Pros & Cons

opinion 1
Nannies & Parents: what do you look for in a nanny placement agency, babysitter website, or job ad? Likes and dislikes?


Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Nanny Placement Agencies that get my business are:

Responsive to my attempts at contact
Willing to listen to my job needs
Unwilling to try to push poor-fit jobs at me
Able to stay in contact with me
Happy to offer support during negotiations and while the job lasts

Babysitter Websites:

I don't generally like them because most of them allow parents to post jobs that pay illegally low wages. I would be much more likely to use these sites if they educated parents about real life costs of hiring a nanny where they live and about employer tax obligations. That said, I have used them in the past, but I always specify my rate upfront, and I state that I only work on the books. I don't even bother responding to ads offering less than my pay range.

A job ad has to offer specific details about the job:

How many kids, and their ages
Tax status
Job duties
Job benefits
Parenting style is a nice plus as well, but that's something I can figure out when speaking with people.

Here's an example of an ad on any sort of website that would inform and interest me:

Parents of 3 kids, ages 7 (girl), 4 (boy), and 1 (girl), seeking full time nanny in Cityville. Our ideal nanny has at least 5 years of experience with children ages 10 and under, and is looking for a long-term position. Nanny must be able to multi-task, and be willing to do children's laundry and cooking, as well as general tidying of children's rooms and the kitchen/play areas.

We consider our parenting style to be firm but fair, and we offer our children respect, but they know who is in charge in the home. Our nanny needs to be loving and attentive, yet unafraid to discipline effectively.

Hours will be 7:30 - 6:30, Monday - Friday. We offer 2 weeks paid vacation and all traditional paid holidays, as well as mileage reimbursement. We offer pay based on your experience, and we take out all applicable taxes through a payroll service.

To apply, send us your full resume with a cover letter and contact information. We will be in touch with you if we want to proceed to a phone interview.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I do not use placement agencies, however I do utilize childcare websites and CL on occasion.

I look for a family that is not located too far from me, a family that offers a decent salary and a family that has an ad that doesn't sound too demanding to me. I.e., a family that doesn't say: "We are looking for a Nanny that doesn't have any unusual piercings, wears strong body lotions/sprays, etc." What really irks me is the ads that state they want their Nanny to be experienced (at least 5+ yrs), educated (Master's Degree preferred) and have stellar references yet they only offer a paltry salary. I hate those types of ads.

Bre said...

I appreciate an agency that actively updates you with job opportunties and insists parents pay a fair legal wage.

Babysitter sites I've come to dislike, but the best, in my opinion, let you contact parents and offer sitter listing for free.
The downside of these sites. is the let parents offer lower than federal minimum wages.

In an ad I look for a complete description of the job. I want to know location, number and ages of children, hours, duties, wages & taxes, pets in the home, parents work at home, when they want someone to start. I also like them to describe the nanny personality they are looking for and the personality of their family.

MonkeyNanny said...

I don't often use Craigslist anymore, but once in a while I check it out. What would make CL a lot better is if they had separate categories for people looking for nannies and nannies looking for work. Also a separate section for in home daycares vs nanny services would be nice. It's all jumbled up together, and I waste a lot of time clicking on links that say "Childcare" and turns out it's another nanny looking for a job.

Claire said...

There should be more separation in posting when it comes to what type of care you are looking for. Do you want a highly educated nanny? A nanny with 10+ years experience? Are you looking to hire the cheapest care possible and don't care much about qualifications? Do you want a college student or someone older? Do you report taxes or pay under the table?

I think many parent have no idea what to expect or what fair pay is. It would be great if sites explained the difference between a babysitter and a nanny, between having someone come to your home or bringing your child to the nanny's home, stuff like that.

It would be really helpful if sites would have sample work agreements, so that if the family and nanny want to use one they can. If they want to make up their own, at least the parents can see ahead of time what a work agreement is. Some parents wouldn't even think of something so formal and look surprised when I suggest putting things in writing. If the site made it known that work agreements are used by lots of nannies, it would make it less awkward to bring up.

Village said...

I would first look for a professional agency, and then interview them. Will they be representing me or the families? A professional agency should be an asset to the nanny.

Nannies are in a uniquely vulnerable position, and a good/great agency should act as a buffer for the nanny with the family.

The agency should make sure, through a contract, that the parents and the nanny are on the same page, and avoid the two parties having very different ideas of the deal.