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Should I use a brick and mortar nanny agency?

August 3, 2010

By, Dr. Lindsay Heller, The Nanny Doctor

Nanny agencies are professionals in their field. They have years of experience in seeking out nanny candidates. Many families benefit from the help of nanny agencies. Their wealth of wisdom and experience can save you a lot of time. Here are some things you should know about nanny agencies:

1)    Not every nanny agency is the same. There aren’t any governing bodies of agencies so that means that anyone can set up shop as an agency. You need to be smart and ask other parents about their experiences with an agency. Make sure the agency has been around for a reasonable amount of time and is well established in the community.

2)    Some agencies have a fee you must pay before starting a search, while others do not. Ask about this on your first phone call.

3)    Ask what the agency’s fee is. These range from anywhere from 5-18% of the annual nanny salary.

4)    Ask about their “replacement policy.” If you hire your nanny and it turns out it wasn’t the right fit, most nanny agencies will help you find a new nanny for no additional fee as long as it is within their designated window of time.

5)    A good nanny agency will save you hours and hours of time! They will have already interviewed nanny candidates and will only present you with candidates that match your family’s unique needs.

6)    A nanny agency will conduct a nanny background check and check references as part of their overall fee.

7)    Many families attempt to go about conducting a search on their own, only to struggle and spend so much time looking for a nanny, feel fed up and then end up coming to an agency in the end.

8)    A good agency “knows the nanny market” – they know what candidates have been out there looking for a job for years as well as what candidates have the greatest references.

9)    An agency will provide you with support during the process of finding a nanny and help with issues that arise after placement. They can answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process.

10)    A good agency prides themselves on finding the right nanny for families and will do whatever it takes to match you up! 


5 Responses to Should I use a brick and mortar nanny agency?

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Lauren says:

When we first started looking for a nanny years ago we turned to a brick and mortar agency and they definitely were well worth the hefty price tag because we had NO idea what we were doing! Now that we are better versed in the ins and outs of hiring a nanny we stick with online agencies – but if you’re just getting your feet wet and have zero clue as to what to do, a traditional agency can definitely help lead the way!!

paula r. says:

agreed with this! we used a traditional agency first too and it was a huge lifesaver because we were newbies to the nanny world. after we started to feel more comfortable with the vetting/hiring process we switched to online.

Elle says:

How much do agencies charge to place nannies in the home versus online agencies? We’re thinking about getting a nanny for our baby in a few months…

admin says:

Great question! Every agency is different in terms of fees – you would need to call around or look online to find out what different agencies are charging. Online is much cheaper than traditional agencies, however since you’re paying much less to find a nanny there’s a lot greater responsibility on you vs. the agency when it comes to interviewing, background checks, etc. That’s one reason why a lot of people turn to traditional agencies at first but then make the switch to online once they begin to understand the hiring process better! Hope this helps!!

Melanie Jenkins says:

This article (and the responses!!) have been so helpful! My husband and I just started researching agencies, I’m so glad I found this!