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How to Find a Nanny

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Stephanie Davis

You know that you want to hire a nanny for your home, but you might be wondering what the best way to find a nanny is.

Nanny with two children

Thanks to the power of the internet, a simple search can get you in the right direction, but you might also choose to get recommendations from friends, family, coworkers, or others to kick off your search. While there are plenty of options for finding a nanny, you’ll want to make sure you’re finding the right nanny for your household. Below we explain the various places you could look during your nanny search along with things you’ll want to consider for finding the right match.

How to Find a Nanny

Most people are naturally going to enter “how do I find a nanny” in a search engine to kick off their hiring process. While this is a top pick because there are so many options, and you can tackle your search from anywhere thanks to smartphones, it’s essential to search trustworthy websites. There are success stories of hiring on Craiglist or job boards, but also try to look for reputable organizations. You’ll want to vet any candidate you find online thoroughly and when you arrange for an initial interview, you’ll want to be an open and safe location. 

When trying to find a nanny, it’s also helpful to ask for recommendations. Hearing real stories from other household employers is nice because you’re talking to somebody who already knows. Additionally, by asking for guidance, you may even be able to start a “nanny share” with another family where you can split the costs of a nanny and either have all children watched together or create a sharing schedule.

How to Find the Right Nanny for Your Home

While a Google search and asking for help are easy ways to find a nanny, how do you know that you’re finding the right nanny for your home? There are a few steps that you’ll want to take to kick off your search and find the right household employee.

  • Give yourself plenty of time. Hiring a nanny can be exciting, and once you decide to start looking, you might want somebody to start ASAP. However, you don’t want the process to move too fast. Give yourself a flexible timeline if you don’t have an immediate need so you don’t rush the process and have the time to find the right fit. Additionally, if you already know a time you will for sure need a nanny hired, such as a date maternity leave is ending or the first day of school, and start planning around that target.
  • What kind of nanny do you want? Did you know that there are several categories of nannies? When searching, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re looking for in your new household employee. This means, do you want a nanny who lives in your home, someone who is working full-time or part-time, do you want them to clean your home in addition to watching your children? Having a job description and a clear list of goals will improve your search so you’re not wasting time with candidates who aren’t the right fit.
  • Have a formal interview process. With your goals and job description in place, you’re ready to kick-off interviews. While you want a formal process for going through your interviews, that doesn’t mean the interview itself has to be formal. For a first-round, you may choose to meet somewhere neutral like a coffee shop or library, and then for a second-round, invite your top candidates to your home so they can see where they will be working and interact with your children. After you meet with candidates and have narrowed down top choices, you’ll want to check references and perform a background check.

How to Start Nanny Payroll

When you’ve decided on your new nanny, it’s time to handle some other key elements of being a household employer, which includes payroll. Unfortunately, you can’t get away with paying cash under the table and need to follow a formal payroll process for your nanny. As a household employer, you need to be aware of the payroll and tax regulations for your state and know the amount you need to withhold from your nanny’s paycheck. To start, you’ll need Form W-4 from your employee, which will indicate how much they want to be withheld. If this employment will be long-term, you’ll need your nanny to update Form W-4 annually. Once you know how to calculate nanny payroll taxes, you’ll need to let your nanny know when they can expect a paycheck. There are four payroll schedules: weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, and monthly. While some states let you choose which schedule to follow, others will tell you which method to follow.

If you decide that managing nanny payroll solo is too much, there are plenty of online payroll services that can help you stay compliant with the nanny tax and ensure your nanny is paid accurately and on time, every time.

Bottom Line

Hiring can be overwhelming, especially when it’s somebody you need to trust with your kids and home. Thankfully there are plenty of places to turn for help, and resources online for interviewing, conducting background checks and more.

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