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For parents who work long hours or travel often, having an in-home nanny to love and care for their children can exponentially improve the lives of the family. Employing a committed, trustworthy, predictable, and loving nanny is critical. There's a long list of benefits to having a nanny but finding the right one can be challenging.
Luckily for parents, there are many companies that specialize in finding quality nannies in their local area. These companies usually provide background checks on all of the candidates in their database as well as basic personality information, availability, and recommendations from other families who have used their services in the past. Using a nanny agency will make the screening process easier and faster by providing more options than you could find on your own.
Tuesday, September 28th
Sittercity focuses heavily on childcare for families, but also provides caregiver services for people with special needs, seniors, and even for pets. The business was founded in 2001 by parents who wanted to give other moms and dads the flexibility to work, run errands, or go on dates without worrying about who will watch their children. Sittercity has been featured by media outlets such as Today, Good Morning America, The New York Times, Scary Mommy, and Forbes.
Both Babysitters And Nannies
Sittercity provides both babysitters as well as nannies. A babysitter, as defined by this service, is someone local who can help temporarily with childcare to fit around a family's schedule for date nights and last-minute appointments. A nanny would be used on a more consistent basis and might live-in, work full-time, part-time, or overnight.
Find Your Nanny
The process for using Sittercity is broken down on their website in three simple steps:
Membership Can Be Cancelled At Any Time
You'll need to pay for a membership to have your job posted and for all the caregivers to access your contact information and vice-versa. Subscription plans can be purchased for 1 month at $35, 3 months for $49, or 12 months for $98. All memberships are non-refundable, but they can be cancelled at any time.
Browse The Nannies
Before posting a job, you can choose the state you live in and browse cities that have nannies and babysitters available. From there, you can view a list of potential candidates. You'll see their picture, a bio, how much experience they have, specific qualifications, their pay range, and reviews (if they have any) from previous families they have worked for. The website makes it easy to quickly browse candidates and find information you need to gauge initial interest.
Background Checks Available
We would like to see background checks done on all of the nannies and babysitters through Sittercity, but unfortunately that is not how their service works. Families can choose to run checks on any candidates they choose and the date it was run will show up on their profile. If a candidate has had a background run by someone else, you can request to view the background or run another one. The cost for the enhanced background check is $60, a motor vehicle check is $30, the enhanced check with a motor vehicle report is $80, and a basic background check is $15.
There are quite a few free resources that families can take advantage of on the Sittercity website that focus on interesting topics and concerns that parents might have. There are articles that cover making childcare more affordable, a doctor's perspective on home child care, what should be included in a nanny contract, babysitter interview questions, educational games for children during the summer, and many more. These posts might help parents feel more confident and comfortable with the idea of a nanny and how to navigate the dynamic in the best way possible.
Overall, we are impressed with Sittercity because their platform is professional and it is easy to browse the available nannies and babysitters near you. There are many candidates who use this platform, so we feel confident that families around the US will have a few options to choose from. Pricing is affordable even if you have to run a few background checks during the process. Their A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau helps seal our confidence in their services. Sittercity has earned our highest rating for nanny agencies.
Nanny Lane is run by CareGuide Inc. who has been in business since 2013 and has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau. CareGuide connects individuals to child care, pet care, home care, and elder care. Nanny Lane boasts that their service has connected over 150,000 families to their nannies.
Browse available nannies
The Nanny Lane platform allows you to browse all the available nannies who fit your criteria. On top of this, you'll be able to run background checks on candidates and use Nanny Lane to handle all of the payments and taxes with their payroll service.
Share your nanny
Something unique about Nanny Lane is that when you're first signing up to use their service, you'll have the option of searching for a nanny or a nanny share. A nanny share is when two families split the time with one nanny. This is a way to make childcare more affordable and have other playmates for your children during the day. You can look for your own nanny on this platform while still keeping your options open for nanny sharing if you ever become interested in it.
Create your profile
To create your profile, you'll provide basic information including your children's ages and genders, an approximate hourly rate you are willing to pay, a description of your kids, what days/hours you need childcare, and responsibilities you expect the nanny to have. From there, you can pay for the $55 PLUS membership to get help finding your nanny, have a featured profile, get background checks on nannies, and use the nanny payroll service.
Surprising amount of free access
If you choose to bypass the PLUS membership, you can browse nannies on your own. You have a surprising amount of access to the platform even if you don't pay for it. You can view the full profiles of nannies, message with them, and use filter options to more easily find nannies that fit your needs. We were impressed with how many local nannies we found within just 30 miles of our home (over 300!). There are also many families looking for nannies whose profiles you can browse. This shows us that this is a credible site that works well for both nannies and families looking to hire.
Information is readily available
The layout of the Nanny Lane website is user-friendly and professional. All the information you need on candidates is readily available without overloading you with unnecessary details or platform features. No one should be overwhelmed by using this site to find a nanny.
