Nanny Agencies: what to look for when choosing a nanny agency

Posted on by Deborah | in Articles

What to look for, what to ask when searching for reputable nanny agencies

1. Is the agency’s phone answered by a live person or do you always get the answering machine no matter what time of day? If there are problems with the nanny you select, will this agency be available to take care of your complaints and live up to their replacement policy?

2. Ask them, how do you recruit your nannies? The best answer will be through word of mouth and repeat business. A quality agency will have nannies and clients who are loyal to them.

3. Ask them what the screening process is before the candidate is even sent on an interview. You do not want unscreened nannies coming to your home.

4. Ask them if they are members of any professional associations, i.e., International Nanny Association (INA), National Alliance of Professional Nanny Agencies (APNA), Chamber of Commerce, and or Better Business Bureau. This shows a commitment to their professionalism in business and the industry.

5. Ask them how long they have been in business. There are many fly by night companies in this industry. Granted, every business had to start somewhere, and it is your option to choose a new one as long as there are no other red flags.

6. Ask the agency how nanny interviews are conducted. The International Nanny Association recommends that agencies interview nannies in person and if this is not an option that the agency disclose to the client how the interview was conducted, i.e., by telephone, an agent acting on behalf of the agency, etc.

7. Ask them what the minimum requirements are for the nannies that they represent. Some agencies require professional childcare references and others may not.

8. Ask them what is their procedure regarding reference checking and how many references will be called. The International Nanny Association recommends that at least 2 references should be checked by phone. In addition, the agency should disclose to you all information about the candidate that has been verified through personal and employment references, as allowed by law.

9. Do they have a written contract between the agency and the client? Does this contract spell out the time periods within which replacement and/or refunds will be made by the agency?

10. Do you have training programs or support groups for your nannies? Many agencies will offer group CPR training programs, nanny night out, or holiday functions for their nannies. This shows a commitment to their nannies which results in commitment from the nannies to the agency, thus a bigger pool of experienced nannies.

11. Look for and expect an in-depth client interview (that means with you.) You want an agency that listens to your needs and sends you applicants that fill those needs.

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