How to Find a Nanny in Brooklyn

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One of the many unfortunate results of the tanking economy, is that there are a lot of nannies out there looking for positions.  But with all the available nannies, it still comes down to finding the right one for you and your family. This includes a nanny that can meet your needs (number of hours, whether or not you want your nanny to take your child to school/activities, etc) as well as one that you can afford. Here are some of our top suggestions to help you find a nanny in Brooklyn and please let us know how you found your nanny in the comments section!

1. Yahoo! Parent Groups. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods have list serves or mirco-sites like Yahoo! Groups where you can connect with people in your area. This is also a great way to place an ad for a nanny where you can list your specific needs including hours, pay and start date. We also recommend branching out and placing an ad on other list servers and forums – you never know you might find a nanny willing to travel. To find your local Yahoo parents groups in Brooklyn, click here to see them all listed in our NEW marketplace!

2. Place on Ad on College Boards. Living in Brooklyn, there are numerous colleges like Brooklyn College, St. John’s and Pratt where you might be able to find a student to be your part-time nanny or sitter. Consider finding someone who is majoring in education or the arts who wants the experience and may be a fun and high-energy person for your child. The only downside is that hiring a college student situation may only work for families who need part-time or occasional help.

2. Ask Around. Your friends are a great resource when it comes to looking for a nanny – especially those that use nannies. Consider a mass email where you see if anyone you know has any recommendations or calling up friends (if you have the time!). You can also ask nannies themselves – not so that they can work for you – but whether they have friends looking for work and what community boards they use to find employers.

3. The Irish Echo. This widely read Irish-American paper has always been a place where nannies place ads and where many people place ads in the classifieds section. This is a great resource where you will find high quality nannies as well as a quick turn around for resumes.

4. NY City Explorers. NY City Explorers can help you find another family to “share a nanny,” find a nanny or a babysitter or you can join their babysitting club.  They also have drop-off too if you have to run errands. Both owners are lovely and the sitters we have met through their services have been vibrant and fun.

5. Use a Nanny Service. There are numerous services like Now Nanny and the Nanny Gold Group who will do the work you and place you with the right nanny based on your needs. These customized services will of course be more costly but they will save you time in finding the right nanny. You can do a background and reference check with a service like Nanny Track too.

6. CraigsList. CraigsList is still a great resource to locate everything from an apartment in Brooklyn to a place to sell your old baby things. It’s also a resource to locate a nanny. You can either post an ad with your specific needs or comb through the ads based on your location. Since you will get a lot of responses from Craigslist, pre-screen all nannies first via email – maybe by asking them more specific questions about their experiences. Try to weed out as many people as possible and aim to interview about 5-6 nannies from your ad. This will be time-consuming but many parents have found their nanny from Craigslist!

Tips for finding nannies:

  • Create a list of criteria that are important and then schedule time to interview qualified childcare providers.
  • We recommend scheduling a paid playdate (about two hours) with your potential nanny. This will allow you to evaluate how the nanny interacts with your child. This will allow you to learn pretty quickly who is good mesh with your family, which is worth the cost even if you are just a room away.
  • A nanny provider should have extensive experience, excellent references, and a record to prove it. You should ask them for copies of their photo ID, which you should keep with your records. You can also use services like NannyTrack to investigate a nanny’s work history, verify employment dates, interview former employers, and based on that, make suggestions about which questions to ask the nanny about her former employment.
  • Create a contract between you and your nanny. A contract gives you a chance to discuss expectations on both of your parts. Do you expect light housekeeping or just baby’s housekeeping? Telephone or not? TV or not? Vacation days, sick days, overtime, advance notice. If there’s a misunderstanding, you can always go back together and check the contract and resolve a question easily. Please refer to this excellent nanny contract that you can fill out.

Park Slope Parents also conducted a comprehensive survey in 2009 about how parents are concerned about the availability and affordability of childcare. While researching your nanny, be sure to read the survey, which can be found here.

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  1. If you’re looking for a well respected nanny agency in the NYC area, turn to Penelope’s People™. Their 9-step selection process can assure you the most suitable caregiver for your loved one. They also provide help with household managers, housekeepers, personal assistants, baby nurses, senior companions, and much more.

  2. Regarding #4: I would not recommend NYC Explorers. In our case, the agency was consistently unable to meet payroll despite accepting our money. The funds never seem to reach our nanny: checks bounced or she never received a check at all. I spoke with the previous family that hired our nanny via the agency, and they had the same problems.

    If you’re seeking a more permanent caregiver don’t opt for a college student: there are plenty of older women with experience searching for full time employment.

    DWU, as mentioned above, is a wonderful organization.

  3. Chana- thank you for reminding me of that. Yes! I have heard the same thing- we’ll add it in for the next post on “how to find a nanny”.

  4. Thanks Kelsey- great resource. My former nanny is working for them now so I know the organization really well! Thank you for adding that.

  5. Parents considering childcare for their children have many options at their access. A list of some of the most common childcare options is as follows.

    Nanny. A nanny is a childcare provider, typically full-time, who is employed by a family to provide supervision and a nurturing environment for the family’s children. A nanny provides these services without direct parental supervision. Nanny services are typically rendered in the family’s home, but a nanny may live in or out of a family’s home. The well-being, education and development of the child on a day-to-day basis are the primary responsibilities of the nanny. Job duties typically include child supervision, nurturing, bathing, feeding (including meal preparation), housekeeping (including the children’s laundry), homework supervision, errands, exercise, and transportation.
    Manny. A manny is a male nanny.
    Babysitter. A babysitter is a childcare provider, typically part-time and/or sporadic, who is employed by a family to provide supervision and a nurturing environment for the family’s children. These services are provided without direct parental supervision and may be rendered in the family’s or the babysitter’s home. Babysitters do not live in the family’s home. The responsibilities and job duties of a babysitter mirror those of a nanny.
    Au Pair. An au pair is a foreign young person, between the ages of 18-26, who comes to the United States to live with a family and provide full-time childcare for the family’s children. The responsibilities and job duties of an au pair mirror those of a nanny. Unlike…

  6. I heard so many horrors stories by having nannies… Most of them are lazy, always on the phone, chatting with their friends, they don’t CARE. they just want your $$$ and that’s the truth.

  7. Here’s a link that might be of interest to people.
    I saw a woman speak at Ethical Culture on the subject of Domestic Workers and the Bill of Rights that was recently passed at the end of 2010. They are looking to spread the word about this in Park Slope (where, by they way, domestic workers are generally treated very well).

  8. Karen,
    Though I am not affiliated with the nanny service, folks all over Brooklyn constantly tell me that they have found wonderful nannies using the babybites nanny board — all the nannies are posted by their loyal families, and finding a nanny on the board is free. Just wanted to mention as I know its a well used service by Brooklyn families.


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