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The Best Nanny Agencies

Where is the Best Place to Find a Nanny for Your Children?

It can feel a little overwhelming when choosing a nanny to watch your children. You have to figure out how to even find a nanny, let alone several candidates to choose from. And then you have all of the searching, screening, and interviewing to zero in on the right person to be your parenting partner. That's where online nanny agencies can take a lot of the weight off your shoulders.

Many online nanny agencies conduct background checks and verify credentials, providing an added layer of security. Families can then search for nannies based on specific criteria, or agencies may provide recommendations based on your requirements. Platforms can also facilitate communication between families and nannies, allowing you to ask questions, schedule interviews, and negotiate terms.

Sunday, May 19th

2024 Nanny Agency Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Sittercity Review 5 Star Rating

Sittercity

5 Star Rating
  • Can hire both babysitters and nannies
  • Covers 95% of US neighborhoods
  • Nannies are identity-authenticated and screened on offender databases
  • Full background checks available for a fee
  • Can browse nanny profiles with a free account
  • Premium plan required to message and book caregivers
  • Premium prices range from $15 to $39/month, depending on subscription length
  • Activity-based, one-off childcare also available
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Over 40,000 five-star reviews
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Sittercity stands out in the realm of caregiver services, offering comprehensive solutions for various needs, be it childcare, elder care, special needs support, or even pet care. While they cater to a wide spectrum, Sittercity's primary focus remains on childcare, making it a top choice for finding experienced nannies and babysitters.

Wealth of features

Sittercity's dedication to trust and safety is evident in the wealth of features they provide. Some of these include detailed caregiver profiles, candidate ratings, interview scheduling, secure messaging, background checks, scam prevention measures, and screening against sex offender databases. All these aspects contribute to a secure and reliable platform for families in search of dependable childcare.

Nannies and babysitters available here

One way Sittercity stands out is its flexibility in terms of the type of caregivers available. Sittercity allows you to find both babysitters and nannies as you prefer. Their differentiation lies in the role and responsibilities of these caregivers. Babysitters provide temporary childcare to accommodate various schedules, making them suitable for last-minute appointments, date nights, or occasional special occasions. On the other hand, nannies typically offer long-term, full-time or part-time care and may even live with the family, depending on individual needs. Sittercity lets you do either one - or both.

Start by creating an account

Getting started with Sittercity is straightforward. You create an account to access their services and specify your requirements, including the type of caregiver you need, the age of your children, and any special needs. This information is used to create a job listing for your unique situation. While the process may seem extensive, it's part of Sittercity's commitment to trust and safety for both families and caregivers.

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Browse for free, pay to make contact

Sittercity offers a Premium membership ($15 to $39 per month, depending on how long you subscribe) that provides access to features like messaging nanny candidates, requesting interviews, and booking unique activities planned by caregivers. Even though you'll need a Premium subscription for these interactions, you can still browse nanny profiles in your area without committing to a membership.

Basic verification included, more extensive checks are on you

Sittercity's thorough screening process ensures that all caregivers are identity-authenticated before being listed, and they are screened against offender databases. Families can choose to pay for additional background checks if desired, and we want to emphasize that any screening beyond Sittercity's initial steps is your responsibility.

Lots of info on each nanny candidate

As you browse nanny profiles, you'll find valuable information about their experience, the number of reviews they've received, and their last login to the site. This feature helps you connect strictly with nannies who are actually available. Naturally, nanny availability will depend on where you live, but in the mid-size metro area we entered, we found hundreds of suitable candidates for a variety of childcare situations (full-time, part-time, special needs, and so on).

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Over 40,000 five-star reviews

Sittercity has an impressive reputation, with an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. Moreover, the overwhelmingly positive feedback from clients and caregivers, including nearly 50,000 iOS users who have rated the Sittercity app an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars, is another testament to this platform's popularity with both caregivers and families alike.

Activity-based childcare too

As an aside, if you also happen to need a date-night sitter, we spotted an option with Sittercity that we love: activity-based care options, with novel experiences ranging from Dungeons & Dragons adventures to arts and crafts sessions. This innovative addition not only provides childcare but also helps your children have a memorable and enjoyable time. It's not necessarily applicable to nannies, necessarily, but we like how Sittercity is thinking outside the box in this way.

