According to a 2016 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 61.1 percent of households with children under 18 (56.3% of children under 6) had two parents who worked. 

With over half of American households having two working parents, childcare is in demand.  You’ve considered all of your options, but realizing that you are looking for childcare that is flexible enough to work around your schedule, provides individual attention, and can take on some additional responsibilities, like shuttling your children back and forth from activities, you’ve decided your best option is to hire a nanny. 

While hiring a nanny is the best choice for many families, figuring out how best to start being a ‘household employer’ can be challenging.  Here are some suggestions: 

Outline your expectations for the nanny. It’s important to be clear about the responsibilities you would like your nanny to take on. While providing quality child care is a given, everything else is not.  

Will you need your nanny to provide transportation to/from activities, or school? 

Will they cook meals? Pack lunches for school? Take care of the laundry? Get the kids dressed? Arrange playdates?  Get involved in playgroups? 

You’ll want to put this in the job description, and having a written ‘nanny contract’ can avoid future misunderstandings about expectations. 

Set a salary range. Before you begin searching for the right person, you’ll want to think about your budget, which should include not only your nanny’s salary but also any additional perks or fringe benefits that you are offering (these can include paid holidays, paid time off, a car allowance, health insurance, continuing education, gym membership, etc). 

You’ll need to decide what you are comfortable paying while remaining competitive.   You’ll also want to consider taxes when deciding on a rate. Keep in mind that if your nanny’s salary will total over $2,200 in 2020, you will owe what is commonly known as the Nanny Tax.  

NannyPay is an inexpensive, easy-to-use nanny tax calculator and payroll management software for keeping track of your nanny’s pay and tax information, and keeping everything legal. 

Get the word out that you are hiring. Now that you know exactly what you are looking for, you’ll need to find your nanny.  It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start, but here are a few ideas: 

Talk to people in your network. You probably have a number of contacts who know people looking for nanny work.  Talk to your neighbors, co-workers, friends at the gym, playgroup moms, and daycare/school teachers. 

Share on social media.  Try posting on your personal Facebook page. When people see you’re looking, they’ll be quick to help.  You can also join and search your local Facebook groups – try your city/township’s group, mom groups, babysitting groups, etc.  A reference or referral from a trusted source can be invaluable in finding the right nanny.

Consider posting on an online job board/ nanny site.  Your potential nanny is probably browsing these boards daily – so put the post right in front of her. You can even contact the education department of local colleges in your area and see if they will share your post. 

Interview your potential nanny. Now that the applications are coming in, there’s going to be so much you want to know about your applicants such as their training, experience, and how they would handle specific situations (and they’ll probably have some questions for your too!).  Here is a list of suggested questions

Perform a background check. You can do one yourself or hire a service, either way it’s a good idea to thoroughly know who you are hiring.  Here are some suggestions for how to go about it. 

Make the offer. Let your nanny know she got the job and make her an offer. Once she accepts politely notify the other applicants the job has been filled. 

Put it in writing. Make sure to put everything you agreed upon (responsibilities, hours, salary, benefits, etc.) into a written nanny contract.  

Here’s to finding the perfect nanny match for your family in 2020!