt for a nanny. I especially appreciated the long responses as they seemed well thought out and were very informative. Thank you again.