#1 all-around option for finding a nanny

Sittercity remains in the #1 spot among nanny agencies. Its extensive coverage nationwide means you should have no trouble finding a caregiver near you, and its focus on safety and reliability makes it more likely you'll have a positive experience. Additionally, Sittercity's activity-based babysitting options give you a fun way to keep your kids busy on your nanny's day off if you want to hire a one-off sitter. We recommend that you make Sittercity your first stop when you're looking for a nanny.

The Nanny League Review 4.5 Star Rating

The Nanny League

4.5 Star Rating
  • All college-educated nannies
  • Rigorous background checks and screening for all caregivers
  • Clientele consists of high-net-worth individuals and families (celebrities, influencers)
  • Full-time or half-time nanny share available
  • One-time placement fee of 18-35% of the nanny's gross salary
  • In business since 2010

The Nanny League stands as an exemplar of excellence in the realm of professional nanny services. This esteemed agency specializes in matching high-profile families with college-educated nannies who embody competence, nurturing, and creativity. Whether you require full-time support (40+ hours per week) or part-time assistance (a minimum of 20 hours per week), The Nanny League has an extensive portfolio of exceptional caregivers ready to serve your unique needs.

No stone unturned during vetting

One of the defining hallmarks of The Nanny League is its rigorous screening process. Every nanny undergoes a comprehensive evaluation that includes a drug test, background check, reference review, and more. This meticulous vetting ensures that you're engaging with top-tier childcare professionals. However, it's important to note that such quality comes at a premium, making The Nanny League one of the most professional and, consequently, expensive nanny agencies available.

Wide range of care options

The Nanny League prides itself on being exceptionally responsive to the specific concerns and demands of each family. The agency boasts an extensive roster of nannies, each specializing in distinct areas of expertise. These include nannies for special needs children, newborn care specialists, temporary nannies, tutors, and personal/household assistants. Each category carries its own price range, with fees paid directly to The Nanny League.

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Fees typically based on the nanny's anticipated gross salary

Let's get a little more specific with those fees. Families are not required to pay the fee until a caregiver has been selected for hiring. This empowers you to explore your options extensively, meeting, interviewing, and potentially even trialing candidates for up to 24 hours. The agency fee, which varies based on the type of caregiver you engage, will correspond to the following categories:

  • 18% of the nanny's gross annual salary for full-time or rotating nannies, with the nanny hourly rate determined by families (typically starting at a minimum of $25 to $35+ per hour)
  • 20% of the nanny's annual gross salary for special needs nannies (autism, cerebral palsy). Hourly rates vary
  • 18% of a personal and household assistant's gross salary
  • 25% of a newborn/infant nanny's annual gross salary, with these specialists ranging from $35 to $55 per hour
  • 35% of a temporary (working less than one year) nanny's gross salary
  • 9% of the nanny's annual gross salary per family in a nanny share situation

Hourly rates

In terms of hourly rates, most nannies generally command a starting rate of $25 per hour or higher. However, the flexibility to determine the hourly rate for part-time and full-time nannies lies within the family's discretion and needs. The Nanny League works diligently to align your preferences with a suitable candidate, although it's important to acknowledge that the caliber of caregivers here means there's no room for bargain options. The combination of the nanny's hourly rate and The Nanny League's service fee renders it one of the more costly childcare solutions available to families.

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Go check out the kudos: this is a well-loved nanny agency

Despite (still) not having a Better Business Bureau profile, The Nanny League has plenty of positive buzz from satisfied parents who have left feedback on third-party sites and social media channels. This agency boasts nearly a 5-star rating across the board, with clients singing its praises for the agency's exceptional communication, the quality of nannies hired, and the unmatched professionalism they provide. Want to see for yourself? We encourage you to click The Nanny League's link to their Instagram profile, then go to their Kudos category. You'll see comments from VIP clients (whose identities are kept confidential), nannies who love their experience, and even reels from influencers explaining why The Nanny League has earned their trust and gratitude.

