Where are the Good Nannies Hiding?

I work for a great family in Chicago, but am leaving in two months. They're tearing their hair out finding a new nanny and having awful luck with Sitter City & Craigslist. Mom doesn't like and neither do I really. Where can I help find them a quality, caring and fun nanny???


Susannah said...

I'm not in the area, but perhaps she should try an agency.

However, I don't think you should be involved in the new nanny search. That crosses a boundary in my opinion.

Should the new nanny want to speak with you as a reference or what have you that's fine, anything else is just too much.

Lyn said...

I wouldn't help find them a new Nanny either. I've heard of Nannies doing this when they are on good terms with the family and want to make the transition easier on their MB/DB. I think it's nice in theory. However, I think I would feel overly involved or to blame if something were to go wrong with the new Nanny.
However, I have in the past made recommendations.Questions I'm surprised don't get asked in interviews that probably should be, a list of agencys in the area that I have seen good results from in the form of myself or other Nannies/charges in the parks, and have shown a great interest in hearing all about their interviewing process. I think it's great to be involved without feeling the need to personally find your own replacement.
Another way to be helpful without the weight falling onto your own shoulders is to offer to read their ad and give the parents your feedback as a childcare provider. Maybe you could point out a thing or two that they might not have realized would affect their search.
Good luck to you on your move!

Bethany said...

If you know of good agencies in the area suggest one.

I'd leave at at that.

They were capable of finding you they are capable of finding a new nanny.

Don't let this be an excuse to try and keep you on longer.

MissDee said...

I am right here, north of the tolls in WI. Unfortunately, I have another year of school yet-if I had my diploma, I would apply for this job in a heartbeat.

I have been researching Chicago agencies; one agency I don't like based on the website is Cambridge Nanny Group, as they don't appear to be friendly and warm.

Go to the INA (International Nanny Association) website, and click on member list. Use the "agency member list", and it should bring up a list of agencies that are members of the INA.

This sounds like an interview process. Can you interview potiental nannies first, then have M and DB interview the nannies?

Good luck....

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

First of all, I would tell them to stay away from CL as there are too many scams.

I think sitterity and Care are great websites...however one must remember that just about ANYONE can create a profile on them for free and the background checks are pretty shabby.

Their best bet would be a local Nanny agency. Sure, they would have to pay some extra upfront fees, however I think it is money well spent.

UsedToNannyInChicago said...

Agencies in Chicago:

Olive You Nanny
North Shore Nannies (they also place in the city)
K Grace Childcare

All are pretty awesome agencies!

Fiona said...

I'm sorry but this sounds like a case of there being no appropriate boundaries.

I bet they constantly find a way to get you to do their work.

You are the nanny not the parent!

The children do not belong to you.

It does not matter if YOU don't like

It doesn't matter if YOU do not like the new nanny.

This simply isn't your responsibility.

Good grief!

N is for Nanny said...

I think it's great that you are trying to help your family, and as a nanny, I always appreciate hearing from the current nanny - great perspective. Obviously it's not your problem, but I think it's nice to try to be a part of the solution.

I used to work in Chicago and my former families have definitely complained about how hard it is to find a great nanny who is also willing and able to work legally. Not sure if status is a concern of your family's, but if it is, let me know I'll elaborate a bit below on the agencies.

I never signed on with any of the agencies in Chicago (I felt I could do a better, and more efficient, job of representing myself) and my two of my nanny families tried that route, and were dissatisfied with the results.

These opinions are about a year old, but I think is way better than for Chicago. I would also check NPN and put up flyers with pulltabs at places like Bubbles Academy.*

*Or some other age-appropriate place. I just remember Bubbles had a bulletin board.

Fiona said...

Perhaps my last post was too harsh.
I'm sorry.
But this screams of classic we're going to delay finding a new nanny in hopes that you stay around longer.

I mean come on they were perfectly capable of finding you. What's the trouble now?

Sounds like they are buttering you up to stay longer.

Or they are very lazy and don't want to do their job of hiring someone new.

I do not think you finding the nanny or interviewing the nanny is appropriate.

At most you should be avialable if the new nanny would like to speak with you as a reference and for a few days of training.

Although in my experience most training days are a waste of time as every nanny has her ways and children have to adjust no matter what.

In my view it's more of a psychological service to the soon to be a former nanny.

Suggest some reputable agencies, and make it very clear that under no cirumstance will you be staying past your deadline.

luckoftheirish said...

Why would a nanny grocery shop & pick up dry cleaning??? That is laughable. And so funny they mention how weekends & evenings are free. The $1,000 is supposed to.....drop from the sky?! This is so absurd, I had to comment...twice!

luckoftheirish said...

Meant for another post. Travelling & on me cell, very small screen & confusing. Sorry all.

OP here said...

Oh my goodness! I feel horrible for the nannies who left the paranoid responses. I understand that in this world, we are sometimes made to feel constantly under attack and like our families are trying to get one over on us, but this is definitely not the case.
I'm very picky about who I work for and this family is really wonderful. We have good boundaries that include open and honest communication. There is absolutely no way of keeping me past my "expiration" date, seeing as how I'm moving out of state (as well as the fact that #2 is coming and due to a slight physical disability, I don't feel comfortable caring for newborns)
They've interviewed at least ten nannies over the past 2 months (I gave them 4 months notice, which I know most of you would consider heresy) and haven't found anyone just right. I've only spoken with one potential replacement, and she had no nanny experience and insane rate expectations for the area. Pretty sure she heard that NPR story about how NY nannies **can rarely** make $200k+ and decided to throw her hat in the ring.
I'm aiding in the search for several reasons, one of which is that the baby sleeps 3-4 hours a day and my only "chore" is his laundry. I also, of course, care very much for the baby and the family, and want to make sure they're in good hands. All I've done is recommend websites and put up a few flyers at kid-friendly places when I take the baby for walks. I'm not interviewing people, scanning ads, or anything like that.
Thank you for the agency recommendations, but they aren't going to go that route. On top of the additional cost, they worry about feeling pressure from an agency that just might not have the nanny they're looking for.
So... thanks to the posters who were kind and sane!

nycmom said...

I also have not lived in Chicago, but IME in other cities, I have found that the local online parents' group (sounds like it is NPN there?) is a good start.

I don't like sittercity/care for ft nannies either, though they are goof for pt nannies/sitters. I actually do like CL, despite the mounds of garbage, the employer posted ads can be a wonderful resource if you stick to only those (found my last long-term nanny there).

I agree with posting fliers in parks, churches, hospitals, doctor offices as you feel appropriate though have never gotten a good candidate that way.

I would think the best source you could help with would be YOU actually. Talking to and observing other nannies at the park and classes -- you likely know who is good and who might be needing a new job.

I have asked a departing nanny if she knew anyone great, and my housekeeper actually referred our first long-term nanny via her church so I don't think it's a big deal myself. GL.

MissDee said...


I have another thought. Often times, sometimes the best things are found by word of mouth: do you know of any nannies in the area that are looking for work? Perhaps they may be the nanny the family is searching for.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

Try agencies - First Class Care (Erin and Steve Krex) is good, as well as the agencies mentioned above.

MissDee said...


Erin's agency is on the top of my list when I apply for nanny jobs in Chicago next year.

If you can think of any other good agencies, let me know!

MissMannah said...

OP, I think it is great you are helping your current family. You know them and what kind of people they are--the people here don't. I don't understand why they are jumping to irrational conclusions. I completely agree with MissDee that word of mouth is a terrific resource to find nannies. Maybe post on your facebook asking your friends to ask around if anyone wants a job? That's what I did once to help my MB's friend find a nanny.

OP said...

Thanks again!
I've done word of mouth, even referring one friend for the job.... who cancelled the interview at the last minute. therefore, I'm terrified to refer anyone else - but regardless, nobody else is looking for a job! It seems like anyone who maybe could help flakes out.
Also, agencies sound great but are unfortunately out of the question

Chicagonanny said...

I went through a wonderful agency based in Chicago called Alter Ego Concierge. In comparison to the other agencies, Alter Ego is the most professional and thorough when it comes to matching nannies with families.

Macgyver Girl said...

HI I just saw this and I have to say I am currently looking to swithc positions. I live in Edgewater and know the Northside of Chicago quite well. I also know downtown pretty well also. I listed my email addy if you or the family want to contact me for more info. I can also recommend several good agencies I have worked with in the past if we don't click.


ChicagoNanny8686 said...

Hi OP!

I'm currently looking for a full time position. I have over 9 years of childcare experience. I have a college degree and I live 20 min from the city. I would love to learn about the family! Please email me and I'll tell you more about myself.


Kim said...

I have a friend who is a nanny in Winnetka. She has many nanny friends and connections in Chicago. I would be happy to pass along a word you are looking and see if she knows of anyone looking for a nanny position. If she does, I will let you know and get you in contact with her. Most good jobs are found by word of mouth :)

Chicago nanny said...

Hi there, I am an excellent nanny and have a friend who is awesome. We both worked in Lincoln Park but the family had to let my friend go due to financial changes. We both know Chicago like the palms of our hands. Email;