How to Find a Nanny

Nanny plays with blond boy in blue

The different ways to Find a Nanny

How many times does one see someone asking how to find a good nanny or the best way to find a nanny on parent chat forums?
The secret of how to Find a Good Nanny is known only by those who have been successful in finding a great nanny on numerous occasions. These parents will know!

As a family, your main options for finding a good nanny are:

1. Asking your local friends and parent network if they know of a good local nanny who is currently looking for work.

2. Advertising your nanny job directly on websites, forums etc.

3. Employing the services of a Concierge company to find a nanny for you.

4. Using a good nanny agency to conduct the nanny search for you, and do all the background checks and see it through until your successful nanny has started and settled in well.

We’ll explore the pros and cons of the above nanny recruitment options.

1. Pros. Getting a recommendation of a local nanny through, friends and neighbours is great.
A. You know (and trust?) the person recommending the nanny. You may also be able to check with other parents/ nannies locally if they would also recommend this nanny. You benefit from ‘References’ on the nanny before you even start investing your time in interviewing.
B. Nanny may already be familiar with your network, which is helpful when arranging playdates and maybe familiar with our local toddler groups etc. and even your family/children.
C. You avoid paying any website fees or any nanny agency fees.

  1. Cons:
    i. You will not have industry guidance in what to ask nanny at interview, or what is normal or a legal requirement in a nanny contract, furthermore you might not know about checking the candidate’s DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service – ie. Criminal Background Check).
    ii. If you have any questions about the employment, contract, sick pay, pension, maternity leave etc or any other issues, you don’t have an ‘expert’ to fall back on for help.
3 happy siblings hugging

2. Advertising your nanny job directly on websites, forums etc.

2. Pros
A. It is relatively inexpensive, in fact even free, to place an advert on a childcare or other job websites.
B. If you are lucky you may get numerous nannies applying, potentially giving you a good choice.

2. Cons:

i. You may have a lot of applications to sift through; including a lot of unsuitable ones, which is time consuming. Also, because many nannies are also not very experienced in jobseeking, they might not have all the information you need pre-prepared ie. They might need to ask their referees for permission to be contacted by future employers, furthermore they may possibly need to first apply for an up-to-date DBS. This can be time wasteful and involves pursuing quite a few nannies who at some point may drop out or you will need to drop. Additionally their CV may not be well written and might not include important information eg. why they left each of their previous nanny jobs.

ii. You have no expert 2nd opinion, who interviews and checks their application and references to offer an experienced view as to whether or not the nanny is good, the right personality, or whether there is some reason not to pursue this candidate.

iii. If things go wrong there is no one to intervene and possibly rescue the nanny placement.

iv. It will be necessary to conduct all checks and organise a legally compliant nanny contract yourself. In addition, there will be no guidance as to what is the correct pay for your job, or appropriate pay relative to the candidate’s own skills/experience worth.

3. Employing the services of a Concierge company to find a nanny for you.

Concierge companies are becoming increasingly popular. They are a one-stop solution to anything on your agenda – employing a nanny, organising a service on your car etc.
A. They can initiate a search and put your information together and advertise on websites or with a nanny agency, which can save you time, particularly in the follow up and fielding of some questions.


i. Whilst that is helpful, and a boon to many over-stretched people to accomplish tasks they otherwise would just not get around to, they are also not the experts. Many concierge companies or private PAs (Personal Assistants) are asked to get involved in recruitment, so they might have some previous experience. However, as the middle agent, they neither know EXACTLY what the family needs nor EXACTLY how best to find and engage a great nanny – whether searching by themselves or through a nanny agency.

ii. They still need to ask you to provide the information and you still need to do some interviews.

iii. If they use an agency, then you will still also be paying the agency fee.

mummy and baby in matching outfits

4. Using a good nanny agency to conduct the nanny search for you, and do all the background checks and see it through until your successful nanny has started and settled in well.

If you are not in the fortunate position to have a local nanny recommended to you by friends in your parent network, whom you trust and whom themselves know the nanny and her/his work well; then we believe that your 2nd best option is most definitely to find a top nanny through a good nanny agency – such as Kinder Nannies.

In fact, even if you have been recommended a nanny by friends the agency option can still be the most straight forward and most suitable route for finding your Mary Poppins, if you are a complete novice at employing a nanny.

A. It saves you time. Tell the Nanny Agency what you are ideally looking for and explain any circumstances, they will check for the most suitable candidates.

B. Kinder Nanny Agency will check through all the nanny candidates on our database and using our large network of partners and jobs boards we have a very wide reach when scouting for all nannies whom could be suitable for your job.

C. Kinder Nannies will check through all the nanny candidates to find you the very top suitable nannies. These nannies will then be put forward to you. Their files and information clearly highlighted to ensure you can evaluate the nannies’ merits easily.

D. All the nanny candidates given to you will have a full application, details of references, and their interview report. The agency checks the nanny’s identity, driving licence (if applicable), DBS (police check) and references. You are also given all the information so that you can check things yourself, in particular the references, which are usually previous families for whom the nanny has worked.

E. You are fully supported throughout the process, the agency supports you, rather than demands things of you.

F. An experienced nanny agency will have substantial experience in placing nannies and will guide the client on the nanny contract, nanny pay, pay for this particular calibre of nanny etc. A good nanny agency will make the whole process seem seamless and straight forward, so that you do not need to worry about a thing.

G. The nanny agency acts as the go-between, which can be so useful when the employers need to ask something but tact is needed and they are uncomfortable doing so directly.

H. With a good nanny agency, such as Kinder Nannies, you get a guarantee. If once Nanny has started things do not go as planned, even with agency support, you have the comfort of a ‘free replacement’ (see terms).

I. A good nanny agency stays in touch with both family and nanny to ensure a smooth start and a continued success. Sometimes there might be an issue some time into the job placement, and ironing this out with the help of your nanny agency can save a placement, where otherwise both sides might have mis-understood and fallen out. This can be over things such as sick pay, or change in working hours, arrival of a new baby etc. Kinder Nannies will continue to support and be available to both family and employee throughout the tenure of the job.

Cons? :

I cannot honestly think of any downsides for using a nanny agency other than the obvious – it is a professional service which comes with a price tag – albeit Kinder Nannies’ price, or fee, is refreshingly affordable

This only leaves me to say, good luck in finding a super nanny. If you can find a great, recommended nanny locally, fabulous! If you do want a professional, 2nd opinion, Kinder Nannies would be happy to help. Otherwise, seriously consider engaging a good nanny agency. Whichever nanny agency you choose, ask them questions, and read their terms and conditions carefully to make sure they are really the best agency for you!

Good Luck - your loving, kind, reliable and fun Mary Poppins IS out there!!

Nanny Recruitment Consultant at her desk