"A" rated service for A-listers

While it's obvious that the cost of engaging The Nanny League may not be within everyone's budget, those who can make it work are sure to find that the caliber of nannies here justifies the expense. If you're a high net worth individual or family and you want concierge-level service to select the perfect nanny for your children, one who will be extremely well-educated and trained to meet your family's particular needs, you can't do better than The Nanny League.

Jovie Review 4 Star Rating

Jovie

4 Star Rating
  • Nanny agency with multiple franchise locations spanning 30+ states
  • Diverse childcare options, from immediate babysitting to full-time nannies
  • All caregivers undergo local, state, and federal background checks
  • Continuous training for caregivers
  • Typically takes up to a week to be paired with a nanny
  • Free initial consultation with your local Jovie franchise
  • Payment structure includes setup fees and hourly rates paid directly to Jovie
  • Established in 2001

Jovie, formerly known as College Nannies and Sitters and operating under the umbrella of Bright Horizons, is more than just a run-of-the-mill nanny agency. This childcare solution provider employs its caregivers, offering them a comprehensive benefits package. Whether you require a helping hand on an occasional basis, part-time childcare, or a full-time nanny, Jovie has you covered.

Not yet available nationwide

Before you dive headfirst into the world of Jovie, it's crucial to understand that their services may not be available in all 50 states. Jovie operates using a franchise model, enabling local franchisees to independently manage their operations. This allows them to cater specifically to the unique needs of their respective communities. At the time of this review, Jovie was accessible in approximately 30 states, including Washington DC. Some states, like Utah, Maine, North Carolina, and Louisiana, were notably absent from the list of areas served. We suggest scrolling to the bottom of the main Jovie webpage to enter your zip code before providing information about your childcare needs, so you can make sure you're not wasting your time.

No surprises in the initial questions

Once you've confirmed that Jovie operates in your area, you can begin by answering a series of initial questions. These questions encompass the type of assistance you require (after-school care, summer care, or occasional babysitting), how urgently you need childcare (ranging from immediate to "within months"), and basic contact information. These initial steps are relatively straightforward.

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Don't call us, we'll call you

Following that initial inquiry, you will need to exercise some patience: Jovie does not immediately offer the ability to browse potential nannies or gain any insights into what the costs may include. Instead, a Jovie team member will reach out to you. From this point forward, your entire experience will depend on the local Jovie franchise in your area, including pricing and the availability of caregivers.

Meet with a representative

Regardless of your location, certain elements remain consistent. First and foremost, you will have a meeting with a representative from your local Jovie franchise. When that's complete, you can download the MySitters app to begin scheduling your childcare needs. Every nanny available through Jovie's app has successfully passed a thorough background check, which examines criminal records at the county, state, and federal levels. Jovie ensures its caregivers receive extensive training both at the outset of and throughout their employment. Topics covered in this training include child safety and age-appropriate activities. In terms of payment, Jovie handles everything, as they hire nannies and babysitters as their own employees. This includes payroll, taxes, insurance, and any additional benefits provided to their caregivers.

Pricing varies, but here's a ballpark

Naturally, you might wonder about the cost. As you've probably guessed, pricing varies by location, and Jovie does not provide specific details about costs without direct consultation with your local franchise. However, we did some sleuthing to provide a rough estimate. In one Colorado area, hourly rates for Jovie caregivers ranged from $28 to $40, with a minimum 4-hour charge for each day of care. Additionally, each Jovie franchise charges a one-time setup fee for new families, although the precise amount wasn't disclosed. These specifics will be clarified during your consultation.

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Reputation depends on your Jovie office

Evaluating Jovie's reputation can be complex, as it hinges on the operations of your local franchise. Satisfied families have praised their Jovie nannies and raved about the ease of working with both the caregivers and the company. However, there have also been reports of caregivers being double-booked (a responsibility of the franchise) or concerns being inadequately addressed at the local level. The experiences of babysitters and nannies employed by Jovie have also been mixed, with some singing the praises of their supervisors and family relationships, while others voiced concerns regarding their (low) earnings, given the not-insignificant spread between their pay and the fees charged to families.

