When looking for the perfect nanny, or looking for the best family to work for, finding the right nanny agency is an essential factor in securing symbiosis between client and caregiver. Parents and nannies are continually being challenged in finding the right liaison to connect one another. San Diego Nanny agencies and Orange County Nanny agencies are all a bit different and have different philosophies, so you should make sure the nanny agency you decided to work with is the right one for you!
As many nanny referral agencies are popping up all over the country, some online and some in the community creating more opportunities for parents and nannies to meet one another, there is something to be said for the match making process and the philosophy of working with a nanny agency. The question is, which is the right agency for you? Here are a few suggestive questions to help make up your mind.
CALL AND COMPARE
Professional nanny agencies should take the time to invest in a dialogue with you, so that you feel comfortable, leaving you with all questions answered. Here are some questions to get you thinking:
Be detailed in your requests ask for recommendations about the clients and nannies that use their service, for example: Who is the owner of the company and how have they gained their reputation?
HOW DOES IT WORK?
If you move forward with hiring a nanny agency to help you find the perfect candidate, make sure you know how it works from starting the agency process to receiving the agency statement. Where does the agency find their nannies? How does the agency screen their candidates? Does the agency have online forms, phone screens, face to face interviews?
What types of background checks does the agency do? What about getting references so that the family can call the past employers? This actually might include references for both parties in the process.
What are the agency’s fees (keep in mind that location of where you live may have an impact)? Is there an upfront, non-refundable retainer?
How is candidate information being sent over and what comes with the information that is being sent? What are the agency’s guarantee on a placement if it doesn’t work out? Does the agency replace the nanny for no charge? Is there a monetary refund? What are the agency’s policies?
What larger affiliations is the agency associated with (APNA and INA)? Ask this because does differentiate one agency from another. What are the requirements of the agency’s nannies? Are the nannies required to be CPR/First Aid Certified (Trustline™ in the state of California) and can the agency help answer questions about taxes and payroll? Make sure you leave no stone unturned.
SAFETY & “IN HOUSE” VISITS:
Ask if the agency does an “in house” visit. Seaside Nannies believes this is a crucial part of the process, making both the nanny and family experience a positive one. A good agency will have a representative visit the clients home to assess the family dynamic, as each family is unique!
BACKGROUND CHECKS, DMV REPORTS, TRUSTLINE™?
The nanny agency should offer criminal background checks and fingerprints by candidates (especially working with children). A typical check starts with a social security trace, checking for criminal activity in each county the candidate has lived in. The background check should also include a Department of Motor Vehicle report. Many agencies will also offer a drug screening, sometimes at an extra cost to the client, including consent from the nanny, depending on what state they reside in. All states have different laws, please make sure to check with the Department of Social Services in your state.
Using a nanny agency that has a good reputation in the community is a great place to start the agency process, so do your research! The questions suggested above will hopefully help you insure that your family-nanny partnership will be as efficient, productive and successful as possible; we all wish for happy homes, nannies, families and of course… happy children!
Dara B. Green
President, Seaside Nannies Inc.