Logistics of hiring a nanny

I feel completely confused about nannies and how people go about finding them. What is the best way to find a nanny? What kind of questions do you ask to vet a nanny? How does payment work - if they work more than 20 hours for you, are you responsible for providing healthcare? How do families draft a contracts with nannies?

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https://www.poppinspayroll.com/ has been a great resource for me as I have navigated those questions. They have sample contracts and FAQs available to anyone, and if you choose to sign up for their services they can handle payroll, taxes, etc. As for finding a nanny, I have had fairly good luck posting an ad here or on our local facebook parents' group. I do a quick phone call with candidates who sound promising, which typically filters out a lot of applicants. That usually leaves me with 2-3 people who I want to interview in person, and then we make an offer. My interview questions came from some google searches about good questions to ask, plus some additional things that matter to me (we ask about comfort with large dogs, for example).  always call references but I haven't ever gone so far as to run a background check. Best of luck finding a nanny!


I would definitely say snagging a nanny from someone whose child has aged out is the best way to go because they were with that family for a while (presumably). Looking on this board is a great place to start! And of course you’ll always want to speak with some of the other families the nanny has worked for. I only ask them “would you hire this person again?”  If you’re classified as an employer in CA, there’s very little you can legally ask. 

Have you ever been a hiring manager anywhere? I asked very similar questions as I do to candidates. 

I always start out with “let me tell you a little about us. We’re a young family with three parents and a 6-month old, Anna. Two of us work outside the house and one works from home. Anna’s favorite things are mashed blueberries and walks to the park.”

Then I ask them to tell me a little about themselves and what they’ve been doing most recently. After that, I go into questions. About half situational, half qualifications. So something like “tell me about a time you had to resolve a conflict on the playground” or “what would you do if the baby had a 102° fever and you couldn’t reach any of us?” And qualifications might be like “Are you CPR certified for infants?”

When I’m hiring, I try to keep the interview to under 45 minutes and no more than 2-3 candidates. Everyone else you should’ve been able to weed out earlier than that. You can also have the final candidate come over for an afternoon (paid hourly) and hang out with the kiddos solo as a trial run before offering the position full time. 

As far as payroll goes, I’m not sure, my accountant handled all of that. I have heard good things about Poppins payroll service though. 


You will find lots of resources at https://bananasbunch.org/

Not always mentioned: if you are planning on (or currently) nursing, be sure to ask detailed questions about their attitudes, comfort level and experience with handling human milk and caring for a breast/chest-fed baby/toddler/child.


I was part of developing these resources and used them myself. Highly recommend. Good luck! https://domesticemployers.org/resources-and-faqs/#Childcare