Great option if it's available in your area

Jovie presents an appealing concept: highly vetted and trained nannies available via a user-friendly app, with ample oversight if assistance is needed. This approach stands in contrast to nanny agency websites that allow individuals to register as caregivers or families with minimal background checks or ID verifications. Before committing to this service, we recommend confirming the availability of a local franchise by entering your zip code on the main Jovie website. Beyond that, it's a good idea to take the time to research the reputation of your local Jovie office before you schedule your free consultation. If both of those check out in your case, we would tell you to give Jovie a try to find your perfect nanny.

Nanny Authority Review 3.5 Star Rating

Nanny Authority

3.5 Star Rating
  • Focuses on top-tier clientele
  • Nanny matching is completely tailored to your needs
  • Caregiver descriptions can be browsed without signing up
  • In business for over 60 years

Nanny Authority, a family-owned business founded in 1962, is proud of its membership in the International Nanny Association and a #1 Nanny Agency rating from New York Magazine. While these credentials are impressive, your initial impression may be tarnished by their outdated website and cumbersome nanny browsing pages. In fact, on our most recent visit to the site, we found a copyright date that was over 3 years old. However, this nanny agency is absolutely still in business. However - should you consider using it for your childcare needs?

Filters aren't the most intuitive

On Nanny Authority's site, families have the option to filter current caregiver applicants with just three basic filters. The first filter helps families choose the type of position they seek, including baby nurses, family assistants, housekeepers, cooks, nannies, drivers, tutors, and more. Families can also search by location, but this feature is limited, as many cities and states are missing from the list, restricting access to Nanny Authority's services (unless you click the broader filters for "open to relocation" , "abroad" , and so on).

Pay attention to active vs. inactive profiles

Of course, there aren't thousands of nannies to consider here, so you could just browse all available candidates. It'll give you a clear idea of the types of professionals seeking caregiving positions through Nanny Authority, but we encourage you to pay attention to the little "active" or "inactive" designation at the bottom of each listing - before you get too excited about a seemingly perfect nanny that might not be currently looking for a placement. That's the last filter you can use to sort the candidates here, to only show those with an active designation.

Upper-class childcare

As you read through the descriptions, it's obvious that Nanny Authority caters to top-tier clientele. You'll see phrases like "experienced with maintaining household inventory" and "managing staff" , "estate management experience" and "has worked with Manhattan's finest families" . The applicants here and the families hiring them are very clearly not your average middle-class individuals.

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Details will be discussed one-on-one

If that fits your description, both for your household and the kind of professional you hope to hire, you'll want to reach out directly to Nanny Authority. Because each situation is unique, the agency doesn't go into any specifics about fees, annual salaries, or anything else; you'll determine that as you work directly with your Nanny Authority representative.

Diamond in the rough

We're pleased to report that when we look at comments from clients and caregivers, Nanny Authority does extremely well. It almost feels like a hidden gem restaurant frequented by A-listers: it may not look like much from the street, but you're amazed and delighted by what you find inside. Those who work with this agency say that you can expect impeccable service and attention to detail: they genuinely care about their clients and caregivers alike, and they go the extra mile to make the absolute best possible matches.

Worth a call if you value experience and discretion

While Nanny Authority is outpaced by at least one other nanny agency we evaluated that also caters to high-profile families - mostly because they're much more up-to-date with their presentation (the agency website itself) and they offer greater details upfront - we have no problem recommending this service, particularly if you live in the greater NYC area.

Nanny Poppinz Review 3 Star Rating

Nanny Poppinz

3 Star Rating
  • Short-term (1-50 days) and long-term (1-year contract) nannies available
  • No application fee or membership fee
  • Fees are only due upon being matched with a nanny
  • All nannies have background and reference checks plus in-person interview
  • Can get nanny care while you travel throughout the US with no agency fee
  • 24/7 toll-free number for support
  • Operates in all states but MA
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In business for over 30 years

Since 1992, Nanny Poppinz has helped over 52,000 families with childcare. Operating in 49 states (with Massachusetts being the exception), this nanny agency personally checks the background and references of every caregiver before sending them to client homes, and conducts in-person interviews before a referral is made.

Do you need short- or long-term childcare?

You can choose between temporary and permanent placements when you work with Nanny Poppinz. Temporary referrals are more like babysitting: there's a 4-hour minimum per scheduled day, and your contract can be 50 days or less. The opposite end of the spectrum is also available here, if you're looking for full-time live-in care.

