When you begin your search for a nanny to take care of your family, you will find that you have several types of nanny services from which you can choose. You can work with bricks-and-mortar nanny agencies, online nanny services, or more generic websites or newspapers that allow you to post advertisements. If you choose to work with an online nanny service, you will need to proceed carefully - but you may find that it is the ideal option for you, both in terms of cost and in terms of benefit.
Online nanny services can provide interested families with the widest range of candidates. The listings will not be limited to one location, as they might with bricks and mortar nanny agencies, something that is of a particular benefit if your family is seeking a live-in nanny who could travel from anywhere to stay with your family. Because there are many nanny candidates competing for a few positions, it is in your best interest to be able to view as large a pool as possible so that you can carefully select the best person for your family.
Save Money by Working with Online Nanny Agencies
Bricks and mortar nanny agencies may charge $3,000 to $4,000 to help your family find the perfect nanny candidate. However, there is an element of trust that must exist between you and any nanny agencies with which you work - trust that the agency will screen its candidates carefully and will check references to make sure they are real and to make sure they are positive, for example. Some bricks and mortar nanny agencies are extremely reputable, but not all are, so if you are going to choose to use one, you need to do extensive research about the agency itself before you begin the process.
When you work with online nanny services, you will instead pay somewhere in the range of $98-$150 - and you will be able to control every aspect of your search. You can check the nanny's references yourself and feel confident in what you learn from your phone calls and emails. You can also run your own criminal background check through many online nanny services, and you can use the results to screen any candidates in which you are interested.
In addition, online nanny services will provide the tools that you need to screen and interview nanny candidates. The process of hiring a nanny can take a great deal of time, but quality online nanny agencies will give you such tools as an interview guide and a reference checking form so that you know what questions to ask in these situations. Online nanny services may also provide resources about other aspects of the hiring process so that you are well prepared when you begin.
Online Nanny Services Are Specialists
A generic website that runs advertisements, such as Craigslist, or an ad in a newspaper may be the cheapest option for finding a nanny, but such places also cover a very broad scope. Because they are not strictly nanny agencies and instead run ads for everything from used cars to tickets for sporting events, there is no guidance to help you include the best information for a prospective nanny candidate to find you. You may be including too much or too little, and you may not receive the quality responses for which you are hoping.
Meanwhile, online nanny services specialize in finding and placing nannies. As a result, good online nanny agencies will guide you through the creation of your online profile. It will give you a list of questions that you should answer to ensure that you have provided the best, most complete information so that interested nannies can read through and know exactly what you are looking for. Online nanny services will also make sure that you are being concise and positive, and will even allow you to post a picture of you and your family, which can give a great deal of additional information for any candidate.
Security Issues with Online Nanny Agencies
Some people may have security concerns about working with online nanny agencies. Before you commit to placing your ad with any online nanny services, find out what information will be publicly accessible. For example, if your last name and location are made available on the site, an interested nanny could contact you offline by looking you up in the phone book - something you may not want to happen. Instead, make sure that any online nanny services you are considering will only list the information you wish to be available - usually not your last name, your address, or your phone number (although some families may elect to include their phone number).
If you want to include an email address in your profile, you may want to create one on one of the free sites such as Yahoo or Hotmail that is specifically used for your listing. In the interest of security, some online nanny agencies also will allow you to send and receive messages within the site, leaving it up to you and your family as to when to reveal a more direct method of contact.
The search for a nanny can be time consuming, but it doesn't have to be complicated. When weighing your options for how to find a nanny, you may find that online nanny services provide the best value for your money and a way to find a quality nanny to take care of your children. Research your options carefully and only work with online nanny agencies that will take your security concerns seriously, and you are sure to find someone who will fit into your family with ease.
About the Author
Steven Lampert is the president of eNanny Source, an online nanny screening service that brings together families and nannies or au pairs. Lampert previously ran a successful, award-winning nanny agency in a major city for over 10 years, during which time he worked with thousands of families and nanny candidates. Through this experience, he became familiar with the important steps in a nanny search, which he continues to apply to his business today. To learn more, please visit www.enannysource.com.
Are you still following your child around worrying that they might stain their clothes? Do you forbid playing outside because they might get dirty? Do you see germs and infections in every step they take? Are you trying to keep away friendly dogs or cute kittens because they might be disease carriers?
Do any of the sentences above represent your attitude towards your child? If yes, you must reconsider. Depriving your child of physical contact with the "Dirty, Outside World" is bad for its health. Sound unbelievable? How can something full of germs be essential for a kid’s development?
First of all, your child, in the delicate years between childhood and puberty, develops its immune system. The immune system is designed to defend the organism against millions of bacteria, microbes, parasites, viruses and toxins. But it needs to be trained; just us muscles need exercise to function properly. In order to recognize harmful germs, it needs to meet them first. Then it creates an archive, where it is all installed. When the time comes for a fight, the immune system will be prepared because it knows the enemy. Pure exposure to various microorganisms and other environmental factors leads to pure immune resistance. That means, that the child will be less susceptible to disease later in life. So, don’t exaggerate in hygiene matters. Let your child’s immune system harden, with the help of dirt.
Your child needs also to be active, run around and feel happy playing outside. Worrying about stains will make the child feel guilty about activities that make it happy. You cannot replace that happiness with clean clothes, or with indoor inactive activities such us TV or video games. This is especially true during the school year. Imagine being seated in a chair while experiencing growth and energy spurts! Getting loose outside home will help the child deal with that pressure.
Don’t underestimate your kids’ explorative skills. By exploring –not the house of course- it discovers the world. Exploration boosts the imagination as well as creativity, social and physical skills. Well-developed physical skills result in a healthy body. Creativity will bring adaptability, and social skills will bring success and mental health. All those will eventually turn an active child, into a lively, successful healthy adult.
Let friendly animals approach your child. They won’t hurt it; they will be of benefit. By keeping animals away you teach your child to do the same. Have you considered having a pet? Children raised with pets show many benefits. Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a child's self-esteem and self-confidence. Your child will develop trusting relationships with others much easier. A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy.
Finally, how important do you think memories are? Memories are moments of our lives, forming our personality. What would you like your child to remember from its childhood memories? Clean, germ-free clothes? Or shiny days outside, filled with laughter and a sense of adventure?
Are you still afraid of dirt? No need to be, after all, dirt is health! So, let your child go and play outside, loose in the dirt. Join in if you get jealous, you might want to get a little dirty too!