How do I find a good nanny? 9 places to find a nanny

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As a single mom, you’re used to making missions possible. Even if it feels like you’re sliding under a door at the last minute to make a way for your kids.

Your busy life demands support. This is where a good nanny comes in: a reliable, caring child care provider who you can count on to also manage your home.

But where can you find a good nanny? It’s easy when you know where to look.

This post shares nine ways to find a nanny:

  1. Ask people you know.
  2. Craigslist
  3. Local colleges
  4. Ask a doula.
  5. Care.com
  6. Facebook Groups
  7. Neighborhood apps
  8. Local community resources
  9. Nanny agencies

And how to hire a nanny for a fair price.

1. Ask people you know. 

Start with your network. Word of mouth is a powerful tool among those you trust. You can ask family members, co-workers, friends — anyone whose judgment you can count on. Plus, even if they don’t have immediate recommendations, your needs will be on their radar.

2. Craigslist.org. 

With classified sites like Craigslist, you’ll find area-specific ads for nannies. You can also post an advertisement to find a nanny. While combing through the ads can be time-consuming, you might find a diamond if you are patient.

Just be careful not to provide your personal data, as some users are not reputable. Create a separate email account, Google Voice number or an account like Text Free or WhatsApp to communicate.

3. Contact local colleges.

Colleges and universities are great places to find students looking to provide babysitting or nanny services. Inquire about physical job boards at school as well as access to virtual job boards.

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4. Ask a doula.

Doulas often provide care for mothers throughout the birthing process and after. Some, referred to as “night nannies,” offer postpartum help for new mothers and the family, especially at night. If not, they often belong to a network of caregivers and are a great resource for leads on nannies.

How to become a doula.

5. Sign up for Care.com.

You can find a nanny by creating a free basic account at Care.com, an A+ BBB-rated site that connects screened caregivers to those who need them most. Peruse the options for child care and get a curated list of background-checked nannies in your community. Conversely, you can post a nanny job.

If you want to communicate with nannies, see full profiles or purchase an enhanced background check via Care.com, you will need a premium membership. This resource is valuable because you can see what nannies share about their background and experience as well as read nanny reviews from moms just like you.

You can also always run your own background check. Here's how.

Care.com is also a place where you can find elder care, housekeeping, pet sitters / dog walkers and other household help.

The basic Care.com membership is free.

You can also select a paid, premium membership. There are three options: Monthly, Quarterly or Annual (12 months). 

  • Monthly: $38.95 per month.
  • Quarterly: $24.95/month
  • Annual: $12.95 per month

How Care.com work?

The free (basic) membership allows you to:

  • Search for available nannies in your area
  • View nanny profiles and reviews
  • View any certifications (like CPR or First Aid training)
  • Post a nanny job
  • Receive applications
  • Access site tools like hiring guides and rate calculators

While it’s a good way to get a feel for available nannies and interest in your nanny job, you can’t message respondents or view submitted applications to your nanny job posting. Getting a premium membership gives you full access.

With a premium membership, you can:

  • Send and receive messages from potential nannies
  • Contact caregivers directly
  • Schedule interviews
  • View applications/respond to applicants
  • Request enhanced background checks for an additional fee
  • Unlock savings on HomePay tax service and LifeMart, a discount shopping site

These extra resources are valuable because you can learn much more about someone before you hire them. 

Interested in becoming a nanny? Read more …

6. Join a Facebook group.

If you are on Facebook, you can join groups to help you find the right nanny for your family. In the Facebook Groups search tool, use terms that include the word nanny and your geographic area. For example, “Houston nannies” or “Cook County nannies.” The results will show groups with that subject matter. Join the group so that you can connect and get information on where to find nannies.

7. Use an app.

Try a neighborhood app to find a nanny. It’s a convenient way to look, especially since we spend so much time on our smartphones these days.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Nextdoor: You can sign up for free and search for nannies in your neighborhood by posting a message or searching posts. There you can find nannies looking for work and reach out to them via comments or through Nextdoor messaging.
  • UrbanSitter: Get started with a free account and look for screened nannies. This iOS/iPadOS 13.0-compatible app allows you to find, interview, hire and pay your nanny. Responses often come from nannies and babysitters in minutes.

There are more options out there, but these are a great starting point because you can sign up for free to get started and add on services later.

Resources to run your household like a boss

8. Tap into your community.

Check out your local resources for help in finding a nanny. Community centers, parent-teacher associations, homeowner associations, civic groups, schools, fraternities/sororities, lodges and even local businesses can be helpful in your search.

9. Go through reputable nanny agency.

You can always go straight to the source of registered nannies in your area by contacting an agency. However, using these services can cost from 15-20% of the nanny’s annual income, plus a setup fee. Some require a flat fee upfront.

In trade, you save time by letting the agency do the work of matching you with the best person for the job based on your input. To find a reputable nanny agency, start with organizations like International Nanny Association (INA) or Association of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA).

Hiring a nanny? 3 frequently asked questions

When you are ready to hire a nanny, you may have lots of questions. We’ve addressed the three top questions below. 

1. What is the best site to find a nanny?

We think Care.com is the best site to find a nanny. First, it’s free to sign up for a basic account. And you can do quite a bit with a basic account. Next, you can rest assured that all listed nannies have gone through CareCheck, the site’s background check process. Then, for an upgraded membership fee, you can communicate with the nannies that catch your eye.

Finally, you can pay the nanny through the Care.com's sister site, HomePay.

2. How much do you pay a nanny?

While it will depend on your geographic area, the average nationwide rate is $15 per hour. You can expect to pay more when you need help for multiple children, the nanny holds certifications, or has extensive experience and credentials. 

3. What is a fair price for a nanny?

Thankfully, using the Care.com calculator gives you an estimate based on where you live. Your final agreed-upon rate will take into account all of the tasks you require the nanny to perform. A fair price is one that you can afford and that compensates the nanny in a salary range that is in sync with the cost of living for your state.

As a reference point, take a look at these average pay rates in select cities:

  • Austin, TX: $17.50/hour
  • New York, NY: $18.75/hour
  • Naples, FL: $14.50/hour
  • Phoenix, AZ: $16.00/hour
  • Savannah, GA: $12.25/hour
  • Trenton, NJ: $14.50/hour

The above rates assume care for one child, full-time. You’ll have to adjust that based on your needs. Try the calculator now to find the average pay rate in your city.

Bottom Line: 

When looking for a nanny, start with your network before moving on to agencies, apps or websites. And when you are ready to use those tools, ensure they are reputable and use background checks. Take time to prepare interview questions thoughtfully and have a budget for performing your own background check if necessary. 

 

What is the best site to find a nanny?

We think Care.com is the best site to find a nanny. First, it’s free to sign up for a basic account. And you can do quite a bit with a basic account. Next, you can rest assured that all listed nannies have gone through CareCheck, the site’s background check process.

How much do you pay a nanny?

While it will depend on your geographic area, the average nationwide rate is $15 per hour. You can expect to pay more when you need help for multiple children, the nanny holds certifications, or has extensive experience and credentials.

Robyn Evans is an award-winning writer, inspirational author, and occasional songstress (especially in the shower). Born and raised in Baltimore, she focused on helping women make healthy choices for body, mind and soul. She’s a grateful bonus mom to a photographer son and activist daughter and works with young writers through a non-profit organization. Robyn writes for corporate clients, is a former feature writer for The Carroll County Times, has written for The Baltimore Sun and is the author of three books. Learn more about Robyn here.

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