The search begins. Where to search for a nanny?

There are many ways to find your very own Mary Poppins. There is no right or wrong way. It depends on your families needs, your time and your budget. Here are a few of the most popular ways to find a nanny for your family.

Nanny Agencies

The benefits of an agency are clear. The agency will do all the work from background checks, to contracts to ensuring everything is going smoothly after the nanny is hired. The downfall for many is the high cost.

There are many nanny agencies to choose from but they are not created equally. There are no regulations for nannies or nannies or agencies. Be ready with the following questions when you contact an agency.

  1. How long has the agency been in business? Although not a determining factor for a good or bad agency, everyone has to start somewhere, you want someone with the experience to succeed.
  2. When you call do they answer the phone? You want to be able to contact someone when you need help after the placement. If you can’t reach them in the beginning it will not be any easier to reach them once you hire the nanny.
  3. If you do leave a message do they get back to you quickly? You want to make sure that the there is a high level of service.
  4. What are their rates? Is there an application fee? Agency prices vary depending on the agency and their experience. Many newer agencies have the lowest rates in an effort to attract clients.
  5. What type of guarantee does the agency offer if the nanny does not work out?
  6. What is their screening process?

Online Nanny Agency

Different than the full service agency, online agencies are an online matching service. Think online dating. The online agency does not do any of the screening, reference checking or interviewing. The benefit is that you may have lots of nannies to choose from and the cost is relatively small. The downfall is there are hundreds of nannies registered and you have to sift through all them to find your perfect match.

Think about the following before you sign but with an online service.

  1. How much does it cost? Usually you pay a flat fee for a certain amount of time. Are you going to need a month or three?
  2. What is their refund policy? Most of the online agencies do not refund money if you are not able to find a qualified match.
  3. How many nannies are in your area? Most will allow you to search your neighborhood before you pay.

Word or mouth

Talk to anyone who will listen. Talk to friends, people at work, other nannies at the park or even other mothers at your child’s activities.


Many students work their way through university. At every college/university there is a job board. Some schools will allow you to post for free and some charge a small fee. Remember to post on the online job boards as well.

Bulletin boards

There are bulletins boards everywhere. Look at bus stops, Rec centres, coffee shops and grocery stores. These are very high traffic areas where people stop to browse.


Traditionally newspapers have been where people who are looking for a job and looking for help have posted. Although not the only method, advertising in newspapers can be a successful plan. Stay away from the daily large newspapers in favour of the smaller community papers. Not only are the community papers less expensive but you will also be advertising to nannies in your neighborhood.


Placing your job posting online can be a little intimidating. With the sheer volume of websites to choose there are more options than you need. Start with popular sites like Craigslist and Kiji. Use the free sites when looking for a nanny. Many of the paid job boards charge large sums of money and cater to a career job seeker.

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