Give it a try
We are very happy with what Nanny Lane has to offer. Since they make their website so easy for free members to use, we recommend keeping an eye on nannies who are available and paying for the PLUS membership once you find someone you like. The background check, featured profile, and payroll options are not something you want to miss out on. There are a lot of families and nannies who actively use Nanny Lane, so we highly recommend you jump on the bandwagon and give this service a try.
The Nanny League matches high-profile families with college-educated nannies who are competent, nurturing, and creative. Both full-time (40+ hours/week) and part-time (minimum of 20 hours/week) nannies can be found here, all of whom go through an extensive screening process that includes a drug test, background check, reference review, and more. This company is the most professional and expensive nanny agency we have found.
Good If You Have Specific Concerns And Needs
Families with specific concerns and needs are able to find caregivers through the Nanny League to cater to them. The full list of nannies at the Nanny League includes nannies for special needs children, newborn care specialists, temporary nannies, tutors, and personal/household assistants. Each of them come with their own price range and specific fee paid to The Nanny League.
Good Quality Nannies
Most nannies typically start at $22 - $25/hour or more. However, the hourly rate for part-time and full-time nannies is really up to the family and their budget. The Nanny League will work to find a candidate within your budget, so you can be a *little* flexible if needed. The nannies for hire here are of higher quality, so there is no such thing as getting a cheap caregiver. The Nanny League fee on top of hourly rates makes this the most expensive option for families to find childcare.
No Payment Until You Hire
We really like that The Nanny League does not require the fee for their services until you've selected a caregiver to hire. The fee will be paid upfront once a candidate is chosen and you are ready for them to start. You can meet with, interview, and trial (up to 24 hours) as many of their candidates as you want to make sure you're ready to commit to someone.
The agency fee depends on the type of caregiver you hire. The fees that can be expected include:
Positive Customer Reviews
The Nanny League does not have a Better Business Bureau profile, but families have left feedback on their services on third-party sites online. They nearly have a 5-star rating across the board from parents who sing their praises. People report that they have great communication with the Nanny League, they love the nannies they have hired, and their professionalism is unmatched. We realize that the cost for hiring someone through the Nanny League might not be in everyone's budget, but if you are able to make it work, surely you will find that nannies here are worth the money.
GreatAuPair began in 2001, matching families and individuals to senior care assistants, nannies, tutors, housekeepers, pet sitters, and others. There are tens of thousands of professionals for hire on their site from all around the world, so it will require narrowing down a lot of candidates to find a match for your needs (which is a good thing, since that gives you variety!). The website appears a little text-heavy and overwhelming initially, but there are many tools and features built into the website to help families get really specific with the type of nanny they are looking for.
Over 67,000 Nannies
There are over 67,000 results for nannies on the GreatAuPair website (both foreign and native) for hire. These candidates won't all be in your area, so you'll provide your zip code, desired availability, duration of service, live-in or live-out, age range, gender, languages spoken, years of experience, certifications, and more. You can even get as specific as adding what kind of diet you're looking for your nanny to have, if you prefer them married or single, and what nationality you'd like. From there, a narrowed list of qualified nannies will appear.
Narrow Down Your Search
Users can view the profiles of available nannies and decide if any of them meet their current needs. A photo is shown along with information like their age, desired pay, qualifications, experience, hometown, and a synopsis about themselves. You can also see their availability and the last time they've logged into the GreatAuPair system. The frequency that someone logs in gives some insight about how serious a candidate is about matching with a family.
Browse For Free, Pay To Contact
To contact any of the nannies that look promising, you'll have to sign into your account. To create this, you'll go through a series of questions that provide GreatAuPair with a good idea of the type of caregiver you're looking for. With this information, a job posting is created for caregivers to reach out to you - in addition to you reaching out to them. Technically the signup is free, but like most other platforms, you'll have to buy a membership for full access to the contact information of the nannies. The cost varies based on your chosen length of access. For 30 days the cost is $60 while the cost for 90 days of access is $120. There is no refund policy here, but you are able to cancel at any time so that your membership does not auto-renew.
We are pleased that GreatAuPair has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. There are quite a few branches of this company since they help with senior care, pet sitting, housekeeping, tutoring, and more, but we found that their nanny services are particularly strong. When we browsed caregivers in our local area, there were a handful of people who were qualified, so we imagine there will be options for most families to browse local caregivers here. Although their candidate searching can feel like a lengthy process, we like that GreatAuPair tries to find families a nanny that fits their needs. We think many families will have good luck with GreatAuPair, so they have earned a high rating from us.
eNannySource has been in the business of matching families with nannies since 2001. They provide part-time nannies, college-educated nannies, live-in nannies, nannies who specialize in infant care, and nannies who can also double as a housekeeper. Their services are not available in all states and nannies are primarily situated in big cities, so not everyone will be able to find a caregiver through eNannySource that lives close enough to their family.