No fees until you match

Fees at Nanny Poppinz will depend on your local area. For the location we evaluated, the site told us to expect a $50/day fee for temporary referrals (from 1-50 days) and, for permanent referrals, 15% of the nanny's gross annual compensation or $2000 (whichever is greater). That is, of course, on top of whatever compensation you agree on with the nanny you hire.

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Unique benefits to being a Nanny Poppinz client

There are some perks to being a Nanny Poppinz family that are worth mentioning. If you travel to another location served by the agency - say, a family vacation to Disneyland or a skiing trip in Colorado - you can get the help you need with no agency fee. You can also get emergency nanny coverage through the agency's toll-free number; many franchise locations also staff call centers around the clock in case you have an emergency and need immediate childcare.

Reputation is local, but company is well-rated overall

Because Nanny Poppinz is franchise-based, each location has its own reputation - although we're glad to point out that the company itself has an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. When you visit the (very outdated-looking) Nanny Poppinz website, you'll be able to see the office in your area and get some information about local pricing, testimonials, and so forth. There's not a ton of feedback for this nanny agency beyond the website itself, but what we spotted was enough (and sufficiently positive) to move Nanny Poppinz up from its previous ranking at the bottom of our list.

Big move up in our rankings

It can't hurt to reach out to Nanny Poppinz and see what they can offer in your area. That's the fastest way to find out how quickly they think they can match you with a nanny, and it's a plus that they take care of a lot of the heavy lifting (like running background checks and in-person interviews) before they even present you with a candidate. We're pleased to move this nanny agency up in our ratings.

Nanny Lane Review 2.5 Star Rating

Nanny Lane

2.5 Star Rating
  • Network of over 10,000 nannies across the US
  • Basic account is free
  • Access to the PLUS membership for $55 per month
  • PLUS membership offers five background checks, payroll services, and more
  • Parent company CareGuide holds an "A-" rating from the Better Business Bureau

Nanny Lane is a branch of the CareGuide family, a versatile platform connecting individuals with a wide array of services - spanning from nannies and babysitters to handymen, petsitters, and more. This nanny referral platform proudly declares that it hosts a pool of over 10,000 available nannies in the United States alone.

You'll need an account to look at nanny profiles

To browse nanny profiles on Nanny Lane, you must first create an account. This entails specifying that you are a parent (not a nanny) and, if applicable, whether you're willing to share your nanny with another family. Account creation on Nanny Lane also involves phone number verification, a step taken for safety, although it may open the door to potential spam texts. After verifying your phone, you'll be prompted to complete your profile. This includes providing information about your child(ren)'s age, the expected number of hours of care per week, and your desired hourly rate range.

Big push to subscribe

Following the initial account setup, you'll feel the pressure to sign up for Nanny Lane's PLUS package. This premium subscription offers personal hiring assistance, access to five enhanced background checks, a contract builder, payroll service, the capability to track and interview top candidates, profile highlighting, and the removal of ads. The subscription is priced at $55 per month and auto-renews until canceled.

Can filter and browse for free

For those who prefer not to subscribe at first, click on "find a nanny yourself." This will direct you to your dashboard, where you can specify whether you require live-out or live-in care. You can also indicate preferences for meal preparation, light housekeeping, nanny qualifications, and other factors. Filters are available for customization: sort the results in your area based on qualifications, price range, location, languages spoken, and more. In our metropolitan area, we were initially matched with over 3500 profiles within a 32-mile radius (which seemed rather unlikely). This number decreased to 600 when the filter for part-time nannies was applied, so keep that in mind if you're not looking for full-time help.

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Background checks on request (and for a fee)

Nanny Lane does not offer the feature to sort your matches in any particular order, such as by distance, experience, or hourly rate. Instead, families must manually sift through the results. However, a positive aspect is that you can conduct a background check on any provider once you've made an offer, which is an advantage over some other services within the CareGuide network. Unfortunately, Nanny Lane does not specify the cost of background checks for free account users.

