Because families have unique needs, expectations, and child-rearing styles, finding the right one for you is critical as a nanny. A good match between a nanny and family lays the foundation for a solid relationship, which is why a nanny agency can be a great resource when it comes time to find a new nanny position.
However, there are no official standards that regulate how a nanny agency operates. The International Nanny Association (INA) has suggested standards for child care professionals, while the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA) promotes best business practices for nanny placement agencies. In order to belong to APNA, for example, an agency has to meet their standards through a vetting process.
But there are many nanny agencies that don’t meet these standards, or that aren’t as transparent about their operations. That’s why we’ve put together some tips on researching and choosing a dependable, professional nanny agency.
There’s a lot of important basic information you can find about an agency online — start with their website. Be sure to look at information like:
You can also Google their agency name and see what pops up. There may be Yelp or Google listing reviews, which can tell you a lot about their reputation. You can also search for them on Facebook, where more and more people are beginning to leave reviews. If the agency doesn’t have a reputable feel or seems to have a ton of negative reviews, it may be best to play it safe and move on to the next agency.
How does a nanny agency accept nanny candidates? Look at an agency’s screening and background check process. Some agencies don’t have this on their website, so you can email them or call and ask for this information.
If they’re serious about accepting the best nannies, they’ll lay out what they’re looking for in their candidates: their work experience, skills, any certification or training, and so on. Similarly, what do they offer nannies who are accepted into the agency? Make sure that the agency is committed to complying with tax and labor laws. Compare their pay and benefits with other agencies. Are they fair and competitive? Do you get medical coverage, overtime, paid holidays, and sick pay?
It’s also important to look at how they screen and match nannies with families. An agency may have a rigorous screening process for accepting new nannies, but they should also have high standards when it comes to representing families. A nanny agency that is selective about their families ensures that you’ll be treated and compensated fairly.
Because there are no official regulations for running a nanny agency, it can be difficult to trust that an agency is operating “above-board.” That’s where a professional association membership with APNA or INA comes in. Look at the footer on a nanny agency’s website, where you’ll see member badges for professional associations. You may also find awards given to the nanny agency from city associations or the Better Business Bureau. Some agencies will display their overall ratings based on Google reviews or Facebook reviews right on their site, as well. Spend some time reading reviews and nanny association standards, but checking for these membership badges and awards is a good place to start.
Finally, take into account how a nanny agency makes you feel. If you’ve started applying and interviewing with different agencies, be mindful of how you are treated. Does the agency have your best interests at heart? Are you treated like one of many faceless candidates? Do they seem interested in finding the right fit, or just placing you with any family? Make sure that the agency is responsive and there when you need them. They should treat you with warmth and respect. After all, you’re representing them, and they’re backing you. It should be a mutually beneficial relationship.
Stanford Park Nannies understands the importance of matching the right nanny to the right family. We’re dedicated to supporting every nanny on our team through every step of the process: applying to our agency, matching potential families, and ensuring that you’ll be treated fairly and respectfully by your new employers.
Our team has over 22 years of experience helping Bay Area families and nannies through our unique, personalized approach. Apply now to join the Stanford Park Nannies team!
"I would rate Stanford Park Nannies very highly! They provide a great flow of very qualified candidates, who are all prepared to pay taxes. They have a great vetting process and did not waste our time with those that weren’t a fit. In addition to our full-time search, they had the ability to quickly identify relevant interim/temp nannies as well!"
"SPN is a powerhouse agency of incredible women who embody experience, passion, and a heart for service!"
"SPN provides you with a current understanding of what should be expected of nannies and employers and they empower you by coaching you through it all. When I started to interview with families, they gave me great feedback—it felt like I had my own personal interviewing cheerleaders!"
"If I could give SPN 100 stars, I would! There is 100% value in the services that SPN provides. Daryl was extremely responsive and thorough. Our night nurse has been perfect!"