Time and time again, new families seeking a nanny ask when the right time to launch their nanny search is. More often than not, families reach out seeking care only 2-4 weeks prior to when their care needs to begin. Although I understand the urgency, finding quality care within that time can be challenging and usually impossible. Here
at The Nanny Consultant, we always suggest starting your search at least 10 weeks in advance. This is for many reasons, and I can’t stress enough that giving yourself ample time will allow you to have a streamlined nanny search. Here are many of the reasons you should give yourself 10 to 12 weeks to find your family’s perfect nanny.
TIME TO LAUNCH// Launching with any agency takes time, even if, on the agency’s end, we move things as fast as possible. Before we start reviewing applicants for your position, there are some initial steps all families will need to take. First, we will set a time for an initial call to review your needs and the services we provide to ensure that we are a wonderful fit for one another. Then you will fill out an in-depth parent questionnaire as soon as you are ready to proceed forward. We also send over the documents email that is full of information that you need to review, such as the parent nanny agreement, offer letter, WA State laws, taxes, vaccines, car insurance, health insurance, and workers’ compensation. At the same time, together, we are scheduling a Zoom meeting. During this meeting, I will answer any questions you may have, review the questionnaire together, and review state laws and standard nanny practices. Following this, the service agreement is to be signed, and the initial payment is processed. We then create a job description to launch online, and you will review your personalized ad to confirm that we are all on the same page. While I can work fast, usually within a day, it typically takes families at least a week at a minimum, depending on schedules and availability, to take a call, meet, and reply to all emails.
TIMEFRAME FOR PROVIDER// Many families will reach out thinking that candidates are readily on the market. While there are a couple of months in the year that there are, most nannies search for a position well in advance of their contract ending, a family move, or any other life changes requiring them to find a new position. When I say well in advance, I mean up to 12 weeks in advance. Many will also take a week or more between positions to take a vacation or catch up on life.
PROCESSING APPLICANTS// Before sending your family over candidates, each applicant is thoroughly vetted to make sure we are sending you top-tier candidates that are truly a fit for your family. This process can be quick (depending on the promptness of the nanny), or it can take up to a week or more before the nanny is ready to be sent over to you.
INTERVIEW PROCESS// You will likely have between one and three applicants to review at a minimum. Scheduling can take a few days, as this depends on everyone’s schedules and availability, as nannies often work full-time while interviewing. We are seeing a rise in Zoom meetings first as there is a rise in illness this winter. After the Zoom meetings, there is an in-person meeting. Keep in mind that during this time, references will be checked, which can take up to a week to complete depending on the timeliness of the references. Between these meetings, this can take a week or two as both parties are generally working, and nannies are setting up multiple interviews.
TRIAL// A trial period can range from one day to a couple of days. Not only does it take time to figure out a schedule that aligns with the nanny, but with the amount of illness going around, it is likely to be pushed out a week or two if anyone in either party pops up sick.
OFFER LETTER AND CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS// Congratulations! You found a nanny you want to hire. Now you will write an offer letter and allow your nanny a few days to review your offer. Should the nanny decline your offer, then we are back to the drawing board. Fortunately, you started well in advance, and you have the time! Once the nanny accepts your offer, it will be time to work on the contract.
BACKGROUND CHECK // A complete background check and driving record are initiated as soon as both parties feel like they will be moving forward, or a trial is set. This can take a week to get completed.
GIVING NOTICE// Your new nanny may need to give notice to their current family. This may be four weeks or more. If your nanny search takes six weeks and your nanny provides four weeks’ notice, then your nanny will start about 10 to 12 weeks after you launch your search.
BACK-UP CARE// Many families are thinking, “Okay, that’s great. But I only have care for the next four weeks! What do I do for care while I’m completing my search?” Here are some of my recommendations:
Bring in family members to help bridge the gap. Many of my clients will bring in grandparents or aunts and uncles to stay with them while they are completing their search.
Network with co-workers, family, and friends. You may know someone who has a nanny and is happy to do a temporary nanny share while you search.
You could use a temporary nanny service, though, from my understanding, many are booked out far in advance.
Get creative with your work schedules. Can you alternate working hours with your partner? Do you have work-from-home capability? Can you move to a part-time schedule temporarily?
You can use an online platform like Urbansitter or Care to find temp care – though we do not recommend this unless you have the time to fully vet these nannies, including reference checks.
If you are thinking about when to start your nanny search, hopefully, this helps! If you have any questions about your nanny search or what will yield you the best results, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nanny Consultant