Create Your Profile
When you become a member at eNannySource, you create a profile that describes you and your family as well as your ideal nanny. Some questions you'll answer as you go through the sign-up process include the living arrangements you prefer with the nanny, the specific type of help you're looking for, the date you need your caregiver to start, how much you are willing to pay, how many children you have, certifications you're looking for, and more.
Many Nannies To Choose From
eNannySource boasts that there are over 32,917 nannies to choose from on their site with new ones being added every day. Families can review their resumes and go through the screening and hiring process if they choose to proceed. The website is easy to understand and the profiles give clear information to make browsing through candidates fast.
To view the nannies available in your area, you'll need to pay to use the platform. There is a 30-day free trial that does not require a credit card, but it doesn't allow for families to contact the nannies they are interested in. To use eNannySource for one month, the cost is $49. Not only is this the most expensive option, but it does not come with eNanny messaging, the Safe Nanny Hiring Kit, and the eNannySource guarantee. For three months of access, the cost is $39/month ($117 total), or for six months' access, the cost is $25/month ($150 total).
What You Get For Your Money
Both the three-month and six-month packages include:
Pricey Background Checks
Since only one background check is complimentary with your membership, you'll need to pay for the rest of the background checks you choose to run. From least to most comprehensive, there is a basic ($24), gold ($54), and platinum ($94) background check option. A detailed breakdown of everything included in each check can be viewed on the website. These are pricey background checks, so on top of membership fees, the cost to check on multiple caregivers is quite expensive.
Better Choices Available
eNannySource only holds a B- rating from the Better Business Bureau. This is lower than we would like to see, but we aren't entirely surprised. Some customers say that their database has fewer caregivers to choose from than other nanny agencies. It is not unlikely that many people will find that there are no nannies available in their local area, especially since they aren't in all states and focus on big cities. In addition, eNannySource is expensive if you are paying for a membership as well as running multiple background checks on nannies for hire. For better prices and more candidates to choose from, we recommend using a higher-rated site.
Care was founded in 2006. They aim to help families find child care, special needs care, senior care, pet care, tutoring, and housekeeping. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, but unfortunately there are thousands of customer complaints about their poor customer service and policies, difficulties cancelling memberships, and some unreliable nannies.
Professional And Easy To Use
The Care website appears to be very professional and easy to use. Rather than just browsing through the list of potential caregivers available in an area, Care lets families post specific job listings to their site and get responses from nannies who feel they meet the criteria.
Finding Your Nanny
Essentially, the process of finding your nanny can be broken down into these four steps:
Good Filtering Options To Narrow Down Your Choice
You can browse through some nannies in your local area pretty easily and narrow them down by how soon you're looking for a caregiver, distance, hourly rate, if they have a car, how they feel about tending to sick children, and many other specific details. This gives you an idea of how many nannies might fit your criteria through Care before deciding to buy a full membership.
Free To Browse, But Pay To Contact
To create your membership through Care and start posting jobs, there is no cost. However, once you get responses to your job post and start browsing through the caregivers on the site, you will need to pay to use Care's screening tools and communicate with the nannies. Essentially, if you are serious about finding a nanny through Care, you will have to pay for their premium membership.
Affordable Pricing Options
If you pay month-to-month, your cost for the premium membership is $38.99. If you agree to use Care for a three-month period, you'll save a bit and pay $25.99/month or $77.97 total. To use Care for a full year, your monthly cost drops to $12.99/month which comes out to about $155.88 in total. The premium membership covers the basic criminal background check, but does not include running motor vehicle background checks or an extensive investigative criminal check on the potential nannies for hire.
Care has the makings of a great platform to find nannies for hire. We like the idea of parents posting their own jobs for caregivers to apply for. We were extremely disappointed, therefore, to find that many customers who have used Care were unsatisfied with their experience. The majority of people who were unhappy with Care commonly referred to them as a scam because it was so hard to cancel memberships. After going through the cancellation process, hundreds of people report being charged continually and not being able to reach customer service.
Proceed With Caution
Our advice with Care is to use the free tools available to browse basic details about the nannies in your local area. If there are quite a few that look promising, then consider paying for the membership, but proceed with caution knowing that others have had a hard time cancelling once they are done with Care's services and there is no refund policy. The safest thing to do is use one of the higher-rated nanny agencies to avoid issues.
Nanny Authority is a family-owned business that started in 1962. They are a member of the International Nanny Association (INA) and were rated by New York Magazine as the #1 Nanny Agency. These things are great, but right off the bat we were turned off by their outdated website and odd nanny browsing pages that make looking through their short list of candidates a boring and exhausting process.