Support is practically nonexistent

When it comes to support, Nanny Lane offers limited options, particularly for users who do not subscribe to their PLUS services. The only available contact methods are an online Help Center, where you can submit a support ticket, and an email address designated for payroll inquiries. This deficiency in support has led to numerous complaints from both families and nannies who faced difficulties getting help when they needed it most, had issues with paid services like payroll and taxes, and overall expressed dissatisfaction with their experience.

Lots of room for improvement

Ultimately, the "A-" rating held by Nanny Lane's parent company, CareGuide, with the Better Business Bureau is not sufficient to keep this nanny agency high in our rankings. The service has a less-than-stellar track record when it comes to customer support, and it often returns profiles of caregivers who may not offer the full-time assistance you're seeking. You may want to save Nanny Lane as a backup option, after you've considered the nanny services on our list that have a better reputation for creating happy nanny/family connections.

Care Review 1.5 Star Rating

Care

1.5 Star Rating
  • Clientele exceeding 4 million
  • Stringent background checks for all caregivers
  • Database of nannies, tutors, and more
  • Free caregiver profile browsing and job posting
  • Premium plan required for caregiver messaging and booking, with costs ranging from $12.95 to $38.95 per month, depending on the chosen subscription period
  • Operational since 2006

Founded in 2006, Care has emerged as a prominent player in the for-hire caregiving industry, catering to various forms of assistance, such as nannies, special needs caregivers, senior care providers, pet sitters, tutors, and housekeeping help. Notably, over 4 million families across the United States have availed themselves of Care's services to meet their caregiving needs.

Lots of hoops to jump through at the outset

Beginning your nanny search on Care involves providing your zip code and specifying the type of assistance you seek, such as child care or pet-sitting. You'll be prompted to indicate the timing of your need, ranging from "right now" to "just browsing." Care then asks whether you require a recurring nanny, a one-time babysitter, or perhaps a daycare center. Once you've entered your child(ren)'s age, your email address, and name, you may expect to get the green light to start browsing profiles. However, even if you've chosen "Just Browsing," Care will request a start date for a one-time or weekly recurring nanny appointment, your intended pay rate range, and a brief family profile.

You can browse for free - but that's a little hidden

From there, you'll see a push to jump right into Care's Premium package, but you can also scroll down and click "stay limited" to browse nanny profiles near you. You'll be taken to Care's curated selection of caregivers, or otherwise choose "exit to the full directory" to see everyone in your area. Be sure you click the dropdown under "showing results for" and select "nannies/recurring sitters" , because Care defaults to listings for one-time babysitting.

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Many nannies have no feedback from clients

Within the search results, filters are available to narrow down results based on factors like the number of children under care, professional skills (such as CPR training), and spoken language. However, you can't arrange results by criteria such as distance or hourly rate. In a mid-sized metropolitan area we explored, around 100 nannies were within a 20-mile radius. Regrettably, only about 25% of them had received ratings and reviews from clients, and the feedback was often limited, with the highest being 20 total ratings for a nanny.

Look at response rate info

Each nanny's profile reveals detailed information, including the date of their successful completion of Care's mandatory background check. Should you wish to view the results of the background check or opt for a more extensive investigation, like a motor vehicle or criminal records check, those options are accessible on the profile. One commendable feature at Care is that each nanny's profile displays their response rate and average response time, allowing you to approach caregivers more likely to respond promptly.

Membership isn't cheap

When you're ready to reach out to a nanny candidate, you'll need to invest in a premium membership to unlock the full suite of Care's features. Care charges $38.95 per month, but during our last visit to the site, clients could also opt for a quarterly membership at $24.95 per month or an annual subscription at $12.95 per month.

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Reputation is less than great

Is subscribing to Care a worthwhile investment? Unfortunately, our answer leans toward the negative. Care's rating from the Better Business Bureau has dipped from an "A+" to a "B," with nearly 1000 complaints filed within the last three years. Trustpilot also displays almost 2500 absolute-worst one-star ratings. What's disheartening is that these complaints have persisted for years, revolving around issues like double charging (requiring both caregivers and clients to pay for background checks), challenging subscription cancellations, and the presence of inactive nanny profiles that waste prospective families' precious time. It's rare to find individuals, whether nannies or parents, who would enthusiastically recommend the Care platform.

