How to Start a Nanny Agency

Setting up a nanny agency can be lucrative, provided you have a reputation of providing reliable and trustworthy au pairs. Read this Buzzle article to get useful advice on how to start a nanny agency.
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How to start a nanny agency
Tip 101
In the initial days, you don't have to invest in an office; you can operate from home to save on costs.

As parents are getting busier with their work, the need for a good nanny has increased over a period of time. As they cannot just allow a stranger to look after their house, they turn to agencies to provide them trustworthy nannies. These agencies often act as mediators in providing the right nanny to a household based on the requirement. The clients, in turn, will pay the agencies fees for this service. While almost 60% of fees are turned over to the nanny, the agency gets to keep the rest. It is a good business, especially if you have some experience of working as a nanny. This will enable you to select the right candidates. Try to set up an online business, as this will help cater to a wider area. Do not forget to conduct background research for the viability of this business in the area where you will operate. Create a business plan before starting the business.

Legal Formalities
As it is a child care business, you may require to complete certain formalities which vary from state to state. Many people insist on getting a state-approved nanny for their children. Hence, check with your local state and federal authorities for the kind of permits and licenses you will require for your business. Also, you will be required to take an EIN. Consult a tax and insurance expert to understand what your business needs.

Advertise
You can advertise for nannies on your website. You can also place ads in newspapers and websites. Try to put up flyers and posters around college campuses where many young women may be looking out for jobs.

You can even start a social media page for your business and post advertisements for selection of nannies. For getting clients, you can advertise on similar lines. However, most of your clients will come to you through word-of-mouth publicity, so ensure that you have a good reputation in the market.

Interview
A candidate cannot be selected over the phone. It is important that you meet the candidate personally to know about her personality traits, appearance, cleanliness, etc. Make an application form which the candidate can fill and send to you. After this, call the candidate for a one-on-one interview. Ask questions about her hobbies, aspirations, love for children, qualifications, prior (nanny) experience, and why they think they will make a great nanny. The last question is important, and the answer will help screen the best from the rest. Interview the candidates, and shortlist them.

Skills to Look For
Find a nanny who has an inherent affinity towards children and genuinely feels love towards them. She must be reliable and trustworthy. Also, she must be a self-motivated person who keenly believes in contributing towards the betterment and development of children. As she will work closely with children of an impressionable age, she must be disciplined and communicative. One of the qualities that makes a good nanny is a caring attitude towards children. A nanny should know that the family has trusted her with the responsibility of their children and house, and she should ensure that she shoulders it properly.

Check References
It is important that the application form for the nanny position provides space for two references of the candidate from the same field. You must personally call them or visit their place to verify the authenticity of the information provided by the candidates. As there is a lot of risk involved in this business, it is important that you verify the references mentioned in their application form.

Background Check
You will not want to spoil the reputation by hiring the wrong person for the job. As you will be trusting the person with small children, it is important that you do a personal screening of her. Research on the Internet for an agency which does so. Ensure that you choose a reliable one. Try to approach your state police department as many of them will provide information for the criminal background check. So, do check with them for firsthand information about a person.

Client Application
Similar to the nanny application form, it is advisable that you create a client application form. It should give details about the family members, the age of the children, and whether the nanny is required on a full-time or part-time basis. It may also have a section about full-time work, whether it is live-in or live-out. If the nanny needs to travel abroad with the family, it should also be mentioned in the application. If the child needs special assistance, it should be mentioned. Some people prefer to hire nannies who have child care, so do mention about this requirement.

Make a Contract
You will have two contracts. One will be with the nanny, while the other will be with the clients. You should prepare this contract after consulting your attorney. The nanny's contract should include information like the working duration, payment, leaves, duties, etc., while the client's contract will include payment terms and other terms and conditions.

Expand Your Business
After establishing your business in an area, you can also expand it to other areas and states. You can even start a chain of nanny agencies so that people will start recognizing your venture.

Setting Rates
You will have to set a rate according to the requirement of the client. If needed, you can include the number of hours per week a nanny is needed and the length of employment. Some of the other criteria for deciding the rates are as follows:

» Full-time
» Part-time
» Number of hours
» Total number of children
» Age of children
» Children who need special assistance, etc.
» Domestic work
» Child transportation


Make sure to hire candidates who come across as friendly and show genuine love and care towards children. Remember, it is crucial that you screen the record of nannies before sending them to take care of children. It is important that you ask them if they have any kind of criminal record. You should also inform them that you will be running a background check on them.
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Published: January 3, 2014
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