Reputable nanny placement agencies assist parents and nannies in finding their best employment match by matching the skills and qualifications of nannies seeking employment with the care needs of parents seeking a nanny.
For a placement fee, which is typically a set fee or a percentage of the nanny’s annual salary, a placement agency will recruit, screen and present nanny candidates to parents for employment consideration. An experienced placement agent knows that even the most qualified nanny isn’t the right nanny for every family, so seasoned agents strive not only to match the nanny’s skill set and qualifications with the right position, but also to match the nanny’s personality, temperament and childcare philosophies with that of the family’s.
Reputable nanny placement agencies typically interview nanny candidates in person, conduct a preliminary background screening, and check the nanny’s references prior to her ever being presented to clients for consideration. Once parents review the profiles of recommended nannies, they set up interviews with those candidates they wish to learn more about. After successful phone and in-person interviews, parents then decide which candidate they’d like to hire. Once a job offer is made, placement agents run additional background checks and help parents draft a written work agreement, both of which should be completed prior to the nanny’s first day on the job. Most reputable agencies also provide parents with the information they’ll need to become a legal employer and to adhere to household employment and tax laws.
When it comes to nanny placement agencies, there’s no federal regulation. Different states and localities will have different regulations governing the operation of nanny placement agencies. Some states may simply require the owner to have a business license, while others more closely regulate agencies – even conducting audits of files to ensure that the agency is doing everything they’re legally required to do.
Within the in-home childcare industry, however, professional associations have emerged that set their own standards for ethical and professional agency operations. The International Nanny Association (INA), www.nanny.org, sets recommended practices and maintains a commitment to professional excellence that all members agree to abide by. The Association of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA), www.theapna.org, is a membership organization that establishes and enforces standards of professional industry practices. Those wishing to join APNA submit their contracts, forms, applications and policies for review. Only those in compliance with the association’s standards are granted membership. Both associations publish a current list of members on their websites, which can be a tremendous resource for parents seeking to work with an agency to find a nanny.
Even when parents rely on a nanny placement agency to find a nanny, they still have the obligation to do their homework and independently screen the candidate. Parents should interview potential nannies, check references, and review background screening reports prior to making a final hiring decision.
10 Ways to Find a Nanny Agency
Does your hectic schedule leave you in need of finding a nanny for your children, but searching for one on your own simply isn’t something you have the time to do? If so, consider utilizing the services of a reputable nanny placement agency. Nanny placement agencies match families seeking nannies with nannies seeking employment. Based on the family’s care giving needs and the nannies skills and qualifications, placement agents help nannies and families find their right employment match.
- Visit the website of the International Nanny Association, www.nanny.org. The International Nanny Association is a non-profit educational association. Member agencies who agree to abide by the association’s recommended practices are listed in the association’s member directory.
- Consult the website of the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies, www.theapna.org. Members who adhere to the association’s standards and code of conduct can be found there.
- Look in the Yellow Pages. Pull out the traditional Yellow Pages phone book and start looking through the nanny agency listings.
- Search the Internet. Conduct a search for nanny placement agencies + your city and state to find placement agencies in your area.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau. Call or visit the website of your local chapter to research which placement agencies in your area are members of the BBB.
- Look in local family publications. Many communities have parenting and family newspapers and magazines that are provided to those in the community for free. Review the classifieds and advertisements for agency listings in your area.
- Leverage your social networks. Use your social media accounts to ask those in your network for nanny placement agency referrals.
- Talk to parents who employ a nanny. What better way to find a nanny agency than to talk to other parents who have used one? Parents usually have no problem telling you about their experience with the agency they used.
- Ask teachers and daycare providers. Schools and child care centers work with children daily and typically are familiar with childcare resources in their area.
- Check with your licensing board. Most states will require nanny agencies to have a business license. Contact the governing body of corporate licensing in your state to obtain a list of licensed agencies.
Before signing on with any agency, you’ll want to be sure they have the proper licensing and that they outline their services and fees in writing. Ask for written documentation of their placement fees, what they cover, and the agency’s replacement policy before signing up with them.