Advice about Nanny Agencies
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Nanny Placement Agencies?
Hello, My family recently moved to the East Bay and we'll be looking to hire a nanny for the first time. I noticed a number of nanny placement agencies and consulting services that serve East Bay families. I was wondering if anyone had any experiences with these agencies (either positive or cautionary) that you would be willing to share. Are there any you would recommend or not recommend? Thank you in advance! Nanny Newbie
We used Aunt Ann's to help find a nanny when we first moved to the Bay area. I would not recommend them. I felt pushed to choose a nanny I didn't really connect with, and overall it was stressful and expensive. The nanny we did finally sign up couldn't work the hours we needed, but we made do because we had to find someone. After six months, she wanted to cut back to two days a week--and Aunt Ann's wanted to charge me AGAIN for another search! You are better off using BPN or Golden Gate Mothers' Group in San Francisco. Momella
Lindsey O'Connell at University sitters is amazing! I can't say enough good things about her and how professional the agency is compared to others in the East Bay. She really has a talent in finding nannies that suit your family and your needs instead of just sending every available nanny she has, I have found most agencies do that instead of actually matching you with someone that fits the mold of what you are looking for. Her email: lindsey [at] universitysitters.com Best of luck in your search!
Nanny agencies are EXPENSIVE. Not only do they charge a sizable percentage of the wage, they also refer nannies at the higher end of the pay scale - you won't find a nanny for a single child for less than $18/hr at an agency. But agencies pre-screen applicants and provide a lot of hand holding (sample contracts, interview questions, scheduling interviews, etc.).
We used Town & Country to find our first nanny, who was really great. They were easy to work with, except they sent one candidate (of four) who was TERRIBLE (who we obviously didn't hire). However, the nanny referred to us by Town and Country moved out of the area after only six months due to family circumstances. I got a credit with them for the referral fee (you pay a fee based on a percentage of the nanny's annual pay) - and they have been GREAT for last minute fill-in baby sitting and nannies that we can use that credit against (note that credit is just for their referral part - not the hourly wage we also pay the nanny). But we didn't use them to find a permanent replacement to our first nanny.
We used sittercity.com to find our second (and current) nanny. This service is free (or cheap), and you can pay extra to run background checks. It is more work, since you have to do all of the screening yourself - but can be HUGE savings to not pay the referral fee. And our current nanny is also fantastic, has been with us for 14 months.
My advice is to use an agency and sites like sittercity.com and care.com and post in BPN all in parallel. Use the freebies that the agency provides and use those tools to screen candidates you find elsewhere. And I highly recommend paying taxes for this nanny (if they get hurt or pregnant, you want them to collect unemployment/disability - and the only way to insure that will happen is to pay taxes) and using a web based service like intuit.com for managing these payments. Agencies will recommend EXPENSIVE accountants to do this. Simple web based services are much better and much cheaper. Good luck in your search. we love our sittercity nanny!
The following are comments about nanny agencies from the 2008 BPN Nanny Survey . About 7% of respondents reported they had used a nanny agency.
3. If you used an agency/nanny service, which one did you use and how was the experience?
Alyce Desrosiers (1)
Did a good job helpling define what we wanted and finding nanny candidates.
Au Pair in America (1)
We have used them for 10 years and have had almost perfect experience. Just one "dud" au pair who had to be sent home, and some complications aroudn that. Otherwise, we have had a string of wonderful, energetic, loving childcare providers.
Au Pair Care (5)
AuPairCare. It was very professional and the representative were incredibly knowledgeable. We also liked the fact that unlike getting a nanny the french au pair we chose (my husband is french so we wanted a french au pair) also got extra training from the AuPairCare agency when she arrived to the U.S. Also the agency checked their experience and references so we didn't have to go through that process.
Au Pair Care. Very good.
They've been fine. I found her on greataupair.com.
The local coordinator is great, though the agency is so-so.
Very good. Many of the questions below, I suspect, may not apply, as we have an au pair which vetted the nanny for us.
Au Pair International (1)
The agency is good but hosting an au pair is quite tough.
Aunt Ann's (3)
aunt ann's in SF was the best
Very good experience. We found what i thought was the PERFECT nanny, and when (at the last minute) my company rescinded its agreement to allow me to work part time we needed to find a full time nanny - and with less than 3 weeks notice they provided another set of great candidates. Our new FT nanny is SUPERB in every way - yay!! Chose this method because AA's provide 7 yr. b/g check; soc sec. confirmation (the number she uses is hers); DMV good driving check; reference checks etc. all of that work and the pre-selection and great pool of candidates was worth their steep finders fee.
BANANAS. The experience was great. I posted a 4x6 index card and my perfect nanny found me.
Bananas. I called them and it was very easy.
Bananas - experience was good.
Bananas -- good at providing information however the nanny's did not return phone calls or flaked on meeting.
Bananas was great for making initial contact...although you do all the leg work for checkign the person's backround.
Bananas was helpful in recommending candidates based on my criteria and has some useful information on its website.
Bananas - excellent
I used Banana's and found the people recommended to be uniformly unprofessional (failed to appear for interviews, failed to return phone calls, etc.)
Bay Area 2nd Mom (2)
We have for other nannies used Bay Area Second Moms, with mixed experience -- they had good people they offered, but the money and bureaucracy was a lot.
I used Bay Area 2nd Mom for a temp nanny, not the one I have now. the nanny was great, but the process of getting through the paperwork was a bit laborious...and also super expensive. But the nanny was great.
Bay Super Sitters (1)
Go Aupair (1)
A Nanny Connection (7)
A Nanny Connection in Danville - good experience.
We tried online agencies, Craigslist, and the local Moms' group before going to the Nanny Connection. We were impressed with the quality of her applicants and quickly found a nanny we love.
I used town and country and nanny connections and both were terrible. I got my nanny from an agency in scottsdale, arizona.
Nanny Connection: great - expensive, but had a bad experience with a nanny I found form bananas, so the money was worth it.
The Nanny Connection - EXCELLENT
Nanny Connection - excellent; a bit scattered and too much information sent - but really know there stuff and they listen
The Nanny Network (8)
The Nanny Network in walnut creek - very positive experience
The Nanny Network in WC. Expensive but worth it.
The Nanny Network - experience was excellent. Really liked her inhome visit prior to interviews.
The Nanny Network in Walnut Creek. The service was absolutely spectacular, A+.
Nanny Network...service was less than expected
Nanny network. loved it.
Used Nanny Network previously- was horrible and would NOT recommend.
They were good, but I'm not sure that the nannies are that much better than any others out there, just they get paid more. Sue is very friendly and follows up well, but you get the feeling it's just to ensure she gets the cash. She did send me a few nannies, but didn't REALLY listen to what my requirements were.
Town and Country (18)
Town and Country; very positive experience (although expensive)
Town & Country; they were fantastic
Town and Country - good experience Started with The Nanny Network - they were horrible
Town and Country in SF - horrible - expensive; bad cust svc; not responsive; nanny's didn't fit criteria I laid out;
Town and Country. They were were very pleasant, fast and professional.
town and country. Very quick, professional.
Town and Country. Excellent, professional, caring, personal, dependable. Can't say enough nice things about our agent, Tiffanie.
Town and Country. They were very helpful, and I would use them again, but they didn't find a live-in boyfriend with a record issue in their pre-screen, that we had to deal with late.
Town and Country Resources - $3000
Town and Country. Very expensive and no vetting of candidates.
Town and Country, very good
I used town and country and nanny connections and both were terrible. I got my nanny from an agency in scottsdale, arizona.
Town & Country - They are very nice, helpful and persistent; they will work hard until they find you the right nanny for your family! Expensive, though.
Town and Country - I thought they were excellent, provided excellent service and with the exception of 1 candidate (of the approximately 6 they sent), they were all very well qualified.
Town and Country in San Francisco. We were very pleased with the whole process --the coordinator we worked with was very thorough and very quickly understood what kind of situation we were looking for and which kind of person would be most appropriate. They set up all interviews and had applicants fill out a lengthy and thorough application form with all sorts of important information we would never have thought of. They also had reams of printed information on taxes, insurance, and how to conduct an interview and trial period. We had no previous experience and found all this extremely helpful. The only drawback is that they are very expensive!
we used town & country but ended up firingthe person for whom we paid such a big fee ($5000). They gave us 25% of the fee back. It was an awful experience.
Other Comments (agency not identified) (1)
Prior to hiring our current nanny, I paid $6000 to an agency for a nanny who worked for four months and then quit in order to collect unemployment insurance. I believe her agent coached her as to how to do this
Does anyone else have a recent review of Town & Country or any other Nanny Service? Can you comment on the pool of candidates? How about the service offered by the agency staff? Thanks so much in advance. anon.
I have used temporary nannies from Bay Area 2nd Mom (google them) many times and have been very pleased with the people they send. Many of these nannies are doing this on a temp. basis while they look for a permanent position and Bay Area 2nd Mom does act as a nanny agency for both temporary and permanent positions. sabrina
We used Town & Country for for our last search. Overall, I would say that they had the most ''qualified'' candidates and did a reasonably good job of screening. They were also very professional in how they presented information, responded promptly to messages and requests, and had the infrastructure to provide back-up people when our assigned advisor was not in the office. Our expereince with some other agencies was poor (or no) follow-up or with one, once we didn't like two of their ''top'' candidates, they just stopped sending us resumes.
So, would give overall high marks to Town & Country.
Satisfied Town & Country Client
My husband and I recently used Town and Country in order to hire a nanny for our 5 month old son. He is now almost 9 months old and we are very happy with our nanny. We are in San Francisco and candidates from the peninsula, SF and the East Bay were all referred to us. We were also looking for part-time (25-30 hours a week) so they told us that there were fewer candidates available for part-time. It was a very positive experience. I faxed in my application and had a call from a counselor within a few hours. They faxed me resumes the same day and set up interviews for me within two days. The timeliness of this service was distinctly different from Aunt Ann's which took 3 days to contact me after my application. By that time, I already had set up working interviews with top candidates from Town and Country. Every candidate that I met from Town and Country was a great candidate, although not every candidate was a great fit for our family. The application is very helpful because both sides (family and nanny) see what the other is looking for. One of the reasons that I went to the agency was that I was checking references for Craigslist candidates and I found that they were always offered jobs by someone else before I could get a hold of their references. What that told me was that a lot of people were hiring without checking references. Since I just wasn't willing to do this, I thought I might be constantly losing out on candidates. Town and Country checks references and writes up long (2 page length) summaries of the conversations they have had with references. They also know the candidates fairly well. My counselor was Kate in the Peninsula office. I highly recommend Town and Country.
Happy with out Nanny
Re: Au Pairs
I have no experience with au pairs, but I do highly recommend The Nanny Network. Sue Stimmel at the Nanny Network is great and offers a wonderful, personalized service--she is professional and cares about getting the right fit for everyone. Her number is 1-888-nannynet/925-256-8575 Best advice I can offer is be clear about your needs, but open-minded as well. know what your priorities are with regards to both skills and responsibilities. Also, think about what your future needs are as well, so that you might find someone to grow with you and your family (you may not need someone who drives now, but you might in the future). and last but not least--make an agreement between you & your caregiver. hope this helps. Leslie
Does anyone have experience with any of the nanny-finder agencies in the area, or heard of others who have had good/bad experiences with them? We are about to start a thorough search thru all means, possibly including a paid nannny agency, for a full-time nanny to start in april or may. Also aside from posting on this network, montclarion, neighborhood parents newsletter, parent's press, and bananas, do people have any other suggestions for posting or resources for finding a great in-home nanny? Akiko
Any recommendations on agencies for finding a nanny? I'm actually looking for someone to share my nanny, and running out of resources. I thought maybe an agency might be able to help me. (I've posted on this list twice, and have had a card in at Bananas for a month now, but am not getting anywhere!) Thanks, Fran
I highly recommend Sue Stimmel at The Nanny Network, 925-256-8575. I tried everything and everyone before Sue and she saved the day, helping me find the wonderful nanny who takes care of my daughter. I too tried Bananas and ran ads in newsapapers--interviewed so many people it hurts to think about it. Sue offered quick, personalized service--she came to my house & met me and brought profiles of people for me to look at. She was great and also reasonable. Good luck! leslie
PS I had other all the other agencies looking, but Sue was the only one who really pulled through.
Some nanny agencies I have consulted: Nanny Network Inc. (925-256-8575); Bay Area 2nd Mom, Inc (510-595-1535); Be in Our Care Agency Inc. (510-339-3380). I would imagine that for a share situation, you (and your nanny) will find the application process to burdensome and potentially costly. If you haven't already, you might consider posting a notice at places like Alta Bates, Habitot, places childrens' classes are held (the Y, Julie Morgan Center, etc.)
I've used Lorraine at Moms Away in Berkeley, 559-9195, and Robin at Nanny Connection in Pleasant Hill,(925) 933-5090, for my nannies. (I live in S. Berkeley hills). I never tried looking for a share through the agency.
When I looked this past November, I registered with a whole bunch of agencies and these were the only two that sent me any candidates. I think a lot of it's just luck of the draw as to who has nannies available that fit your needs. However, these two women seemed to take the time to see what I wanted and worked hard at getting me somebody. Bay area 2nd moms told me I couldn't find a nanny for under $15/hour but these other two agencies disagreed. Through them I eventually found someone for $12/hour to take care of my two boys.
We found Suzanne at Aunt Anne's Agency incredibly helpful and honest. I think the area code is 415. We got our full-time nanny as well as babysitters from them. Stay away from Bay Area 2nd Mom. They took our money , and then sent no applicants.