Limited Service Area
Families can filter all the applicants on Nanny Authority's site with only three filters. The first is the type of position a family is looking for. This list has many options, including a baby nurse, family assistant, housekeeper, cook, manny, driver, tutor, mother's helper, and many others. Families can also search by location, which we found limiting. There are big cities listed as well as some states, but we found many were missing, which limits how many people will be able to use Nanny Authority's services. The last way you can search is by keyword if you have something specific in mind.
Questionable Search Results
We aren't sure exactly how many nannies are available for hire through Nanny Authority, but we don't think it's crazy to say there are only "a few" in total. For most of the states we searched through, we found only two candidates (yep - just two). Sometimes these were even the same people that showed up for multiple states. There are no nannies available for families abroad and zero results for quite a few other places in the US as well. The gist of what we are saying is that your odds of finding a nanny through Nanny Authority are probably very limited.
Lack Of Nanny Information
Nanny Authority's website is really basic and has nothing about pricing information for using their services. If you're interested in one of the few nannies you see, you can add their listing and fill out an application with your name, phone number, and email address with a note to request more information. All you'll find on the nannies here is a brief description of their background. You won't find pictures or any other specific details that would help you make an educated decision for your family.
Pricing Varies Widely
For families seeking a full-time nanny, Nanny Authority says you can expect to pay a salary of anywhere between $55k - $150k per year. Not everyone will be looking for full-time nannies, so if you were to find a caregiver here, the price you'll be paying could vary widely. It would be worked out specifically with the chosen candidate.
Don't Waste Your Time
Nanny Authority does not have a Better Business Bureau rating or much feedback from anyone who has used their services. Their website is incredibly vague as far as how their processes actually work and how to connect with a nanny. This isn't a huge problem considering there really aren't any nannies to choose from anyway. We don't recommend wasting your time here, but rather we recommend trying one of the higher-rated sites for a bigger selection of nannies.
Nanny Poppinz was founded in 1992 and is operational in 18 states throughout the US. They boast that there are no applications or membership fees unless you find the perfect nanny for your family. They provide services ranging from a live-in nanny to a babysitter than just comes for a few hours a day. Unfortunately, their website is outdated, confusing, and really hard to sort through with how much text and information is scattered throughout its pages. Some links are broken, leaving us unimpressed right off the bat with the professionalism of Nanny Poppinz.
Complaints From Both Nannies And Families
Despite the messy website, the main reason Nanny Poppinz has earned a low rating from us is due to stories from both nannies and families about the lack of professionalism from management. Nannies say it is really difficult to get paid for their services (even though Nanny Poppinz says families pay nannies directly) and families have left stories on third-party sites about some nannies' negligence and disregard for the children they are watching. Not only did the nannies show a lack of care for the kids they were watching, but the management at Nanny Poppinz seems to be unapologetic when families have bad and alarming experiences through their agency.
Families interested in Nanny Poppinz choose whether they are looking for a temporary nanny (1-50 days) or permanent service (full time/part time). Details about both temporary and permanent services are a bit odd. Temporary nannies have a 4-hour minimum, are regular Nanny Poppinz nannies, are paid double on listed holidays, and can work at your hotel if you're on vacation. Permanent nannies are legal to work, CPR/AED certified, get background checks, and have their work history verified. This makes us wonder if temporary nannies are not legal and it is concerning that they don't get background checks.
Vague Pricing Information
The cost that families can expect to pay caregivers found through Nanny Poppinz is not straightforward. The website says it varies based on location, their qualifications, and how long the nanny is needed. Agency cost is mentioned, but there is no number given for how much that is, so we assume it is based on location as well and you have to go through the sign-up process to know (what a pain!). Nanny Poppinz mentions that the more children there are being watched, the higher the price for a caregiver. This usually starts from $12/hour to $20/hour for one child. Your actual cost for a nanny here is extremely vague.
Run, Don't Walk
Nanny Poppinz has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, but there were no reviews on their profile page. Concerns about Nanny Poppinz on other websites come from the nannies as well as families who have used their services. Some of the stories about the low-quality nannies were simply horrifying and make us extremely worried that Nanny Poppinz does not vet their candidates well at all. Of course, not everyone's experience will be the same, but we would not recommend taking the risk here. Nanny Poppinz has earned one of our lowest ratings for nanny agencies.
Trusting anyone besides yourself to watch over your children can be hard. However, if you use a reputable nanny agency, you should be able to obtain plenty of information on the nannies near you to give you peace of mind that your kids are in good hands with whomever you choose.
Before using a nanny agency to find someone to take care of your children, we suggest you consider the following:
To help you identify the best caregiver for your family, TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked a variety of nanny agency options. We hope this information gives you peace of mind as you find someone to watch over your precious little ones while you are away!
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