FAQ for Nannies & Sitters

• Subscribe to BPN as a Nanny
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How can I find a job as a nanny or babysitter on Berkeley Parents Network?

Subscribe to BPN as a nanny.  It is $35 for one year (it is free for full-time students.)

Once your subscription is approved, you will be able to post about your availability every 30 days in our listing "Nannies & Sitters Available." Your subscription is for one year. You will have access to read posts from parents who are looking for childcare in our listing "Parents Seeking Childcare."  Parents who read your post can message you privately, and you can also send messages to parents who are looking for childcare. All new posts are included in the weekly Childcare newsletter which is mailed every Sunday.

What are the benefits of purchasing a subscription?

Your nanny subscription allows you to:

Is it worth it for me to subscribe? 

BPN is the primary resource that local parents use to find a nanny or nanny share, especially in the East Bay.  As of 2018, BPN has more than 30,000 subscribers, including around 400 paid nanny subscribers.  BPN's Childcare listing is one of the most active listings on our website. Typically the listing contains 250 posts received during the past 30 days. About half of the posts are from parents who are looking for a nanny or babysitter, and the other half are either from nannies offering childcare, or from parents recommending their nanny or offering a nanny share.  Posts remain published for 30 days, and can be searched by city, language spoken, and specific categories such as "Seeking live-in childcare" or "Parent offering a nanny share."  New posts received during the past week are included in the weekly Childcare newsletter which is mailed on Sunday.  

How do I subscribe?

Click 'subscribe' in the upper right corner of our website, or go directly to the subscribe page for nannies.  

BPN uses Paypal to pay for subscriptions.  Please read Paying for a BPN Subscription for information about how this works. Your subscription will expire after one year and you will have the chance to subscribe again if you wish.

I am a parent who is offering childcare - do I need to purchase a subscription?

Yes, you do need to purchase the $35 nanny subscription even though you are a parent.  Your parent subscription is free, but you can't use it to offer paid services of any kind to other subscribers, per BPN's policy about Advertising and Self-Promotion. The only way to offer paid services such as childcare on BPN is to purchase a community subscription.  Click here to purchase a nanny subscription

NOTE: If you use your free parent account to contact other subscribers to offer paid childcare, your parent account will be disabled until we receive a paid subscription from you. BPN relies on paid subscriptions to cover our operating costs so we can keep subscriptions free for parents.  It's also not fair to the hundreds of nanny subscribers who have paid $35 to post, if people can subscribe for free as a parent and then look for a childcare job by messaging people privately. Therefore when we do discover that private messages offering childcare have been sent from a parent account, we disable the account and we don't activate it again until we get a nanny subscription from that account.

Offering childcare in your own home: You do not need a daycare license to provide childcare in your own home as long as you are only caring for children from one other family besides your own. However, if you care for more than one other family's children, you must be licensed as a daycare, and BPN cannot accept your post. For information about the daycare license, see About Childcare Licensing in California.

Do I need to subscribe if I only want to read postings from parents looking for a nanny?

Yes. You will need to subscribe as a nanny if you want to view postings from parents who are looking for childcare. 

Can parents post reviews of me?

Yes, we accept reviews from parents that you have worked for if they are BPN subscribers. Nanny reviews are published on our website for 30 days, and they can be viewed by parent subscribers who are looking for a nanny.

How do I post a message?

Once you are a subscriber, click 'Post a message' in the main menu on our website or go to your account page and click the Post button. Then click 'Nannies & Sitters Offering Care' and fill out the form.

Note you can also post to Marketplace. Posting to the other newsletters is restricted to parents only (for Q&A) or to schools and businesses (for Announcements.)

How often can I post?

Your post will be published for 30 days on the BPN website, and then you can post again.  Please do not post more than once in a 30 day period.

How do I update or delete my post?

Unpublish your post (instructions here) and then you can post a new one if you like.

Where can parents see my post?

Your post will be reviewed by a moderator first. Once it is approved, your post will be published on our website for 30 days. Parents can view posts from nannies in two places on the BPN website:
  1. In the main menu, under "Childcare & Preschools" select "Nannies & Sitters Available."
  2. In the main menu, under "Listings & Postings" select "Nannies & Sitters Available."

The weekly Childcare newsletter contains all new nanny postings received during the previous week.  It is mailed on Sunday, so post before Sunday to be included in this week's newsletter. See About Childcare Postings for more info about the newsletter.

Hints for posting about your childcare services

Posting on the website:

1. The "Title" on your post should be clear and specific. Only the title appears in the newsletter, not the full post.  Parents will click on the title to read your post. If they don't understand your title, or it is too vague, they may not read your post. 

