More and more families in San Diego are choosing to hire a nanny for their child. Finding a nanny in San Diego is a daunting task. There seems to be a shortage of good quality caretakers. If you’re looking for a reliable resourse, I definitely reccomend working with a nanny agency in San Diego. This is the best way to give you peace of mind during the process of finding a nanny and ensuring that the person you hire is the perfect fit for your family.
I know that few things in life are as important as the safety of your child. That’s why it’s such a big deal finding the right person to look after your children. You can’t always be present to keep a watchful eye. Which is why many busy parents opt to share the responsibility with a nanny. However, for most parents, entrusting a stranger with their child’s safety can seem especially terrifying—how can you be rest assured that your little one is in good hands.
I talked with the owner of La Petite Agency – A Boutique Childcare Staffing Agency to find out exactly how hiring a nanny agency in San Diego will help you in your search. This post is to provide you with everything you need to know when going through the process of hiring a nanny for your family and how working with a san diego nanny agency is a great option to consider.
Tell me a little about you and how/why you began La Petite Agency?
I was a full-time nanny for over 13 years working in LA, New York, and San Diego. I know firsthand what a huge impact a nanny can have on the everyday life of a family and on the children for years to come.
Bringing a nanny into your family dynamic is intimate and therefore is so important to find just the right person. I wanted to support busy parents in this overwhelming task of finding the right nanny. My experience in the industry has given me the expertise to do so. I also wanted to support nannies and help advocate for them. It is such an important and fulfilling career and I want nannies to be treated as the true professionals that they are. I started out helping some friends find a nanny and now this is what I do full time! My mission is for parents to feel confident their children are safe, loved, and thriving in their nanny’s care.
What’s the benefit of finding a nanny through an agency like La Petite Agency?
Hiring an nanny agency in San Diego will save you SO much time! It can sometimes take a month or two to find the right nanny. You can easily spend 20 hours or more per week posting your job, sorting through the applicants, messaging and doing phone and in person interviews, checking references (and this is on top of doing your regular job and spending time with your family). And then you might find someone you like and at the last minute they accept another job and you are starting all over again.
An agency will do all of this for you as well as running a background and DMV check. I screen through the many applicants and find the top 2-3 candidates. I then present them to the client family for them to interview in person. The family can then do a trial run with one or all of the candidates. They then will hopefully find their perfect match! An agency is also very experienced in interviewing and vetting candidates so we know all the right questions to ask and what red flags to look out for.
Sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, your nanny might not work out. La Petite Agency offers a 12 month guarantee policy. We will find you a replacement nanny at no additional cost.
How does La Petite Agency find their nannies? What qualifications do you have for those you work with?
Nannies who have at least 2 years of experience, 3 glowing references, and CPR certification can apply to the agency at any time. The process starts with filling out an application and submitting their resume, followed by an in-depth interview with me. If that all goes well I check their references to make sure they come highly recommended from previous employers.
Through these applications I have a network of pre-screened nannies that are ready and looking for work. If the needs of the client family don’t match up with anyone in my network, I will recruit for the position on local job posting sites and candidates found there will go through the same rigorous screening process. Candidates who make it to the final stages will then go through a background and DMV record check. Nannies in California are also required to register with TrustLine which is a background check and fingerprinting registry specific to childcare workers.
Why do parents typically choose a nanny rather than other childcare options?
A big reason is convenience. Care is provided in your home so you don’t have to add extra time to your day for drop offs and pickups. You decide the schedule so there aren’t any issues with needing care too early or too late. Another reason is consistent care. With a daycare or after school program there are closures throughout the year and your children can’t attend when they are sick. Hiring a nanny means you will have care year round and more flexible care. One of the biggest reasons is often quality of care and one on one attention. A nanny provides individualized care and can act as your child’s educator, role model, play mate, best friend, and caregiver.
What qualities should parents look out for when choosing a nanny?
Some of this will be personal, but all parents will want someone who is responsible, reliable, and punctual. Speaking with at least 2-3 references will give you a good sense of if a nanny possesses these qualities. As far as interviewing candidates, ask them about their knowledge of child development and what kinds of activities they would do with your child’s age group. What do they know about certain parenting strategies or methods of discipline? Why do they like working as a nanny? Is it their career or are they nannying temporarily while pursuing something else? How have they/would they handle accidents and emergencies?
There is also an element of someone being a good personality fit for your family. Does someone high energy fit in better with your family or someone with a calming presence? When the nanny meets your children, see how they interact and how the kids react to them. Always always trust your gut when it comes down to making your final decision. If something doesn’t feel right, keep looking.
What are some important boundaries/expectations should parents set with their nannies?
A big boundary is not to let things get too personal. This is so tricky when someone is in your home everyday! While it is great when your nanny feels like a part of the family, it’s important to remember that you are their employer and it is not professional for either of you to know all the personal details of each other’s lives or relationships. You can have a close relationship and be friendly while also keeping things professional.
It is also important to have a written agreement from the beginning on what the nanny’s job expectations are. The general job description of a nanny is someone who handles all things related to the daily care of the child. This includes obvious things like playing with the children, going on outings, preparing their meals, keeping their schedule. It can also include tasks like washing bottles or dishes used by children, tidying up play areas and children’s rooms, and doing children’s laundry. If you want someone who will do more – housekeeping related work, grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, doing household laundry, etc. – make sure this is all outlined during the interview process and agreed upon in writing. These extra tasks will often require you to pay your nanny a higher hourly rate.
If you want to add responsibilities to your nanny’s job description over time you will need to discuss it with your nanny and likely offer them a raise. It often happens that parents ask their nanny to start doing this little thing here and this little thing there and it really adds up over time. This can cause a nanny to become resentful and feel like they are being taken advantage of.
I have written a nanny/family work agreement that I provide to all of my clients to make sure everyone is on the same page at the time of hire. It really sets the relationship up for success. I also provide ongoing support to both families and nannies if any sticky situations come up in the future!
What should parents be prepared for when first being set up with a nanny?
Try to be available to help your nanny during the first few weeks as they are learning the job. Make sure to take the time to train your nanny on how you like things done if you are particular, show them where everything is, welcome their questions and expect that they might forget some things. It takes time for everyone to get used to each other and find a rhythm. Once your nanny has the hang of the routine and responsibilities, give them space to do their job and don’t micromanage.
Do you have any final tips for parents starting out on the search for a nanny?
Be patient! I know sometimes you need care ASAP, but know that finding the right person can take time and will be worth the wait. You should also make sure you are educated on the nanny industry standards. I see a lot of situations where parents have expectations for a nanny to handle everything in their household and run their lives while offering a really low salary. The market right now is $25-35 per hour for a qualified nanny.
If you are hiring a long term nanny, benefits like paid time off and sick days should also be offered. If your nanny will drive their own vehicle during working hours you must reimburse them for mileage. Consider using a payroll service to handle your employer tax responsibilities and streamline the payment process. Of course I would also suggest working with an agency! It really takes the stress and hassle out of the process so you can focus your time and energy on your precious little ones!
I hope working with a San Diego nanny agency helps you find the perfect care for your children! If you would like to hear more about working with La Petite Agency, you can connect with the owner, Ashely, here.
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