Should I Get a Nanny?

Updated on November 11, 2013
J.W. asks from Buffalo, NY
16 answers

I have recently gotten a new job and moved to a new city. With this has come with the struggles of dealing with finding a new day care for my youngest. (She is 6 months, please don't judge me.) I have tried 3 in about 2 months and have been upset with either second hand information I heard from co-workers, or things I saw myself. Where I use to live I had a close neighbor who could watch little one and look after my older one after school. Now however I have a not quite 16 year old in charge of a 13 and 9 year old for 3 to 5 hours a day (After\before school, some saturdays) and am struggling to find care I trust for my 6 month year old. A lot of friends have urged me to look in to a nanny.

I was wondering how you even go about finding a nanny, if there is any kind of certification to look for or things to avoid, and what sort of contracts go into getting a nanny? Also if there is a better option for me? Any help would be LOVED thanks!!!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Detroit on

Well, I'd think daycare is way more FUN than being with a nanny and no kids. 3 day cares in 2 months? I'd relax, and stick with one.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

As a sitter myself (in home). I'm going suggest you call your childrens school and talk to the office staff. Ask if they know of any sahm who watch children. They won't give out the providers name and number but if they do know of someone. They will pass your contact info onto the provider and she can contact you. The office staff usually knows who is available and is a good provider. I've watch some children thru this manner. Also try Maybe you could share a nanny with someone as well to help with $$$. Good luck.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

You should try Sitter City.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

nannies are expensive.. expect to pay $10 an hour or more.. so you are talking 400 or so a week.

but a nanny can take a lot work off your hands.. my nanny vacuumed did dishes some laundry changed sheets.. cause my baby slept a lot so nanny had time during the day. so I pretty much had a house cleaner and a nanny.. .

so it was worth it for me.. nanny might even start dinner for you.. can be quite a blessing to come home to a clean house.. and kids that have homework done..

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We can't tell you if you should or should not get a nanny. We don't know the story. Why have you been so disappointed with day care centers? Are your expectations too high?

Is there a dad/husband in the picture here?

For the age ranges of your children, I think a good nanny might be wise. Before you hire anyone, make sure all expectations are clear.

Word of mouth is a good way to find someone. Are you in a neighborhood with families that may have nannies? I know in my neighborhood,, it is common for families to have nannies and then when the children reach about 13 or so, the nanny is looking for another nanny job. So you might have some resources in your neighborhood. Our homeowners association has a website and facebook page where you can inquire and get references for all types of services. See you have something like that available to you. Someone suggested talking to the school which is another good way to network and find someone.

A nanny would also take the extra pressure off of your 16 yr old. I hope you are paying your 16 yr old for his/her services because he/she is working for you 3-5 hours a day plus Saturday. I don't think older children should be responsible for the care of younger siblings, especially with no pay. A 16 yr old should be doing what 16 yr olds do, staying on top of academics because college is right around the corner, having fun and maybe a part time job of 10 hours or less a week for extra cash.

Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If the choice is between nanny and daycare, I would choose a nanny. I had a nanny and it was great for both my kids and us. Our nanny was the same woman that was my husband's nanny so it was just like the kids were spending all day with grandma.

I would start with making a list of what you expect from your nanny, and what her duties would be. Since you're new to the area, I would recommend working with an agency. An agency will do a back ground check and help with a contact.

If you decide to go on your own, be sure to get and check references. Have her spend some time with the children to be sure they get along. You can make up your own contact. Be sure to include a list of duties, the hours you expect her to work, salary or hourly pay, how your going to handle holidays, etc.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

A nanny would be a huge help for you. You are looking for before and after for the older kids and full day for the baby. I am a nanny. I have been with the same family for almost 4 years now. I do like the previous poster and claim my income on my taxes and pay my own taxes.

I disagree with the previous poster who think nanny s are sitting at home boring. We do many different activities both at home and also out on field trips. With a very young child at home is the best place. You have 3 in school. But sure how much Fun a 6 month old needs lol. I think being at home so the others can come home from school to do homework would be a huge help to you.

A nanny can do some of the drop is and pick ups from activities as well as throwing in whatever you have prepped for dinner. If you and the nanny agree to terms ahead of time she may do some laundry or light house keeping. It's all in what the two of you agree on. But get it all in a contract.

Look up sitter and
Whichever way you go do the reference checks and then let your kids, the sitter and yourself have some time to get used to each other. Good luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We've had our nanny for 6 years. She is an integral part of my kids' lives, and she is part of our family. We'll be sad to let her go next year when both of my kids are in school and we don't need her.

If you would like, I have a list of interview questions and the contract that we used to establish our employment with her.
It is CRITICAL that you set expectations and review/compare your parenting style with hers. Also be sure to review paid vs non paid time off and outline holidays.
PM me your email address if you would like the the questions and contract for reference.
Both were drawn up by friends of ours that are lawyers.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

When "I" was a nanny I was hired as contract labor. I did NOT have taxes withheld, I did NOT get paid cash where I did not claim it. The families that I worked for got a full statement at the end of the year for their taxes. I claimed my income each and every year according to that same statement. I paid my taxes in full.

