How to find a nanny
Finding a nanny isn’t that difficult. But finding a reputable, trustworthy nanny who is a great fit with your family could be tougher. You have two choices. You can choose an agency, which charges a fee but includes background checks and pre-screening of potential applicants.
You also can find a nanny on your own. Annie Davis, president of the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies, offered tips for nanny-seeking parents:
Use an APNA member agency. Only select agencies are allowed to join the association, based on ethical and professional standards. If you’re not using an agency, visit www.theapna.org anyway, and look over its standards for your own use.
Check the nanny’s background. Davis said most agencies she works with include criminal-history and motor-vehicle background checks on every applicant as part of the regular agency fee paid by nanny-seeking parents. These checks should turn up dicey bits of someone’s past, including items that may be expunged from an applicant’s record. If you don’t use an agency, Davis said, some agencies conduct background checks as an a la carte service for clients who otherwise are not using the agency in their nanny search. Do your own homework, too. Check local Web sites such as www.supreme.state.az.us (search Public Access-Case Lookup) and www.superiorcourt.maricopa .gov (search Case Information).
Check, interview and check again. Davis said anyone looking for a nanny should interview the applicants extensively. The person you eventually hire will be caring for your children and in your home about as much, or more often, than you are. The person needs to be a good fit. Request a resume, check every reference and visit several times before making that final decision.
Sign a contract. Agencies will provide contracts for their parents and nannies. Those searching without the help of an agency should draw up their own contract or even pick up an inexpensive generic contract at an office-supply store. Davis said a contract is essential, so both parties know what is expected.