  • Don't make a title with only 1 or 2 words, such as "Nanny" or "Babysitter Available."
  • Do include key information about yourself in your title such as languages you speak, or your experience, or whether you can work full time or part time.  - see examples below.
  • Don't misspell any words in the title - check it twice! If parents don't understand your title, they won't read your post.

Here are some examples of GOOD titles: 

  • "Spanish-speaking nanny available full time"
  • "Experienced nanny available afternoons in Lamorinda"
  • "Part-time nanny available Tuesday & Thursday"
  • "College student offering babysitting this summer"
  • "Albany High student is available on weekends"

2. Your post should give details about you, and about your background and experience.

  • Students: If you are subscribed as a student, say where you go to school and what year you are, and write a sentence about yourself, such as your hobbies, interests, or talents. 
  • Languages: Mention any languages besides English that you speak fluently. Many parents want their children to be exposed to other languages, and many parents speak other languages besides English.  If English is not your first language, say how proficient you are.
  • Experience: Say how many years you have been providing childcare, for what ages, and for how many children at a time. If you are just starting out, mention other experience you have, such as working at a daycare, church nursery, or summer camp, or caring for your own children or younger siblings.  
  • Flexibility: If you have a flexible schedule, be sure to say this in your post. For example if you are available early in the morning, or can stay later, or you can provide childcare on short notice, you should mention this. If you only want full time work, or can only work part-time, mention this in your post too, such as "I am looking for at least 35 hours a week" or "I am only available on Tuesdays & Thursdays." 
  • Where do you want to work?  Most of our subscribers live in the East Bay, so if this is your target area, you don't need to mention it in your post.  But there are parents looking for childcare in other areas such as San Francisco, Lamorinda, and the South Bay. If you are looking for work in areas outside the East Bay, be sure to mention this in your post.  
  • Do you drive? If you have a driver's license, or you have your own car, be sure to mention this in your post. Many parents are looking for someone who can drive the family's car or the nanny's own car and will want to see your driver's license. If you will bicycle or use public transportation to get to work, also mention that.
  • Special training & certifications: If you have a college degree or you've taken first aid or CPR or any early childhood education classes, you should include this information in your post. Are you TrustLine certified? Are you up to date on your vaccinations? Parents are interested in this so be sure to mention it.
  • References: Please do NOT include any names, phone numbers or email addresses of former employers in your post.  Instead, say "I can provide references of other families I have worked for" or similar.

Sending a message to a parent who is looking for childcare:

1. Read parents' posts every few days in "Parents Seeking Childcare" to see if there are any parents looking for someone like you.

2. Send them a message by clicking the contact link at the end of their post.  This will send an email directly to their email inbox.

3. The Subject on your message should be clear and informative. If they get a lot of email, your message may be overlooked if the Subject is too vague, such as "hello" or "nanny". Instead use a more descriptive subject.  Examples: 
  • "Spanish-speaking nanny available for the hours you need"
  • "I'm available to nanny for you in March" 
  • "Responding to your request on BPN for a nanny in Orinda"

4. Your message should give details about you, about your background and experience. See above for examples.  Many nannies have prepared text ready that they can include in each new message.

5. Personalize each message you send. Directly address any requirements the parent listed in their post. For example:
  • If the parent is looking for someone to start immediately, say when you can start.
  • If they are looking for specific days or times, confirm that these are the days/times that you can work.
  • If they require a driver's license, CPR, vaccinations, etc. confirm whether you have these.

6. Save a copy of each message you send.  There is a box you can check on the message form.  If the Subject on your message is specific, you will be able to find it later more easily.

Is it OK to post messages for friends and family members who are also nannies?

No.  Your BPN account is for your posts alone.  It is not fair to the other nannies who have purchased subscriptions for your friends to post for free. They need to instead purchase their own subscription on BPN. Subscribers who violate this rule may lose their posting privileges.

Why don't nannies have a profile page with permanent reviews like daycares?

BPN permanently archives reviews only for businesses, organizations, and individuals who have a publicly available license such as a business license, daycare license, or other professional license.  Postings from non-licensed individuals such as nannies and babysitters can only be viewed by BPN subscribers, and they are published on the website for 30 days only.  Here is why:  1)  We want to protect the privacy of individuals who work in someone's home.  2) Licensed businesses tend to be in business for the long-term, and have more frequent openings,  so a parent searching for one of these businesses using archived reviews on the website is more likely to find a match.