How to Find a Nanny – Search Tips

Are you Looking for an Austin Nanny? 10 Steps to Find the Perfect Candidates

Because of the pandemic, it’s more challenging than ever to find the right childcare solution for your family.  You can start your nanny search by asking friends and family for referrals, going online to caregiver listings websites, local Facebook groups, and college job boards, or registering with a nanny placement agency. It can take a long time to find someone you adore. Also, it’s not uncommon for there to be fierce competition with other families, so the right one may slip away, extending your search.

The best online nanny services are those that offer the largest selection of nanny and babysitter candidates in your local market – at a fair price.  Learn how to find a nanny with these nanny search tips.

1. Start your nanny search early

It typically takes 4-6 weeks to find a nanny, so start your nanny search early and move quickly to recruit qualified nanny candidates. Have friends and family post on Facebook that you are looking for assistance – personal references can be the most reassuring. Post a notice in school newsletters and on online parenting message boards or chat groups in your area.

2. Meet as many nanny candidates as possible

You should speak with as many applicants as possible. Inquire about their work experience and child raising philosophies, as well as their personal interests, after-work pursuits, driving record, and backstory.

Some nanny candidates may be qualified, but might not “click” with your family.  Meet as many nanny candidates as possible to improve your chances of finding a nanny who really fits your family.

3. Pursue all of your nanny search options

You never know how or where you will find the perfect nanny.  Pursue all of your nanny search options and follow up on every lead.

Most universities have job boards where people can post about a position they’re looking to fill. This may be a good option if you need a part-time babysitter or a graduate student who is available for a full-time nanny job.

4. Write a nanny job description

Write a nanny job description that includes your nanny job’s salary, work hours, responsibilities and qualifications required.  Make sure you understand the basics of nanny tax and household employment requirements.

A balancing act is required when writing a nanny job description. On the one hand, you don’t want to be so broad that you get 100 applications to sort through. On the other hand, you don’t want to be too specific because it will scare people away. This will assist you in defining exactly what you require and desire in a nanny.

The following are the categories that we recommend:

  • Job Title – Full-time Nanny, Household Manager, Mother’s Helper
  • About You – Describe a bit about your family, your locale, pay range, benefits, etc.
  • Timeframes – Days of the week, hours required, live-out or live-in.
  • Required Qualifications and Skills – Include years of experience, certifications, education.
  • Responsibilities – Housekeeping, meal prep, childcare, etc.

5. Join an online nanny service

Join an online nanny service like or Online nanny services can help to find a live-in or live-out nanny, either part-time or full-time. These services are also ideal for finding a temporary nanny or summer nanny, an after-school tutor or a reliable occasional babysitter. Membership in an online nanny service is an inexpensive and effective way to find a nanny.

To compare fees and services of the leading online nanny services, see our reviews of the Best Austin Nanny Services.

6. Hire a local nanny placement agency

Hire a local nanny placement agency to conduct your nanny search.    Local nanny agencies will charge a placement fee if you hire a nanny they refer, but agencies are worth using if you need to hire a nanny within a set time frame or if you do not have the time to conduct your own nanny search.

Agencies provide the highest level of service, which comes at a high cost. So, what is the benefit of hiring an agency? Agencies are an excellent option for time-crunched families, as well as for first-time nanny employers. The agency can eliminate 40-plus hours of work from the hiring process. An agency prescreens nannies and couples to get a detailed picture of what they’re looking for and will send only the portfolios of candidates who meet their requirements. When a nanny is chosen, they will assist you in preparing the employment offer and work agreement.

Are you looking for an agency? Families should look for agencies that are members of nanny organizations like the Alliance of Premier Nanny Agencies or the International Nanny Association. These organizations have membership requirements and codes of conduct that members must follow.”

7. Advertise your nanny job in local newspapers

As a last resort, place an ad online or in the newspaper classifieds. However, keep in mind that the flood of responses from strangers can be overwhelming. If you go this route, be very specific about what you’re looking for and include any criteria that would disqualify applicants.

Advertise your nanny job in the classified ads of your local community newspaper.  With any advertising, use a cell phone number or email account  for nanny candidates to contact you; do not provide your last name or home phone number.

8. Recruit local nanny candidates

Post a “Nanny Job” flier at the children’s library, community parks and playgrounds, the neighborhood pool and local preschools and toddler programs.  Local colleges can also be a great source of candidates.

9. Tell everyone that you plan to hire a nanny

Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a nanny.  This should include friends, neighbors, relatives, colleagues and anyone else you can think of.  With a little luck and some targeted networking, you could save time and money by finding a great nanny through word-of-mouth.

10. Screen your nanny thoroughly

Before hiring any candidate, screen your nanny thoroughly by personally checking references and commissioning a background check that includes a search of criminal and motor vehicle records and a credit check.

It takes time, patience and a little luck to find the perfect nanny.  To ensure success, start early and pursue all options in order to meet as many nanny candidates as possible.  Your efforts will be rewarded when you find the right nanny for your family.

What is the average nanny salary in Austin?

In Austin, the average hourly wage for a nanny is $15.38. A nanny’s salary is determined by the nanny’s experience, qualifications, and location.

Nanny Reference Questions

A list of nanny reference questions is useful when checking the references of a nanny candidate.  Following is a list of nanny reference questions to ask families who previously employed the nanny:

  • When did the nanny care for your children?
  • What type of care did the nanny provide? (live-in? full-time? part-time? occasional?)
  • Was care provided by the nanny alone or with a stay-at-home parent?
  • What was the nanny’s rate of pay?
  • What were the nanny’s work hours?
  • How many children were under the nanny’s care?  What were their ages?
  • What were the nanny’s responsibilities and daily activities?
  • How did the nanny relate to your children? (Do they remember her, talk about her, keep in touch?)
  • How did the nanny relate to adults? (You, neighbors, family, friends?)
  • Assess the nanny’s ability to help teach a child.  (At what age or grade level might she have difficulty?)
  • How did the nanny handle your child’s illnesses? (Did she administer medication, take the child for doctor’s visits?)
  • Can the nanny handle emergency situations?
  • Were there any injuries to your children under the nanny’s care?
  • Is the nanny neat around the house?
  • Did the nanny do any housekeeping?
  • Is the nanny an honest person?
  • Does the nanny smoke?
  • Does the nanny drink?
  • Have you met any of the nanny’s friends or family? Do they seem like good people?
  • Is the nanny a patient person?
  • How did the nanny handle behavior problems?
  • Did the nanny have any problems with lateness or absences?
  • Did the nanny have any health or other problems that might affect her work as a nanny?
  • How did the nanny spend any downtime at your home?
  • Is the nanny a good and safe driver?
  • Is the nanny committed to being a nanny?  Does the nanny have alternative career plans?
  • Why did the nanny leave your employ?
  • If circumstances were different, would you hire the nanny again?
  • What are the nanny’s strengths?
  • What are the nanny’s weaknesses?
  • Is there anything else you can tell me about the nanny that I may not have asked?

Most families that employ nannies have busy lives and may not have a lot of time to spend on the phone, but do not hesitate to ask a lot of questions.  Past employers of really good nannies are usually happy to provide very positive references with a lot of anecdotal detail.

Child care decisions are deeply personal — what works for a friend or your sister, may not work for you and your family. While licensed day care centers and in-home facilities are excellent options, some families prefer the personalized attention that a nanny provides.

A nanny can be a fantastic addition to your family and can help new parents make the transition back to work easier. Even when finding and hiring a nanny may appear to be a difficult task, it does not have to be. Depending on your level of comfort, time, and budget, you can do much of the legwork yourself or hire an agency.

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