Doesn't meet our expectations

Considering the extensive name recognition Care enjoys, it's disappointing that the platform doesn't always live up to expectations. While its visibility might suggest a top-tier caregiving referral service that delivers results for both nannies and clients, the reality doesn't quite line up with that. Care might be a viable choice in places with limited alternatives for finding nannies, but be prepared for potential drawbacks and challenges should you choose to use it as your nanny agency.

GreatAuPair Review 1 Star Rating

GreatAuPair

1 Star Rating
  • Over 90,000 nannies from around the world
  • Can view nanny profiles without signing up
  • Sign up required to see pre-screened profiles and get live support
  • "A+" rated by the BBB
  • In operation since 2001

GreatAuPair has been connecting families with a diverse range of caregivers, including senior care assistants, nannies, tutors, housekeepers, and pet sitters for over two decades. This vast network of caregivers from around the world offers families an extensive selection to meet their unique needs.

Nannies from the U.S. and beyond

At first glance, the website may seem a bit text-heavy and overwhelming. However, GreatAuPair provides numerous tools and features to help families refine their search and find the perfect nanny. It's also important to note that while the site specifically refers to au pairs (who, by definition, come from other countries), it can also help you find a nanny who already lives in the US (and maybe even near you).

Almost 100,000 caregivers

You may feel a little overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time, when you first land on the GreatAuPair site. At the time of our visit, there were almost 100,000 caregivers listed, but the structure of the site isn't the most polished (for example, some profile photos cut off the top of caregivers' heads). You'll definitely want to start by using the "Refine Your Search" parameters to narrow down that list. You can identify specific candidate countries (or enter USA if you prefer someone already stateside), availability dates, and so on. One parameter we'd absolutely recommend right off is towards the middle of the list: "Last visit within" , or in other words, when they last signed on to the GreatAuPair site. When we chose United States and "within one month" , that daunting 100,000 caregivers total dropped to just 411.

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Ample info with no sign-up required to view

When you see a nanny that interests you, there's a lot more to find out when you look at their profile. We're glad that those details can be viewed without creating a profile first. We encourage you to take a look and see for yourself: the information includes a personal introduction, list of qualifications, availability, lifestyle (everything from religion to dietary preferences), match preference, and additional services (like pet care or tutoring).

Sign up required to make contact

Beyond that, though, you'll have to sign up for GreatAuPair: just click the orange "sign up for free" button (it's scattered throughout the site, including on nanny profiles). You'll provide your name, address, phone number, email, and indicate whether you're looking for a nanny, au pair, babysitter, and so on.

Can anyone actually complete the application?

You'll be asked to create a profile from there - and unfortunately, that's where we got stuck. No matter what we entered, we weren't able to save and continue. We're not sure why it was a dead end, but it definitely felt like a waste of time up to that point.

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Not trustworthy enough

Even without that glitch, we still would have dropped GreatAuPair significantly in our rankings since last time. Why? After all, they still have an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau with no complaints filed. That's about where the good vibes stop, though: everywhere else we looked, people were not thrilled with this nanny agency (and that's putting it kindly). Multiple users - both clients and caregivers - described this service as a scam, expressing concern that many of the profiles and job opportunities visible prior to signing up were actually fake, used for the sole purpose of getting new subscribers. We couldn't even get to the point of signing up, so no scam for us; we can't even tell you if GreatAuPair is still charging $60 to $90 for "premium" access.

Don't bother browsing for nannies here

GreatAuPair isn't so great anymore. If you're looking for a nanny (or for an actual au pair), you've got other options that won't waste your time. Skip this one-star service and go with a more reliable nanny agency instead.

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Continued from above...

When planning for a nanny, consider what you'll need for childcare from day to day and week to week, your expectations regarding housekeeping, and any special skills you may need in a nanny, such as CPR certification or multilingual capabilities. Next, determine your budget for a nanny's salary and additional expenses, such as benefits, taxes, and agency fees. This will help you narrow down your options.

As you've been thinking about hiring a nanny, you may have also come across the term "au pair" . Do you know the difference? In brief, nannies are professional caregivers who typically have formal training or significant childcare experience. They work in exchange for a salary and are considered employees. Nannies often work full-time and may have more extensive responsibilities, including housekeeping and transportation.

