One of my most frequently asked questions is:
“How do you find such great jobs?!”
If you haven’t been nannying very long, you recently moved to a new area, or are new to nannying, start with an agency. This is how I started and what I come back to when I move to a new area.
Start with care.com. This website has many pros, and only a few cons. Care.com has an amazing array of both nannies and families. That’s what makes it perfect for getting some of your first contacts. They make it easy to go through a ton of families that are looking for nannies in your area. It’s a safe way for you to contact complete strangers without making yourself vulnerable. Care.com gives you room to advertise your price, experience and availability.
Using the basic, free version was enough back when I first started nannying. However, now it is better if you buy the premium version.
If you don’t have the premium version, there are many necessary features you don’t have access to. You also may not be able to receive a response from a message you send to a family you are interested in. The cheapest way to go is the 6-month contract. It’s $10.00 a month and you can always cancel your membership when you get a job. Once you’ve communicated to the family several times through care.com, I prefer to move on to communicating directly with the family.
Care.com will suggest that you get paid through them, so they can handle the taxes for you. When they do, they are treating you as an employee instead of an independent contractor.
It sounds nice and easy, but claiming your own business is definitely more beneficial for you down the road. It really isn’t that hard. You just have to keep receipts and track your mileage. We’ll talk more about that in the future.
Don’t worry about paying for a background check.
If a family wants you to have a background check, they will be willing to pay for one.
I have NEVER bought one. I have also never paid for any extras that a nanny agency offers. The basic (or in this case, the basic premium) is enough.
Once, you’ve opened an account. What should your profile look like?
Your picture should be a clear, professional headshot. This doesn’t mean that it has to be boring. You should be wearing something cute and business casual.
Next, figure out what your nannying rates will be. There are a number of factors to consider, you can get an idea of these in my article Rates. Update your schedule when you can. Alternatively, you can always add a sentence with your preferred days and times in your bio section.
It’s important to note what kind of job you are interested in. Say something like, “I love working with toddlers the best because playtime is so exciting. I also have experience mastering potty training and trying new foods”.
This tells perspective families your strengths and that you primarily would like to be watching a toddler in full day intervals.
Here’s exactly what I put in my bio section:
“I love working with little ones! I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in child development and education. I’m fluent in ASL and encourage baby signing! I love playing outside, doing crafts, science projects and everyday learning. I currently spend “girls nights” with my favorite 5-year-old! We do our nails, make lip gloss, color skeleton worksheets (she wants to be a vet) and have a blast dancing around the house. I also get to spend my days blowing bubbles and rolling around on the floor with my favorite little guy. We are always learning new things together through sensory play. I do my best to be balanced. Professional and organized for the parents and fun-loving and energetic with my kiddos!”
When you are “applying” for jobs, make your message an abbreviated version of your bio. Most families aren’t going to take time to read your bio, especially if they have a lot of applicants. When you are sending them a message, try to find some points in common. Emphasize your experience that matches the position they’re looking to fill.
If you have any previous babysitting or nannying jobs, request reviews on your profile page.
Asking a family isn’t hard and it only takes them a few minutes. They are usually thrilled and totally understanding about it.
Be realistic about what you are actually willing to do. Don’t say you’re willing to do something that, in reality, you will complain about later. Being flexible and willing to do more will show families your commitment to being the best nanny ever, even if they don’t end up having you do some of the things you listed.
If you’ve tried Care.com or other agency sites with no success – Don’t give up! I know your dream job is out there. It’s waiting for you! Look out for my article next week that will include a list of other ways you can land that job – including the way that I currently find my clients! It will not disappoint.