Looking for Nanny Jobs Has Never Been So Frustrating

How Did You Find Your Nanny Job?
By Stephanie Felzenberg, Nanny and Editor Be the Best Nanny Newsletter

Too many of my friends are looking for nanny jobs without luck. Too many nanny agencies have gone out of business due to a lousy economy. Of the nanny placement agencies still in business, too many don’t even bother calling my friends I refer to them back, even when they submit their applications and resumes. And there are still too many low paying jobs (even below minimum wage) posted all over the Internet and even on nanny web sites.

This week we will discuss our best advice to try to help caregivers find nanny jobs.

Our first advice is to not put all your eggs in one basket. Be sure to try to find jobs using all job seeking methods.

Back in 2007 when Be the Best Nanny Newsletter asked 503 nannies how they found their nanny jobs and most used more than one method. Forty-two percent found their nanny job with the help of a nanny placement agency. Twenty percent landed their jobs by using nanny web sites. Fifteen percent found their jobs by word-of mouth referrals and classified advertisements in printed publications.

We want to see if those methods have changed. So, please take our monthly poll this week so we can publish the results of how you find nanny jobs next week.

How did you find your nanny job?


  1. I used everything this past summer, way more than I had in the past. From a brick and mortar, word of mouth, posting at four online agencies, an area discussion forum, and craigslist. The timing was terrible as it was just after most of summer hires had happened. My job ended up being a Fall start date.

  2. I have worked as a professional nanny with early education degree for more than 22 years and have never seen the industry this low. Nannies looking for jobs are finding salaries equal to 20 years ago.I have two friends where parents lowered their pay rate?! The reasoning was the parents could hire someone for $10 an hour so they wanted to lower their rate to that. Obviously my friends walked out after parents did that. But now still can't find higher paying jobs. Article is corret. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, use all methods. I found if the agency doesn't return your call they don't have jobs for you. They don't even have the courtesy to call to say that anymore.

  3. I'm very interested in seeing the results. I always found my best jobs with help of agencies. I found my current job with help of agency. But the agency went out of business and now my boss is telling me she'll just use web sites they are easier. Such a blow to agencies it'll be interesting to see if nannies are doing the same after three years since your first poll.

  4. At NannyMall,llc we try very hard to place all of our Nannies within 2-8 weeks. It doesn't always work out like that, even with our best intentions. –Unfortunately we've seen the policy for other agencies: Nannies to be found registered with 2 or more agencies, are dropped from their available list.–We ENCOURAGE Nannies to use several methods of finding a position! We believe if you want to work, you should work and we'll help you!It is very true families are not paying what they used to 2+ years ago, in fact what we're seeing is families asking for a Nanny that can and will do the housekeeping and household management duties– for $10-12 an hour. They have combined these duties for one person and bless the Nannies, they take in on for the sake of a position. Families sometimes fail to understand that with many Nannies, this is their career…they want nothing more than to work one on one with children and be compensated for it fairly. I'm hoping this trend ends soon as the economy begins to stabilize and families begin to again realize the true worth of the experienced Nanny.

  5. I mean nannies have to be smart. Agencies have always worked best for me but I've also gotten jobs by nanny websites when it was taking too long with agencies. My biggest concern with nanny web sites is just that they have lower salaries posted then in the area I work in. So extra work on me to negotiate. I feel parents using nanny web sites are trying to save themselves money and we as nannies want to work with parents that can spend money and not cut corners. But can't blame parents for using nanny web sites either.The best advice is really to look for jobs while you still have one.

  6. I've used all methods and landed jobs using all methods and can't say one job was better than the other. I can't say any method is better and the agencies leave it to me to negotiate my salary and benefits anyway so how helpful is that?