On the other hand, au pairs are young adults from other countries who come to live with a host family for a cultural exchange. They work for a set number of hours per week in exchange for room and board, a small stipend, and the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture. Au pairs are not professional caregivers and may have limited childcare experience. Only you can determine which option is right for you and your family, but there are pros and cons to each arrangement.

So - choosing a nanny is a significant decision that requires careful consideration, as the well-being and development of your child are at stake. To make an informed choice, it's essential to understand the process of hiring a nanny, how online nanny agencies work, and even the distinctions between nannies and au pairs.

How can you decide which nanny agencies are worth your time? Keep in mind these criteria to help you focus your search:

  • Availability. Check if the agency has a pool of available nannies in your area. And, if so, how long should you expect it to take to be matched with one (or several).?
  • Qualification process. You'll want to know if your agency screens nannies for qualifications, certifications, and experience. The best services background check everyone (nannies and families), but some expect you to do that legwork yourself.
  • Fees and costs. Understand the agency's fee structure, including placement fees, ongoing subscription costs, and any additional expenses. Verify that the agency complies with employment laws and tax regulations. If you're being charged a placement fee (instead of a subscription/membership), the agency should help you navigate tax and payroll obligations.
  • Support. What can you expect during and after the hiring process? Are there reps on call 24/7 if there's a problem? Can you get help quickly if your nanny unexpectedly stops coming or moves out?
  • Reputation. What do other families say about their experience with the nanny agency? Are there also reviews about specific candidates that you can consider before you make a final decision on who to hire?

The experts at Top Consumer Reviews understand how important it is to know that your children are in capable, loving hands while you're away. We've carefully evaluated and ranked today's most popular nanny agencies, so that you can quickly find a reliable caregiver who will hopefully come to feel like a member of the family. Whether your perfect fit is more like Mary Poppins or Mrs. Doubtfire, the right nanny is out there for you!

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Nanny Agency FAQ

A nanny is an individual hired to take care of one of more children in a household. They are employed by the guardians of the children to take care of them, usually long-term. A nanny might live in the same home as the kids or come to the house to take care of them frequently. Unlike a babysitter, a nanny is usually not used for a short-term job.
A nanny's primary duty is to care for and watch over the children of the family they work for. In addition, they might make meals for the children, do laundry, clean the home, drive kids to and from school and other activities, and anything else agreed upon between the nanny and their employer.
There are many factors that play into the cost of a nanny. Some factors include how many hours a day they work, how many children they care for, what responsibilities they perform while they are working, qualifications, and more. It is not uncommon for nannies to be paid an hourly rate bi-weekly or once a month. For a live-in nanny who works every day, it is also possible to agree to pay on a salary basis. Different nannies come with different rates that they usually choose themselves.
To choose the best nanny, start by thinking about the qualities you want in a trustworthy nanny. Do you want them to be first aid certified? Do they need a driver's license? Do your kids feel most comfortable with a male or female? Narrowing down some basic requirements you set will help as you browse through the list of candidates. From there you can read their bios, message with them, and then interview them to see who you feel most comfortable with.
Nannies can watch over kids who are infants all the way up to teenagers. You'll want to make sure that the nanny you hire has a history of working with children the same ages that you have. Some nannies are specifically qualified to work with infants and they know how to safely feed them, put them down for naps, and provide first aid if necessary.
By definition, au pairs are young people who come from overseas to care for young children. They come on a cultural exchange visa to enter a country legally. Nannies are anyone within your home country who are qualified to take care of children either part-time or full-time. They are paid according to the country's standards, whereas an au pair receives pocket money from the host family.
Unfortunately, not all nanny agencies require their candidates to have background checks. However, most of them allow the option for employers to run them. It's important to review the background check of a nanny before hiring them or run one of your own. This will ensure an added level of safety for your children.
Many companies allow you to have a nanny come to your home and work on a trial basis. This short period allows your kids to get to know the nanny and express to you how comfortable they are with them and see if they get along well. It also lets the nanny know if they think they will work well with the kids and be able to accomplish all of their responsibilities safely.
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