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Old 05-31-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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How do you find a GOOD nanny/care provider?

We are moving in about two weeks, and while we could potentially keep our current daycare provider, it will be a distance to drive every day. Also, even though I love her as a person and how patient she is, there are some negatives that have come up since we hired her that concern me. 1) She is a smoker. 2) I believe she watches too many kids at one time. 3) Her sick policy is really lax and my kids are suddenly bringing home all sorts of weird germs (hand,foot,mouth...roseola...whooping cough have all showed up there in the past four months). So, I'm thinking about finding a nanny who is closer or who can come to our home. My son has some special needs, so a typical care center may not be suitable for him. Plus, I am wanting to enroll my DD in a preschool this fall and would need someone who could transport her to and from there (since it is half-day).

I'm terrified of ending up with one of those nannies that you see on Dateline. I really want to find a GOOD care provider, but how do you do that? Where do you look? I know absolutely no one in the town we are moving to. I have been on Care.com but I'm not sure if it's worth the $35 monthly enrollment as our budget is extremely tight right now. How do you do background checks? I know what to look for with a daycare, but someone who is exclusively watching MY kids, in MY home, feels like a whole different ballgame. What specific questions should I ask? Any other advice or suggestions?

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Old 05-31-2012, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: How do you find a GOOD nanny/care provider?

go through a GOOD REPUTABLE local agency. they will do all the important screening for you. I was a nanny & this is the best safest way to go for both you & the nanny.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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Re: How do you find a GOOD nanny/care provider?

I second that! A good agency will do all the backgound checks for you. BUT check references yourself!
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Junipervt
go through a GOOD REPUTABLE local agency. they will do all the important screening for you. I was a nanny & this is the best safest way to go for both you & the nanny.
Is that really expensive? I am not trying to cheap out on something so important, but we have NO spare money right now thanks to moving and medical bills. I already know a nanny is going to cost us more, I'm not sure I can handle an agency fee on top of that.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:58 PM   #5
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Re: How do you find a GOOD nanny/care provider?

I think agencies charge about 1 months salary for their service.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:08 PM   #6
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Re: How do you find a GOOD nanny/care provider?

I would just ask around! I found my current nanny job through the family's doula (I'm also a doula), I just got another nanny gig because I'm friends with several people who introduced me to a mom needing care, and another gig fell in my lap today because a mom posted on Facebook in a group that I belong to that she needed care. Turns out they live one street over from us! Granted, it is an AP/Natural Minded Moms group.....
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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Re: How do you find a GOOD nanny/care provider?

Agencies are expensive. I used www.sittercity.com for the last 2 sitters for my babe. Both were/are great, though the first quit after only a month because she got a job in her future career. When I list the position I clearly state the hours, the pay, the ages of the kids, whether driving or other skills are required, and whatever else you're looking for in a sitter (non-smoker, good with pets, etc.).

Sitters can get background checks through the site. When I post I usually get 15 to 30 responses (but I'm in a major city) and then narrow it down to 4 or 5 to interview. If they don't have a recent background check I ask them to do so if the interview goes well. When I interview the potential sitter the first time I do so in a public place, request a list of references with phone numbers, and bring babe to see how they interact. Then I call the references for my favorite out of the group, and if they are good I invite the sitter over to our home for a second interview. We have pets, so the second interview helps me know they are actually comfortable around dogs and not just saying they are because they need a job. It's also a gentle way of showing the sitter that we aren't rich (very modest home) and the typical condition we expect our home to be in at the end of the day. If the second interview goes well you can request ID to verify the name matches the one used on the websites background check. That's more than enough information for me to feel okay.

So far both times I've gone through this process I've had a good feeling about 1 out of the 4 or 5 I interviewed, and that person has ended up working out great. It's also a good idea to have a parent at home or near the home the first week. My hubby works out of the home a few days a week, so he can check in frequently and see/hear how things are going. If he weren't home I would probably take some time off the first week to stop in randomly and make sure things were going well. It's also not a bad idea to ask neighbors to swing by while you're out.

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