Saturday, November 13, 2010

Did Your Nanny Agency Train You to Be a Nanny? Does Your Nanny Agency Pay You Your Salary?

An article was just posted on Article Storehouse entitled, "Why You're better off Using a Nanny Placement Service" By Mark Etinger of

The author makes good points about nanny agencies being experienced in background checks and knowing what questions to ask in an interview.

But I disagree with two points he makes, at least for American nannies and American nanny placement agencies. The author claims, "Most nanny placement services train their employees before sending them out to work in the field..."

He also makes an error by stating, "Employee salaries are settled by the nanny service, which means you won't have to deal with figuring out the intricacies of employee taxes and benefits."

This might be the case in another country, but I haven't seen this occur in America in my 17-years nanny work experience. There are a probably a handful of agencies that might train nannies if they pay extra for the training. But, I have never been trained by a nanny placement agency.

The parents are the ones who pay us directly, not the nanny agency. The parents provide the benefits. The parents pay us under-the-table or on-the-books. The agency does not pay us directly.

I have always negotiated my own salary. The agency will tell me the range the parents are willing to pay. But the parents and I have always set the wage and I personally must insist on being paid-on-the-books myself.

If you work as a nanny, were you trained by a nanny placement agency before they sent you to a job? Did the agency set your salary for you?


Michelle said...

NO those quotes in that article are incorrect. He doesn't understand how nanny agencies work.

Lisa said...

No and No. As answers to the questions. But then I wanted to know who is this guy to claim this, and googled the article title in quote and found he is affiliated with a NY agency.

This agency is making the claim -

Are On the Go Nannies CPR certified?

Yes! All On the Go Nannies have obtained CPR certificates for Infants/Toddlers.

Are On the Go Nannies First Aid certified?

Yes! As a hiring requirement, an On the Go Nanny must have First Aid certification.

Do you run background checks on On the Go Nannies?

Yes! We obtain reports from the Criminal, Sex Offender and DMV agencies for all potential candidates.

What kind of training are On the Go Nannies required having?

On the Go Nannies are required to have CPR & First Aid training, 2 years non-relative child care experience, and become certified as Child Development Associates. On the Go ChildCare provides nannies with on-going early childhood educational training throughout employment

Fiona Littleton said...

Interesting 'cause when you read the article it sounds like it's not saying just that agency but all agencies, so it's confusing. Mark isn't affliated with the agency but a marketing web site so he should state what the specific agency does not all agencies do.

I've never been trained by an agency or paid by an agency.

Is the agency he is marketing paying the nannies, not the parents?

There's no spot on the article site to make comments or ask these questions.

Anonymous said...

Would love to know what agency the author is referring to, as I've never come across anything he mentions before.
From my past experience with agencies, none have ever trained at all. Most say the nannies they place already have training.

However, there is the INA Basic Skills Assessement Exam. (google it to learn more...). Which I feel every agency should be giving any nanny they place, so they are certain that the nanny has basic childcare knowledge.

None negotiated the salary for me.
They asked me what my going rate was and I told them. Many times they'd call with jobs that were way off the salary I stated to them.
To put in plainly, most nanny agencies are like "recruiters".
They just have a list of families and nannies and let each other know what's available.
So for that simple reason- families can do basically the same thing with using an on-line nanny website.

The person in the article also says that agencies "screen/background check" nannies. Some do call the references, some only require reference letters. And from my past exp. the agency only runs background checks on nannies ONCE an offer from the family is made.
(For an agency to run background checks on all nannies before-hand would be costly- so they don't do it, without an offer first.)

Many would be shocked to learn the practices of even the TOP Notch agencies. Some let nannies view the families profiles, where private info. is listed- i.e, family income, cost of home.

Others don't even met the nannies in person or call their references before sending them out on interviews. And many have said, "If you can find a job where you don't have to pay taxes, take it!"
Many say they don't have any authority on how the nanny/family choose to pay- meaning "off the books."

So, IMO, "most" nanny agencies, even the ones who you'd think would be good, since they are members of INA- (but many just pay the fee to be able to list that they are an INA Memember- but never get involved in the nanny community. So they are not always the best way to go.
As they are a business and their top priority is to make that "sale" quickly.

The top notch nannies who have been around for years know which agencies are legit, so not referring to those.

Nanny Authority said...

Nanny agencies are beneficial because a lot of times they offer some type of guarantee on their services or nanny backup. On the downside, either the nanny or the client loses out on agency fees when hiring a nanny. If you don't have the time search on your own, a well-known agency may be a good alternative.