By leveraging technology, parents have the opportunity to learn about nanny candidates from all over the United States. From nanny recruiting websites that feature profiles of nannies to nanny placement agencies that recruit nannies nationally, parents are no longer limited to hiring a childcare provider from somewhere nearby.
Across the United States, nannies are looking for the right job with the right family. By connecting with a large number of nannies, parents are more likely to find their best employment match.
Unlike daycare centers, where the program director is the boss, with nannies, the parents become the provider’s employer. As such, the employers can set the hours, duties, role and responsibilities of the caregiver whom they employ.
As household employers, parents have specific legal and tax responsibilities. In the United States, nannies must be legally able to accept employment to be hired for a nanny position. Parents must confirm the nanny is legally authorized to accept employment using form I-9 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Once the nanny has been verified as eligible to accept employment and is hired, the parents must adhere to specific labor and tax laws. In the United States, nannies are protected under the Fair Labor Standard Act. While many parents talk about paying their nannies a salary, nannies are actually non-exempt employees and must be paid an hourly wage. In fact, nannies are required to be paid at least minimum wage for every hour worked. Live-out nannies, and live-in nannies in some states, are also required to be paid overtime. For parents who talk about their nanny’s wages in terms of salary, for the weekly salary to be compliant, the nanny’s base rate and overtime rate must be compatible with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In addition to paying their nannies in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, nanny employers also have tax obligations. Nanny employers who pay more than $1800 in wages (the threshold set for 2012) also have tax obligations. These obligations total about 10% of the nanny’s gross annual salary. Nanny employers are required to pay Social Security and Medicare Taxes, also known as FICA, and the Federal Unemployment Tax, also known as FUTA. In addition, nanny employers may have to pay state unemployment and disability insurances as well. Nannies also have FICA and income tax responsibilities. As a courtesy, many nanny employers also opt to withhold and pay the nanny’s federal income taxes.
When parents pay their nanny legally, there are significant tax breaks available to them that can offset the expense of doing things right.
10 Ways to Find a Nanny in America
It is challenging to find a nanny that is reliable, experienced and comes well recommended. Finding a nanny that you can trust with your children can be a daunting task that can frazzle even the most laidback parents. When parents aren’t limited to only hiring a nanny from their neighborhood, they expand their options and increase their odds of finding the right nanny for their family.
- Word of mouth. The very best way to find an outstanding nanny is to inherit one from someone by getting the word out. Perhaps a family doesn’t need their nanny anymore as the children are starting school. Once the word is out that you are looking for a nanny you will be amazed at how many leads you get.
- Parent groups. Parents groups are conglomerates of parents who are all in similar situations. Even if you cannot directly find a nanny in this group, they are likely to tell you the best ways to find one in the area.
- Nanny placement agencies. While it is pricey to have an agency do the legwork and present only prescreened, qualified nannies for your consideration, for parents who want to leave the recruiting to the professionals, this is the way to go.
- Online nanny recruiting sites. There are many online nanny recruiting sites that allow parents to peruse nanny profiles for free. If parents find a nanny they wish to contact, they can upgrade their membership to a paying one.
- Post a flyer. Nannies typically frequent children’s libraries, play spaces, and other family friendly areas. Posting a flyer on a community bulletin board in one of these locales may provide good leads.
- Reach out to college students. Many college students, especially those studying early childhood education, would love to earn extra money and gain childcare experience.
- Ask at church. Churches are great resources for individuals to find trusted nannies who share in their faith.
- Run a print ad. While it may sound old fashioned, many parents still find viable nanny leads from posting nanny wanted advertisements in the newspaper or in local parenting publications.
- Use your social network. You’ll be surprised how many leads you receive from a simple Facebook status update mentioning you’re looking for a nanny.
- Post an online ad. Reach a number of nannies seeking employment by posting an online ad on a nanny job site or nanny classified site.
Regardless of how you find a nanny, selecting the right nanny for your family is essential. Don’t bypass going through the interview process, following up with the nanny’s references, or checking the nanny’s background. When choosing a nanny, be sure to gather as much information as possible about a potential candidate so you can make an informed and educated hiring decision.