So, you're looking for Mary Poppins, huh? The perfect nanny to watch your kids when you can't. Well who isn't? Finding a nanny is a daunting prospect, but working with an agency can make the job a bit easier. Here are some helpful tips for dealing with a nanny agency:
- Be sure to get recommendations from friends and check reviews online before selecting an agency.
- Look for one that is willing to help you navigate the process of hiring a nanny— including taxes, payroll and immigration issues, if applicable. Ideally, the agency will also agree to help your nanny settle in to her arrangement with your family.
- Ask the agency if they will let you work with a nanny for a week or two on a trial basis before paying their fee.
- Keep in mind that agencies generally charge a placement fee that is around one month of the nanny's salary or 15% of the nanny's annual pay. The fee should cover pre-screening of candidates and reference checks.
- Don't forget to ask the agency if there is a placement guarantee in case things don't work out and your kid doesn't gel with the new sitter. Many agencies offer a 3-month guarantee where they'll replace your nanny without any additional charge if you ended up with someone you don't like.