  7. Agencies = the person who owns and directs it and the people they employ to represent them. They are not all the same and should not be discussed in such generalizations. Regarding calling nannies to give updates, in all the years I have been in business I have never had the time to call and give updates when there is no news to share. If you want a job, then let the agency people spend their time presenting you and the other candidates to potential employers. We have a couple hundred nannies on our books actively looking for work at any given time. There simply isn't enough time in the week to call the applicants and say "I'm thinking of you but unfortunately I don't have any news for you." We tell nannies: "Call us if anything changes in your status." Nannies that register in too many places eventually will become "over-exposed" when an agency presents a nanny and the family has already seen her resume on line, the agency may decide to stop presenting her.

  8. That's true Pat and I read articles in this newseltter and I think on blog that there are different types of agencies as well. I think it was in a negotiation issue. Some agencies send as many nannies on as many interviews as possible, and some nannies prefer that.Others may only place a handful of nannies per month, but higher salaries and some nannies prefer that. There was a list of questions to ask agencies too. I'm not sure the issue off the top of my head but I remember we have to figure out what makes us most comfortable then ask the agency the questions important to us.I prefer meeting as many families as possible and don't mind getting a lot of interviews. Other friends actually get offended when an agency calls about a possible job interview saying "why did they call me about that when I said I only wanted…..".Generalizations are being made about nanny web sites too. Obviously not every family uses a nanny web site just to save money. It's time efficient and they can use the site in the middle of the night.When it comes to finding a job just try all methods. Ask the questions posted in this newsletter to figure out right fit for you.

  9. What I disagree with though is an agency would drop an overexposed nanny. I will not work with an agency that doesn't want me working on my own to find a job, as well with the agency. I have to do what is in my best interest. That includes getting my name out there however I choose. I would never expect any agency to ask they be the only means I use to find a job. That's just not practical. I have to take care of myself number one!

  10. At Beacon Hill Nannies, we try to activate candidates within one week of their interview, but it is essentially up to the parents to reach out to them. Nannies were in the driver seat in negotiations for the first 21 years of our business, but the last 2.5 years have resulted in fewer parents pursuing a much larger pool of nannies. ~The ones who have been hardest hit are seasoned nannies with years of experience. The market will no longer consider their higher salary expectations.Live in nannies should also take into consideration in their salary negotiations they are earning an extra ~$2100/Mo. in tax free benefits like free room, board, insured car & health. ~You would have to be earning an additional $34,000 a year to net enough money to pay those expenses.When supply far exceeds demand, it results in a tough job market. Nannies are not except from this deep recession. Parents do not feel secure enough in their jobs to offer 2006 nanny salaries.I do believe we are turning a corner right now as Wall St expectations are turning far more positive.As a full service agency we provide guidance to our nannies and will intercede on the nanny's behalf in salary negotions. We provide an ongoing support system to the nanny throughout the placement.Katherine

  11. Great topic Stephanie. First I just want to say hang in there to all you great nannies. You do a great job and your service is top notch. As the Director of a web based agency I know it can be difficult to find work. Don't give up! Can't wait to see the rusults of the survey

  12. I've used all methods. I much prefer using nanny agencies since the parents have at least had help from the agency staff on how to write a job description and a work agreement.No matter the method you use, you have to know what you want and be willing to ask for it or you won't get it.

  13. Regarding the over-exposed comment. Our agency has never asked that the nanny register with us exclusively. Some agencies ask for such a commitment and I believe it is not actually legal to hinder someone from getting a job. But if we know the family is searching websites and using us, we make sure that the nanny has not been previously contacted by the family through a website or other agency before we present her to a family. If the family finds her on the website and knows that we have pre-screened her and are referring her then they feel more confident in hiring her since an agency has professionally vetted her background. In regard to salary negotiations, we always ask to help in that area. People are uncomfortable talking money and it helps the relationship between employer and employee if a third party is involved in the negotiations. Nannies that are searching nationwide, need to take into consideration that there are cost of living differences. A million dollar home in some areas may sell for $250,000 in other areas thus their $20 an hour salary may translate to a $14 an hour salary in lower cost of living areas.

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