Is A Good Nanny Hard To Find?

One of the things we worried about after Carter was born was child care. I'm not sure if this is the first thing we were scared of, because I constantly freaked out about every aspect of fatherhood, but I know it weighed on Courtney’s mind.

Now that we've found a terrific new nanny for both kids, I'll tell you about how lucky we've truly been in this department after our third nanny search in two years.

Almost immediately after we brought Carter home from the hospital we started looking for a nanny share. Courtney, the planner that she is, had already done her research and knew that we'd never find a nanny too far in advance so we had to wait until the bundle of joy was closer to being ready for daily care and the prospective nanny could actually meet him.

That first time out we kind of took a shot in the dark and looked on Craigslist. Now, we had gotten some leads from friends too, and put an ad on a nanny website, Craigslist just seemed like a logical place to check. We found an ad that sounded like a good fit, called and met the other mother and the nanny. We weren't a hundred percent sure of anything being new parents, but the nanny had gone to the same high school as my wife and everything seemed to be just right.

Courtney was worried every day that they would quit as though, because at Carter’s early age of eight weeks — Courtney had to go back to work — he was a pretty fussy, colicky baby. During his first day at the nanny share Courtney got a text from the nanny that said ““Your baby won’t stop crying, what do you want me to do?”

Obviously Carter did stop crying and it turned out to be better than we could have hoped. Carter not only loved the nanny but also grew really attached to the other couple’s daughter. It was really sad when we had to get a new nanny a year later because Evie came along. We also couldn't believe how lucky we had been with such a quick search. It became apparent when we started that search for a full-time nanny.

This second time we used an online nanny service which does background checks and charges you. We received hundreds of requests after posting the job ad and then held about six or so in person interviews. It was a long process which kept us up and checking the site late into the night. We finally settled on one nanny who could start when we needed. You couldn’t believe how many respondents didn’t even read when we needed a nanny to start and went through the whole process and then said, “Oh I can’t start then, I need two more weeks.”

As a nanny, No. 2 was very good with the children, and Carter really warmed up to her. But she had some personal issues that ticked Courtney off from the beginning. We would constantly find odd bits of food in our fridge. Not odd items, odd items with bites taken out of them and left on a fridge shelf. Open containers were the norm and she left hair products in one of the bathrooms. But she was good with the kids so we put up with it.
When we closed on the new house in the suburbs she originally agreed to do the commute and stay with us but later demanded a raise we couldn’t pay to cover the expenses and declined. This left us two weeks to find a new nanny, while we were in the middle of the move.

We went back online and searched for a suburban nanny. Instead of getting hundreds of good candidates we received about a dozen. A few interviews later and it was easy to pick a winner.

While it was incredibly rushed to find another new nanny in less than six months time, we couldn’t be happier with the new nanny. She’s punctual, tidy and Carter is definitely fond of her. He’s even close to saying her name, which is pretty fast for him to learn a new word.

If there are parents worried about finding the right nanny, hopefully this story takes some of the fright out of it. If you want some direct references to the site we used — I’m not going to promote them here — feel free to email me.