Nanny Agency Loyalty

What Does it Take for Nannies to Be Loyal to a Nanny Placement Agency?

By Ginger Swift, President of ABC Nannies and Domestics, Denver Colorado

When I think of loyalty, I think of friends that hang with you no matter what. Of course, loyalty can be lost if you do something awful to harm the relationship but for the most part, loyal friends stick with you like glue. During this recession, I wondered whether nannies would remain loyal to an agency or if they may find alternative way to find a job.

Last fall, a survey went out to nannies across the country to see how nannies find jobs and if they are loyal to a particular method. Over 80 nannies responded and the comments were very consistent. Sixty-five percent of the nannies surveyed, first call a nanny placement agency when starting to look for a new job. Eighteen percent contact their friends and nanny network first when searching for a job. Eight percent immediately get on Craig’s List and another eight percent contact a nanny web site. Less than one percent of those surveyed answered that they place classified advertisements in the newspaper. Nanny web sites and traditional agencies tied for the second most used method followed by networking with friends, Craig’s List, newspaper, Internet, and networking with Mother’s Clubs and employer’s friends. The most popular online agencies mentioned were,,, and

Although 65% of nanny candidates first contact a nanny placement agency, only 54% of the same people surveyed said it was their favorite way to find a job. Perhaps, some nanny placement agencies have some work to do to make this a higher number.

Here is what one nanny said, “I still prefer working with an agency because there is a hope that the agency actually checks out the family and will match my skills and then help with the contract negotiations but I have been disappointed by a number of agencies over the years.”

For the most part, nannies seemed pleased with their agencies. “I feel that agencies usually have higher paying families and families will treat you as a professional,” said one nanny and this sentiment was shared by other nannies as well. “All my best positions have been through nanny agencies,” answered another nanny.

One nanny replied, “While I like looking through web sites and having access to all the job descriptions, going through an actual agency is my first preference.”

Another nanny answered, “The guidance, negotiations, and contract help is why I go through an agency.”

Other preferences in finding a nanny job were word of mouth (24%), online agencies (8%), Craig’s List (6%), followed by ads in paper (1%) and none (1%).

Not surprisingly, 100% of all the nannies surveyed said that they tell other nannies where to go to whom to use in finding a nanny job. And while financial incentives are nice, no nannies surveyed would ever refer an agency that they did not feel good about. An in-home childcare provider said, “I just recommend if it’s the right thing to do. Incentives or not.”

So what does it take for a nanny to be loyal to an agency? Those surveyed had this to share: “I’ll be loyal if they have been loyal to me,” “Genuine personal attention from the agency, “the friendly and helpful staff,” “honesty,” and “the way they treat me.”

Perhaps, this nanny phrased it best, “I’m loyal to an agency that realizes I too am a client.” Nannies want to work with nanny agencies that communicate, listen, respect, support, and work hard.

During this recession, it is likely that nanny placement agencies that don’t do this will disappear and those that truly care about helping and finding nannies jobs will be around for the long-term.
Are you loyal to a nanny placement agency? What is your advice to working with a nanny placement agency?


  1. Nanny agencies have the parents interest in mind and not the nanny’s because it is the parents who pay the nanny agency a commission. I have found time and time again that agencies are not nearly as intersted in nannies as they are in the parents. Agencies bend over backwards to speak with the parents and get their business. One agency staff member once even admitted to me that parents that use agencies are spending a lot of money so they seldomly hire the first nanny candidate they meet. So at least this agency knows not to send the stellar caregiver on the first interview. When I arrived at one interview with an agency they were on the phone telling a family they had a nanny to send them and I told the staff that I would be very intersted in working with that family that lives in the same town as I do. Three weeks later I finally met the family. 3 weeks!! I felt like the agency is playing games and stretching the procss out longer than they needed too. By the way, that agency asked me to pay for my background check too when it is the parents that pay that fee! So they got double the money for the background check??!!But nanny search web sites are not better simply because they post salaries much much much lower than what I make (or my other nanny friends make. So, nannies have to learn to negotiate for themselves and not rely on agencies to do it for us.So, no I haven’t much agency loyalty at all.But my best advice is simply to not put all your eggs in one basket.Felicia, Household Manager, Hartford CT

  2. I know a lot of nannies that like a particular nanny agency and love them. I haven’t had that experience though. There aren’t any good agencies in this area. Nanines in TN don’t make salaries like nannies make in New York City, Boston, or LA so I basically get online and find live-in jobs in other states, but national agencies haven’t helped me as much as I have by making my own phone calls and so on. Natalie, Nanny, Germantown TN

  3. I love my agency. After my parents and family they are the first people I call when looking for a new nanny job. They only place “high end” nannies meaning 5 yrs experience, and CPR First Aid certified. I recommend them to EVERYONE looking for a nanny job. I let nannies know beforehand that they will need to be CPR / First Aid certified and be willing to iron if asked, and go into the interview with a “yes I can do it” attitude rather than a “no, I won’t” attitude. I keep telling nannies it is better to say you will iron and see what they offer. If the parents will increase your salary by $200 per week if you do a little ironing isn’t it worth it? I only know that two of my nanny friends got jobs with my nanny agency after I referred them to the agency. But I hear people saying the agency name all the time!!! When I call other agencies I hear, “Families do not offer more than $650 a week in your area” when that’s hogwash. They are only getting the “lower end” families. I know a lot of being placed by an agency is luck. But now that I have enough experience, education, and awesome references I will always always always use my great agency that has placed me with my two best paying jobs!!!sally, darien ct

  4. Nannies are so passionate about either loving or hating nanny agencies. I know because I have shared both emotions. Now that I am at my fifth nanny job in twenty yrs I can say that a lot of luck goes into finding a nanny job, no matter what method you choose to use to find a job. The best thing is to use all methods: nanny agencies, nanny web sites, word of mouth, anything that works. Don’t just apply with one agency either. I am not saying you should apply with ten agencies. I think we should choose two or three agencies to apply with. This Best Nanny Newsletter printed a list of questions to ask agencies before submitting application to them to save you time and energy in the long run. Use those questions before applying with an agency. I am loyal to one agency, but always apply at more than one when looking for a job. I tell anyone and everyone who will listen when I need a job. I am more than happy to share my favorite agency with friends and tell them other popular names I have heard good things about in the past.Sara, Career Nanny, Bunker Hill Village, Texas

  5. It is a difficult thing to have loyalty to a nanny placement agency because looking for jobs is a very emotional and difficult time for nannies. I have never, not ever, found a job with the help of a nanny agency, despite many hours filling out applications and hours of interviews. The agency staff I have met are too busy to give me the individual time to feel listened to. Nanny agencies have been a waste of time for me, so I actually have grown to hate them. So much for agency loyalty. Erin R. Newborn SpecialistVero Beach Florida

  6. I love my nanny agency and am confident they will always help me find great nanny jobs. But for the nanny naysayers who don’t like agencies I want to remind them it takes time to find great jobs, no matter what agency you sign up with. What I like best in an agency is a friendly greeting on the phone. Feeling like I am listened to and not feel like the staff members are working on their computer or listening to someone else or doing paperwork as they speak to me. I like if they contact me once a week while looking for a job and why not contact me a few months down the road to make sure the job is going good? I like when the make honest and realistic descriptions of the families. No one is perfect and neither are agencies. But if they are ethical and are honestly doing their best I am loyal to them.Glenwood Maryland Nanny

  7. I have only been placed by one agengy. I feel they went above and beyond trying to place me with the families that were the best fit for both of us. When they did not have a postion for me, they refered me to other agencies that they network with. That tells me they are working hard for both the nanny & the clients they service. I will always go to this agency first when looking for work.

  8. This is very interesting. Your statistics, I must say, really startled me. Like many have stated above, I will always go to my agency first.

  9. I have been trying to help nanny friends in search of new jobs and it is so difficult. Because I was born and educated in America I make such a better salary than the women working beside me born and raised in other countries. They are paid much much less.Some of my great nanny friends have never even made a resume. They only look for jobs online because they are looked-over by agencies, not taken seriously.So I have offered to help them with agency applications and resumes but it's so difficult because they can't get their foot in the door of the high paying jobs. The families that have hired my nanny friends from other countries are respected by the families that have hired them. But because they have less skill at filling out applications and creating resumes they will never find the high paying jobs.I feel there is a slight racists or classist aspect to this hiring problem and I think it starts at the agency level which bases so much on well written applications and resumes.

  10. Hi all…Nanny agency is a nanny and aupair search and job service, providing employment for nannies and dedicated myself to creating a safe and compassionate environment with loyalty,honesty and enthusiasm. Thanks a lot.

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