finding nanny in bay area?
Ok, I am convinced we could use a babysitter/nanny but now we need one and do not know where to find a reliable person. Most agencies charge a lot and it seems like a waste but perhaps not?
We are located in the Bay Area of Calif so it is already expensive. Any thoughts or tips with specific places to look would be appreciated?
May 9, 2012
That's a tough one.
There's a number of local parents' groups that exchange this kind of information. For example:
- PAMP (pampclub.org) - Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents' Club, with members extending to the north and south of those cities. Unfortunately, there's a fee to join. But the resources in terms of nanny / babysitter postings are astounding.
- Golden Gate Mothers Club up in San Francisco
- Berkeley Parent Network
Also, most preschools and elementary schools seem to have list-servs. Someone told me recently that she posted to PAMP and 5 school lists and got about 1 recommendation from each. It's hard work.
I've heard good things about care.com - but haven't tried it myself.
One thing I would NOT recommend is craigslist for this. At least, the number of replies I received (a LOT) and the quality of those replies (HORRIBLE) means I won't ever try it again. Even if gems are to be found there, I wouldn't know whom to trust amidst all the noise.
Good luck! Let us know what works for you.
We went through a nanny search early this year. We tried Craigslist, care.com, and groups like PAMP. It was a frustrating process and there are no easy solutions. Our preference by far was for referrals frome friends and family -- the problem is that given your geographical location, requirements, etc., it's really hard to get referrals that fit all your criteria.
So I don't have an easy answer, but just to give yourself the time it will take (i.e., longer than you expect) and to be patient with the whole proces....
Please be careful about using internet websites to search for Nannys or babysitters. Because of my work, I personally know of very unsavory people who register on these websites such as pedophiles and sex offenders. Please be very careful !
Another option is Stanford Park Nannies (http://www.spnannies.com/). They are *not* cheap, but are generally highly regarded and will provide a decent amount of customer service along the way (not to mention doing all the requisite background checks, referral checks, etc.). We found our nanny through them and were very impressed.
Was it worth the cost? Ultimately I'm not sure. For us, probably not -- for various reasons (which did NOT include any dissatisfaction with our nanny, who was AWESOME), we ended up changing to a daycare situation after a few months. But if you're going to find a nanny who will be with you for years and who you want to trust with your child in your home, it may just be worth the money.
I agree that there is a lot of noise with Craigslist but I did find our first nanny that way, and she is awesome. In my want post, I stated clearly what we were looking for in a nanny, what hours we needed, and that I wanted a resume and references. I simply did not bother reading emails without something that looked like a resume or without references. I then did a phone interview with anyone who looked interesting. After that, I met the person at a cafe without my children. After checking references, I allowed them in my home to meet the kids with me there for about 1hour. It sounds like a lot of work, but we hired the 2nd person I interviewed and she stayed with us for 4 years. It wasn't any more work than asking family/friends and posting on local moms lists (which didn't prove to be fruitful).
Whatever you do, like Evelyn says, it'll probably take longer than you think so be patient, and good luck.