TLC For Kids has been providing nanny placements for over 30 years in St. Louis. Five years ago we opened in South Florida. Hiring a nanny is an important decision for your family. There are many things to consider like finding nanny candidates, screening and interviewing them and setting up a contract.
Often times we are asked why a nanny agency can be beneficial for families when there are so many do-it-yourself options on the web. Here is list outlining the reasons why families should hire a professional nanny agency to help them with their nanny search.
Advantages of Using Nanny Agencies
- A good nanny agency saves time for both nanny and family. It has tested procedures for recruiting, advertising, screening, and counseling, and policies regarding both placement and refunds.
- It has an established reputation based on previous nanny placements, which in turn draws additional nannies and families into its registry, improving the choices for all.
- A good nanny agency treats nanny and family as equals. Both are its clients, for without one it will not have the other.
- A good nanny agency provides a solid nanny/family contract.
- A good nanny agency stands behind its placements and impartially counsels both parties in case of on-the-job conflict.
- A good nanny agency monitors the success of its nanny placements and may even offer workshops and gatherings that support both nanny and family.
- Experience with a good nanny agency is probably the best possible introduction to the placement process: when a nanny has fulfilled her commitment to a good agency placement, the experience – awareness of screening procedures and of the many hitches along the way – will help both nanny and family in the next go-around.
- A good nanny agency is known by its customer service, the caliber of the nannies and families it serves, and the frequent long-term success of its placements.
If you would like to learn more about TLC for Kids and how we can help you hire a nanny please visit TLCforkids.com or contact Debbie Hipp at 314-725-5660.
Like any other relationship, good communication is vital to having an effective nanny/parent-family relationship. To avoid any miscommunication, TLC for Kids suggests creating a work agreement, or contract, for both the nanny and family to agree to.
But what does a work agreement include?
Agreed upon salary: After you and your nanny have agreed on a salary, it should be clearly stated in the work agreement. This salary should include a description of paid holidays, how many allotted sick days your nanny has, and how many vacation days also. It should also include how sick days and vacation days will be handled. How much notice is needed for vacation days? Will vacation days be paid or unpaid? Will sick days be paid or unpaid? Whatever you decide should be defined in the agreement to avoid any conflict.
Job description: To ensure quality work, your nanny needs to know what is expected of her. In your agreement, you should write out a detailed description of what her daily duties include. Written clear expectations give you something to refer back to if responsibilities aren’t completed.
Employment reviews and raises: Let your nanny know how her work will be evaluated and how often. Will it be a discussion every two weeks, will it be a written review every month, or will it be a bi-annual evaluation? Once you figure out the mechanics, add them to your work agreement. Your work agreement should also include whether this is potential for raises and bonuses.
Termination: Although hiring an in-home caregiver feels much more intimate than most jobs, it is important to remember they are still a household employee. In the work agreement, you should outline clear steps to what happens when you or the caregiver is ready to terminate the position. How many weeks notice do you need from the caregiver if they decide to leave? If you choose to fire the nanny, will it be on the spot or will you give her notice? If so, how much notice? Once you figure out what is comfortable for you to do in this situation, define it in the work agreement.
As you can see, a work agreement will set the tone for the job and assure that everyone is on the same page.
Contact TLC for Kids today for help drafting your agreement or to hire a sitter: (314) 725-5660.
Last month at the International Nanny Association Conference the Nanny of the Year was announced. Congratulations to Joanne Barrow! Here is an interview with Joanne conducted by the authors of RegardingNannies.com.
What prompted you to apply for INA NOTY?
I became a member of INA last October and learned about NOTY a short time later whilst searching their website. I’ve been a Nanny for more than 2 decades, I knew I’d made a valuable contribution to the families I’d worked for and I felt I could be a positive role model for the industry and the association, so I made the decision and applied. When my previous employer, and then my current employer both wanted to recommend me and other prior families I’d worked for and my even charges started writing letters, the process just took on a life of it’s own. It was quite a bit of work to complete the application but personally I really enjoyed the process and it got me inspired to get more involved in my industry.
How did you find out you won?
One of my nominating families threw a surprise dinner party for me at their home in New York City. The children greeted me at the door all dressed up grinning form ear to ear and made the announcement as I entered the dining room. They recited a poem they’d written and the youngest had drawn a picture that is now in a “2013 Nanny of the Year” engraved frame I was given to mark the occasion. It was a wonderful surprise.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a nanny?
There’s a great sense of pride I feel when I look at the children whose lives I’ve been a part of. It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to know you’ve been a positive and guiding influence in a family’s life, I don’t imagine much can beat it!
What would you say to other nannies to encourage them to apply for INA NOTY?
Go for it! The recommendations alone are such a tremendous validation of your dedication and a job well done. When you start hearing from your former employers, your agents and if you’ve been at it as long as I have your grown charges! You’ll know you’re doing the right thing. The hardest part is stepping forward to accept the award knowing that the nominees by your side are all equally deserving; it’s an extremely humbling experience.
I heard more than once at conference that Nannies were ‘put off’ by the work involved in the application. It’s true, it is a process but I think they make it that way for good reasons. Don’t be put off by what’s involved, Marcia Hall provided great support throughout with her step by step guide on the INA’s website blog. The process really encouraged me to look inward on my 22 year career; for me it was a fun and inspiring project that re affirmed my passion for what I do.
What words of wisdom do you have for nannies – for career nannies and those just starting out?
I have always felt that the most important thing is knowing where your values lie and never taking a position that requires you to veer away from them. You need that guiding compass everyday, stay true to it.
If you weren’t a nanny, what would you be doing?
I’m a care taker at heart, steady, thorough and conscientious. Before moving to the US in 1991 I was an Auxillary Nurse in the UK caring for the elderly. If I had to guess I’d say I would probably have continued on in the nursing profession. Children were always destined to be my future though, that was clear to me when I was a child myself.
What do you wish you would have known when you first started out as a nanny?
Flexibility is your friend. It will save you from wasted power struggles with three year olds, make you a better employee, allow room for change in an ever changing environment and open you up to a world of opportunities. Embrace it, arms wide open. J