Today’s Hint: How to Find a Great Nanny Without Paying an Agency

If you’re looking to hire a nanny, there’s no shortage of agencies willing to help you find the perfect (or at least a good) caregiver. However, this kind of personalized recruitment help doesn’t come cheap, and placement fees can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to 20% of the nanny’s first annual salary or more.

Want to avoid those agency fees, skip sorting through lots of random potential caregivers applying to an ad and still end up with a great nanny? Try the tactic that is today’s hint: target your search to the great longtime nannies of kids who are making the transition to preschool and who are getting job finding help from their soon-to-be former employers.

So how do you find these nannies? One tactic is to subscribe to local parent message boards or email groups, and then focus your search on “great-nanny-for-hire” posts from parents with kids about to go to preschool who are trying to help their great and longtime nannies find new positions. Plus, since you’re on a local message board, you may even see these sorts of postings from people you actually know in person.

You can find such boards through simple Google searches for a “parents yahoo group” and if a relevant one doesn’t come up, add the name of your city. Also, check out this helpful list of such groups from Babble. In the Bay Area, where we live, for example, I’m a member of yahoo groups for my neighborhood and others nearby, and I’m a member of the Golden Gate Mothers Group, which has an active caregiver search message board with tons of these types of “great-nanny-for-hire” postings.

You also can find such nannies through a smart tactic one of my friends used: leave fliers at places where parents who are beginning to transition away from full-time nannies congregate, like daycares, preschools and pre-kindergarten classes.

To be sure, this trick isn’t a replacement for doing nanny hiring due diligence such as calling references, doing background checks, conducting interviews and having trial periods. And there’s always the chance that the great-longtime-nanny-for-hire listings aren’t real, that a parent is posting for a nanny he or she didn’t really like or that your fliers end up in the hands of not-so-good nannies.

Still, before you follow up about any potential nanny, you can research the most recent employer through sites like LinkedIn to make sure the nanny-for-hire listing is legitimate. And if a parent is going through the effort to help their nanny find their next job (whether through an online posting or by passing along a flier you posted), the odds are good that the nanny really is a good one.

But what if somehow this trick doesn’t work for you? The good news is that there are other low-cost nanny-finding techniques. My sister-in-law, a child development major in college, suggests placing an advertisement on a bulletin board in a local university’s child development department or checking with the department for potential hires, and others recommend this strategy as well. BabyCenter, meanwhile, suggests nanny seekers ask local nanny training programs for referrals.

How did you find your caregiver? What advice do you have for other parents?

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  1. says

    What a fantastic trick it is! Now I don’t need to pay to any agency for hiring Nanny for my child and also this trick will reduce the extra effort and cost for hiring Nanny that I did before. So it’s really acceptable and appreciate able as well. Awesome findings!


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