So you need to make sure you inform the person you hire that YOU WILL be claiming their pay on your taxes and they WILL be required to claim this income on their taxes. THEY will need to pay their own taxes.

As contract labor you do not guarantee them any sort of hours per week, vacation pay, benefits, nothing. They come to YOUR home to babysit your kids and you pay them on the XX and the XX at a rate per hour or it could be a set amount that you either pay divided up or all at once on a certain day of the month.

For instance, the mom got paid once per month but the dad got paid every other week. So I got paid every other week by that mom.

Another mom got paid once per month and I got paid for the whole month the day after she got paid.

When they didn't work I didn't work. If they worked overtime I worked overtime. I was paid something like $2 per hour per child. This paid me about $800 per month. I went to work when the mom left for work in the morning at 8:15am and dad got home at 4pm. I had 1 kiddo home all day and one kiddo in half day kindergarten. The other mom worked all day as a teacher and so it was more 7:30-4.

Since both family's that I worked for were teachers I knew going in that I was not going to be working on days out of school. I didn't expect to work so I was not disappointed. I used the public school calendar as my work schedule.

I think a nanny is a good idea but you are stuck with them in your home and there is no one else for checks and balances. If you fire them you are out of luck.

In a full child care facility you have numerous teachers, a director, cook, and other staff. They are in and out of the rooms your child would be in. They can and do report any issues they see or hear going on. I like that knowledge, that the teachers are not "alone" with the kids all day and they have others in and out of their rooms where they can take breaks and have time away from the kids.

I hope you can find someone that you trust and that will take good care of your kids, it's very hard to wonder if they are safe while you're working all day.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I hear good things about and Sittercity but it could be regional. There are usually nanny agencies that place career nannies. They charge a fee of course but you can likely be sure the nannies are thoroughly screened. I'd also see if there's a local mother's club that has a message board. People often advertise when they let their nanny go bc the kids are too old or you could place an in search of nanny ad. I think a nanny is a great option. We've always had one and they have been great about keeping the children entertained. And at 6 months, my primary concern would be 1:1 attention and care vs activities. You also don't have to take off work when the child is sick and can't go to daycare. Of course, the nanny can get sick too but typically it's way less often than young children. I'm sure daycares can be great but I liked the more 1:1 attention with the same person every day for my kids. It worked out fantastically for us. And as others said, she helped with household chores - at least the baby's laundry at minimum.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Even getting a nanny won't guarantee you won't have problems..

You have to really interview your potential care givers - even if it is a day care "chain"...

I would go through an agency - verify a background check has been done - even do one yourself if you feel so inclined.

Make a list of your expectations.

I personally would not have a 16 year old in charge of a 13 year old. Especially if they are siblings. It causes more strife for the family. And doesn't allow the 16 year old to get his/her homework done in a timely manner.

I would ensure that anyone taking care of a 6 month old has Infant CPR certifications. I would ensure they have the right demeanor for infants..there are people who are GREAT with kids...but NOT infants.

Does he/she have a schedule? Is it strict? Are they flexible? Are they willing to drive kids to after school activities? Prepare dinner? Meals? Cleaning? Think of what you expect a nanny to do. Then go about finding one that works for your family...would you want a live in or a live out?

Make a list of what you are looking for in the person to care for your children. Then make sure the kids get to interact with him/her as well. Your kids need to get a feel for him/her too!! This is about them as well!!

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I did. I recommend it for your set of circumstances. Contact a nanny/domestic care service.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

get a good nanny! what's the problem with that? shame on anyone who would judge you for it!
if you're working, someone has to care for your kids. it can be daycare or a nanny whichever suits your needs best.
go through a reputable agency, check out references, and interview thoughtfully. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

For all the daycares my daughter has been in, I've asked around to what my friends do. I've found 2 great daycares that way, and knew to shy away from one crappy one (that was recently in the news for it's crappiness here, so I felt good about that decision.)



answers from Pittsburgh on

There are lots of nanny finding services. They do the background screening for you and provide you with a short list of people whom you interview. They also may set ballpark compensation and benefits as well (some may take care of things like payroll/social security withholding as well). Depending upon the individual, they may also be able to take your 9 and 13 year old to activities or the park so they are not sitting home and prepare snacks, simple meals. Also - there are agencies that will provide a 'substitute' nanny for when yours is out sick or when she takes vacation.

I personally did not like the idea of an unsupervised stranger in my home with my child, so I went with a daycare center. Very happy. I would never go with an in home daycare - I am not clear whether your concerns were with 3 different licensed daycare centers or with 3 people who watch a few kids in their homes.


answers from Houston on

Join a church and then ask the congregation.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions