What Works Best?

Just a bit of background on me... I have been a professional nanny and house manager for WELL over ten years. I have numerous college degrees, am a first responder (same first aid and CPR training as a fireman) I also have experience with multiples, special needs children. You name it, and I have likely have experience and/or meet the qualification. Over the years I have found positions independently, through an agency, and even on sites like or I have found some places are far superior in finding quality families that are willing to pay the going rates, want to pay on the books, have contracts, treat the employee like a person rather than indentured servant... Etc.

What I am wanting to know are the opinions of other readers here on ISYN. Where do YOU find the best jobs? Why? Is it just me, or does anyone else find that the sites like Care and to consistently be full of parents; who aren't interested in paying the actual going rate for a nanny, but want to pay nannies with qualifications out the wazoo the same thing that high school babysitters make? Does anyone else find it better to look for your own positions independently, without an agency or nanny website like I do? What works best for everyone here? - Anonymous


Nanny c said...

I found my first 3 nanny jobs through word of mouth. My current job I got through Currently I am overall happy with my job although I did take a huge pay cut when I accepted it and that is catching up with me financially.

Worked with an agency twice, never accepted any offers through them. It all felt phony and pretentious.

nannyemmyjoy said...

I've gone through an agency twice and through once. I am a huge supporter of agencies. I've definitely had to weed out the bad ones as there are several in my area (Seattle). The families who go through agencies are generally willing to pay more and the agency has always helped with my contract and been a big supporter on my behalf. I will definitely go through an agency for my next nanny position.

BruisedToeMissDee said...

Great question OP! Many different avenues to find work in the field of early childhood ed, and websites are taking the place of agencies.

I have 15 years of experience working with all ages of children in a classroom setting, and have worked with a variety of parents and families. I will graduate in May 2013 with a degree in early childhood education.

CL: I found three nanny jobs and two jobs in childcare centers here, one of which I had for 3.5 years and the other one I currently have. They say CL is a joke, and that one can't find crap here. Wrong.... is a joke to me, because it seems as if parents don't care about who they hire, nor do they want high quality care. They are rude, inconsiderate and obnoxious: they want someone with experience, yet don't return messages when applicants respond. It's almost as if they draw names out of hat to care for their children, regardless of that person's experience.

I recently went through an agency to find part time work, only to be "lost" in the pool of applicants. The agency was rude and unprofessional, and I am not sure I would go through another experience again.

Pittsburgh nanny said...

I love nanny Poppinz!! I feel like if a family is willing to pay 3000 as a placement they aren't fooling around. Plus the agency sets guidelines for salary, holidays etc

Bethany said...

I find it easier to find employers that want to pay a fair wage, pay on the books, and expect only childcare using an agency. I actually found one of my favorite families on CL. Of the two I prefer Sitter city. My only gripe with the care sites is that you can be contacted by anyone and it takes for ever to filter through jobs

Texas Nanny said...

I've been accepted by agencies here, but never actually found a position through one. When I'm job-hunting, I always use all the resources I have available, meaning I'm not just on the agency but also sittercity, care, and even Craigslist.

Out of 6 nanny and regularly-occurring sitter jobs I've had, one was through Care, one Sittercity, one, and THREE were CL.

In fact, the two best (best families AND highest pay for duties performed) were both through Craigslist. Another was through Sittercity (a regular babysitting gig, not F/T nanny).

The worst, by far, was, and the 3rd Craigslist position was low pay and low hours, but a wonderful family.

So I think there are potentially good jobs ANYWHERE. You just have to know how to look and filter.

MissMannah said...

I've found jobs through nanny sites and CL. My current position was found on You're right, a lot of parents on there are cheap...or uninformed about what constitutes a good salary. You have to just go through it with a fine-toothed comb and be willing to wait for something good to show up.

Nanny for you said...

I have had zero luck with am actually suprised to see as many people say Craigslist. I have gotten my last two nanny jobs from there and have gotten great pay and love the families. Everyone said I was crazy to look for a decent nanny job on that site but seems I'm not the only one. Prior to that I worked in a daycare and one of the parents "stole" me when they had thier second child.

nycmom said...

As a parent, I have found my long term nannies on CL, an online mother's group, and via a friend from her church. I agree with others that you should always explore all avenues at once when searching. CL has a lot more scammers, but as an employer, if you reply to employer posted ads, then you can find great nannies. Sittercity tends to be great for pt nannies or sitters, but for me, not great for ft nannies. It seems to skew toward college/grad students and not professional nannies. Mom boards or other (like babybites in nyc) are also great resources IMO.

I have never and will never use an agency. I have seen them recruiting on the same sites I can use myself. I'd rather save the money, put in the extra work, and pay my nanny the extra money! I don't think agencies are inherently bad, just not the right choice for us.

anonymous mom said...

NYCmom, my first time searching for a nanny I was greatly surprised to find nanny agencies advertising on CL. I'm not sure why it shocked me but I guess I was thinking agencies were supposed to be a bit more selective. I imagined the most experienced nannies, with the best resumes in hand, waiting to be hired.

Like you though, I also decided to put the money toward finding a great nanny myself. And yes, mom blogs and boards are wonderful resources.

I know CL has a bad reputation for scammers, but with a good bit of research, some amazing nannies to can be found there.

anonymous mom said...

(correction) *some amazing nannies can be found there.

MissWi said...

First off love that you are trained in the fire service...I'm almost done with EMT school
I tried nanny agencies and didn't have a lot of options has been my go to site but its hard to sift out the bum families. I have a wonderful job off but honestly its the ONLY real outstanding one I have found on there.
I think it may be my area... We have a lot of nice daycares and I'm just a little too far north to get the Chicago traffic

melissa said...

I've gone through several agencies, but only found placement through one of them. Best job I ever had. I found my current family through I work for a great family, and I didn't have to sacrifice on pay. Maybe I was just lucky :) I've also had bad experiences with though, and I've only had negative experiences with CL. I've also found families on my own. I think it really depends on your area.

Lyn said...

Let's see, my first position was actually for my early childhood development professor when I was still in school. When I transferred to William and Mary I used sittercity and was pretty surprised with how quickly and easily I found a family who was a good match for me. When I moved to NC I used Sittercity again and after that first family here it's all been word of mouth. I think the best jobs come from word of mouth but I think using a website to get your foot in the door is very helpful. Especially if you've just moved to a new area.

Interesting said...

So interesting! I've had luck with word of mouth, and a very fancy pants agency, and a online parents/caregivers group, (Berkeley parents network). It's all relative, but you must know what you looking for and then it's easier to filter families. It's crazy, the fancy agency sent me on two interviews with the same family (in their home with the infant) before they called all my references,or checked my driving history, or my trust line (finger prints which were already in the state system). I guess the agency didn't want to put in the hours to check all my references and background until after I was offer the job by the family I interviewed with. If I was the parent in that situation I would be shocked to know they were sending nannies to my house that were not throughly screened before meeting my child!

oceanblue said...

I like Cl and care. com. Word of mouth is good too, but keep in mind just because you had a good fit with one family doesn't mean you will have a fit with their friends. I find agencies to be more interested in catering to parents and they don't always have your back if something happens

Redmond Nanny said...


I haven't found a best source. Besides word of mouth, which has given me so much, I have had most of my luck with Craigslist and That is after trying agencies, other childcare sites like Sittercity or Nannies4Hire, and even setting up my own site advertised via Google.

On both sites I've been contacted by the very people you complain about. Parents uninterested in paying the going rate or even a rate someone could live on, all while insisting their nanny have more qualifications than they logically need.

Not that I lack these. I may not have numerous college degrees or be a first responder or have dealt with special needs, but I have more than ten years of experience, a college degree, current First Aid and CPR training, up-to-date vaccinations, experience with twins, stellar references and so forth.

What I have found is a common characteristic, or piece of history, in employers that tend to treat me best. With rare exception, immigrant families from China, Finland and India have treated me better than the domestic variety. I'm white and the area I live in is outside Seattle. Yet whether the interviews or employment itself, these families have proven to be warmer, more communicative, more considerate and more transparent.

What about you, where have you had the most luck looking?

Fara said...

I live in SE Michigan. I've found two jobs on and actually, my mom also found a great job on the website as well. It has its drawbacks certainly. I began to limit myself to certain cities, because the majority of parents wanted to pay below minimum wage for qualifications worth far more. I'm a recent college grad who has several years of experience with childcare. My first job I found, I was paid a measly amount but my situation was dire and I had to do it. Now, I have a permanent position where I don't worry about money and work for a prominent family in the area. I think I got lucky but if you look hard, you can certainly find things.