Use A Nanny Agency Or Use Facebook For Your Nanny Search?
As social media grows, it's easy to look on local Facebook pages and Facebook groups for your childcare. So, why would you look to use a Nanny Agency to assist with your search?
On a Sunday morning, I found myself going down a rabbit hole and was endlessly scrolling through my social media, until I saw a post.
The post was in a local Nanny Facebook Group, from a parent who was clearly posting about seeking a Nanny although the parent later goes on to suggest they struggle to see the benefit of using a Nanny Agency, as they advertise the Nanny Jobs on different Facebook groups like this one. The parent then goes on to suggest the Nanny Agency is doing exactly what this parent is doing, so it seems strange to them that the Nanny Agency would receive a placement fee.
This interested myself not only from the above comment, but also the comment that I posted and furthermore the Nannies who commented on the post too.
Firstly, I expressed to the parent from a Nanny Agency perspective that Nanny Agencies usually have registered and vetted Nannies on their books who have been processed through several Nanny Agency checks.
Secondly, I expressed what these checks consist of and how much time and effort goes into the process of sourcing a new Nanny for a family. It's not simply a Facebook advertisement and the agency selects the first Nanny who comments and then proposes said Nanny to the family or client. Well, for Little Steps Agency it certainly is not this process.
A good Nanny Agency considers the following matters:
Time - Recruitment does not simply happen overnight and is not the case of advertising and waiting for the Nannies to 'arrive' for a role
References - A Nanny Agency checks references match with dates and the previous employer is who they say they are. Nanny Agencies and prospective employers also need to ask the Nanny for the permission to obtain and contact these employers too. Reference forms should be non-discriminatory too and should not ask any illegal questions. Often references will need to be followed up with calls and additional emails. This can be another time-consuming process.
DBS Checks - A Nanny Agency should know the difference in checks and what level a Nanny should hold to work directly with children. Little Steps Nanny and Events Agency ask for all registered Nannies to be on the update system and for the Nannies consent to check their Enhanced DBS on the update system too. As a parent, do you know how to check a DBS on the update system and do you know how to process one?
Interview Questions - Little Steps Nanny Agency have set questions which are asked of their Nannies at the registration process. These questions are non-discriminatory and ask questions to develop the understanding a Nanny has around child development, children's milestones, EYFS, dietary requirements and more. As a parent, do you have a firm understanding of what the EYFS is and how this can be used in practice?
EYFS - As an ex-Nursery Manager, Charlotte at Little Steps has a sound understanding of the EYFS and keeps up to date with best practice through podcasts, reading books, attending regular training updates, networking and attending conferences. As Charlotte has been a Nursery Manager, she has recruited previously and has years of professional experience in this capacity. Interviewing a Nanny is a very different process to interviewing a candidate who is applying for a non-childcare related role such as a Marketing Manager. As a parent, would you know how to adapt your interview skills and technique?
Certificates - As a parent, do you know how to recognise a legitimate certificate? Do you know how long a specific certificate is valid for? Are you aware some certificates need to be renewed every 2 or 3 years? They are not valid indefinitely. Running a Nanny Agency, we see certificates all the time and know which points to look out for on certificates and have the knowledge of knowing how many years a specific certificate is valid for.
Little Steps have over 1,000 registered Nannies on our books and we look to see who would be best suited to your role, your requirements and your family.
A Nanny who is right for one family or client of ours would not necessarily be the right fit for another family or client, as they portray different personalities and parenting approaches. This is not a 'one size fits all' approach and Nannies are interviewing the families as much as the families are interviewing the Nanny.
Reverting to the Facebook post; we also saw a mixture of comments from Nannies who would prefer to use a Nanny Agency to find their role and some Nannies who would prefer to liaise directly with parents.
Several Nannies commented suggesting going through a Nanny Agency would provide them with more confidence and security about the role they were interviewing for.
Another Nanny commented suggesting by going through a Nanny Agency, they know the potential employer has been provided with information about legalities of employing a Nanny. This was an interesting post for a Sunday morning, and it had me thinking whether anyone else had the exact same thoughts as the original poster of the Facebook post. Are we living in a digital community where we trust everything we read online and trust everyone is who they say they are, without researching ourselves?