How to Choose a Nanny Agency

There are hundreds of nanny agencies across Canada with little regulation of the industry. If you have decided to use a nanny agency for your search you should ask some of the following questions before working with them.

How long have you been in business?
In the 10+ years Nannies on Call has been in business we have seen agencies come and go. More established nanny agencies are not always better but it is good to know where you stand. With new agencies it can be difficult to establish reputation or consistency. We were a new agency at one time as well so we understand that new business can offer good service and quality nannies.

Is there a charge for registering?
There seems to be a split among nanny agencies with some charging a registration fee while others do not. You have to decide if you are comfortable paying up front for a service you have not yet received. My personal opinion is you should not be charged until you are able to see what type of nannies the agency has on their roster. What happens if you pay but they do not have anyone available or the quality you are looking for?

What is the placement guarantee?
Various agencies have different replacement policies. These range from free replacements within a specific time frame or a credit towards your next nanny search.  The replacement policies vary greatly so we recommend that you are sure you understand how a replacement works before you engage their services. Bear in mind that the goal of a good Nanny Agency is to get it right the first time, so replacements should be a rarity.

Do the agency or the consultants have any references you can contact?
References are a tricky item for nanny agencies. The families we work with are kept confidential making it difficult to provide references. That said, quality nanny agencies can generally provide references from associations, companies or individuals who have given permission to use their name.

What is your screening process?
Screening of the nannies vary greatly between nanny agencies. At the very least the agency should be doing the following.

  • Meeting the nanny in person.
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Confirmation of certification. (Education, courses, CPR/First Aid)
  • Confirmation of citizenship.
  • Reference Checks (2 mininum)
  • Driving Record Check (if the nanny drives)

The most important part of the process is feeling confident in the agency you hire to find a nanny for you. Do they answer the phone when you call, return your messages and talk to you professionally? A quality relationship with a nanny agency will help easy your hiring needs for years to come.