Last fall, I started a series of posts about how our family has navigated childcare. In Part 1, I outlined about how our family figured out childcare when we only had 1 infant. And, in Part 2, I wrote about how our family switched our childcare care approach when we added a 2nd baby and decided to hire a nanny. It took me a few months (4 to be exact), but I’m finally resuming this series with a deeper dive into hiring a nanny.
I didn’t know it when I started this series back in October, but this discussion is very timely for my little family as we just found out we’re losing our beloved nanny who’s been with us for the past 2 1/2 years! We are of course so sad and more than a little stressed to be losing her, but our family’s needs have changed (as they are prone to do) so this is actually a good time for us to re-evaluate the best childcare solution for us.
But first, let’s talk about how to hire a nanny. We’ve had great success using Care.com to post ads and communicate with potential providers. We found our current nanny that way, and we actually also found the wonderful SAHM who watched our first son that way too (more about that in Part 1 if you’re interested). We are tentatively planning to use Care.com again to find a new nanny (assuming we go down that path). There are, of course, many other ways to find a nanny – using an agency, posting on neighborhood or community message boards and Facebook groups, word of mouth, referrals, poaching from your daycare, etc. My general, relatively unhelpful advice is to use any/ all medium(s) you can manage and feel comfortable with. Your end goal is to find the right nanny for your family and to do that may require you to sift through a lot of noise, but it’s worth it when you find the right fit for your family (and equally important is that the nanny finds the right family for her).
It is vitally important, however, that you know ahead of time what you are comfortable with and capable of paying, and you clearly communicate that to candidates at all steps in the process, along with any other hard requirements you have whether that’s first aid/ CPR certification, clean driving record, availability, or something else. I’ve found that many candidates on Care.com mass apply to jobs without actually reading through the requirements, and the only way to mitigate that is to be very clear from the start about what the job requires. When we lived in Colorado, we looked into hiring a nanny and advertised a pay range of $10.00-15.00/hour – most candidates who replied to our ad listed their minimum hourly rate as $20.00. While I truly believe nannies deserve to be paid a fair wage, we simply could not afford $20.00 an hour for 50 hours a week (if you’re doing the math, that’s $1,000.00 per week BEFORE nanny taxes).