My feed

to access all these features

Discuss everything related to paid childcare here, including childminders, nannies, nurseries and au pairs.


how to find a nanny?

33 replies

CCH181 · 13/02/2011 17:03

I've been searching for months and have yet to find the perfect nanny! Help! Where do I go next? I've been on and as well as I've seen dozens of CVs, but only a few that have actually been of any interest. I'd like to advoid the agencies if possible (trying to avoid the fee as I've already paid a big fee for my maternity nurse!!). Any suggestions on websites or other places to try? We're in SW London. Thanks!

OP posts:
nannynick · 13/02/2011 17:26

Netmums perhaps.

You say you have seen a lot of CVs, so there are candidates out there. However I wonder if you are getting the wong candidates due to how your job advert is written.

What sort of thing was in the job ad? Were you specific about your requirements? Did you specify a salary, or give a salary range indication?

SlightlyTubbyHali · 13/02/2011 17:30

Tbh I always used Gumtree, with varying results.

What is it you are looking for? do the applicants not meet your requirements that you can list or is it more of a "feel" thing?

RamonaFlowers · 13/02/2011 17:33

I know it's not what you want to hear, but I have NEVER successfully found a nanny any other way than through and agency Sad. I have found ones that would have been fine, but never one I have thought "you are the one".

If you want to PM me I can give you the name of some agencies that are a little cheaper. Don't want to post them as too identifying in terms of area!

Good luck.

CCH181 · 13/02/2011 17:56

I was fairly specific about our needs, ie I have a 6 month old and want someone with experience with infants of this age. I did not indicate a salary range as at the time of posting the ad, I was considering both live-in as well as live-out arrangements. I received dozens of CVs but very few with actual experience and/or relevant educational qualifications. I get the sense that some of these nannies were sending out their CVs to everyone they come across - I did sense a bit of desperation to find a job with some nannies. So, it was a combination of many not meeting with my requirements and with many others, I had a "gut feel". I am being very particular (but I don't think you can be too particular when it comes to your children! After all, it's not like I'm looking for someone to come in a few times a week to feed a cat!)

OP posts:
euracantha · 13/02/2011 18:00

As a nanny I have to say that when I `m first looking for a job I look in the local newspaper and on childcare .co and on Netmums before I do look at the agencies .

Karoleann · 13/02/2011 18:08

I've found both my excellent nannies through gumtree - my last search (although 3 years ago) and had 5 candidates that were great.
They have a featured ad section now which is a bit more expensive - but your ad is at the top for a week so you'll get more views.
Most nannies love just looking after one easy 6 month old!
Can I suggest you sell yourself a bit too - put in paid holiday, salary negotiable, NI and tax paid.

RamonaFlowers · 13/02/2011 18:53

That's really interesting re gumtree. When I advertised I just got a hundred CV's from nannies who in no way answered the job description. In fact, many of the CV's so gave me the heebie jeebies that I just couldn't imagine finding a legit nanny off that site.

I must have been unlucky.

SlightlyTubbyHali · 13/02/2011 19:09

For each Gumtree ad I have placed I've had a couple of hundred responses. Of those, 120 can go straight in the bin because of lack of appropriate experience/sending me a waffley email with no cv. Another 40 can go in the bin because of immigration issues or other problems, another 20 will go in the bin because they sound like loons.

The remaining 10-20 I review carefully and "rank" in terms of what I am looking for, so things like Ofsted registration, having jobs for more than a year at a time, having experience of children of both my dcs ages, living near me, driving. Then I speak to maybe the top 5 by phone and of those 3 (max) will be invited to interview. Odds are one of those will not turn up or will turn out to be a flake and I'll have 2 to choose from.

drinkyourmilk · 14/02/2011 07:47

Many career nannies won't consider a position that doesn't advertise the salary - I would consider resubmitting your ad with this included. It's not unusual to give both live-in and live-out salary.

Strix · 14/02/2011 10:16

I think Nick makes a good point about the ad. Have you targeted the right audience? I also wonder if you are perhaps too picky. You can be too picky. Nannies are real people and there probably is no perfect one. You have to choose what is important to you and what you are prepared to give on. If you are looking for live-in, I would ad to your list. It has lots of au pairs, but also nannies.

When do you need this nanny to start.

As for agencies, I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole, personally... unless you consider a couple of grand to be pocket change you don't mind parting with.

SlightlyTubbyHali · 14/02/2011 10:40

I'm wary of agencies too.

We're on our third nanny. Our first one was an unmitigated disaster (dishonesty, "sickies" when hungover, mahoosive phone bills of personal calls to Australia etc etc). An agency called me about her, I gave them the run down and they said they would still be recommending her because she had a good reference from a previous babysitting job. Our second nanny was wonderful and registered with a lot of agencies, but only a couple called me for a reference, one just wanted to check I knew her (and asked me no questions). Only one of them asked me the main question that matters (IMO): would you hire this person again?

I can do more thorough checks than that myself and it costs nothing!

Blondeshavemorefun · 14/02/2011 11:00

agree with gumtree you get tons of useless/no good replies

the ad i put on stated i wanted thur/fri work and stated my area and i would get literally 100's of emails from parents wanting full time nannies/hk/cleaners/jobs that were 200+ miles away etc

oldgreybird · 14/02/2011 16:29

I could write an essay about how to find a good nanny - here are just a few points I have highlighted in answer to your query.

When do you actually need someone to start? How far ahead were you advertising? I am involved in helping parents find childcare and nannies find work and I find that most nannies do not look for work 5 or 6 months ahead of when a job is to start. Most of them do not know that they may be needing work that far ahead. After all most nannies are only on a one month's or 6 weeks notice period.
You should actively start looking about 10 to 12 weeks ahead of yourself. Any longer than that then you risk not attracting any interest or the wrong sort of interest.
And how you write your advert is terribly important. Some parents don't realise how unfriendly and dictatorial their advert can sound. If it is written like a long list of must have this and must have that and there is nothing to make you sound like a warm, friendly and good employer then why would a good nanny want to consider applying? So try and read your advert from the nanny's point of view. Does it need amending and humanising? If so try writing it again.
I know a lot of what I would call mature, 'career' nannies avoid Gumtree as they tell me they or their friends have been contacted by rather strange parents using it! So it is not just parents who criticise it.
Also I have had some mature nannies say they would not consider applying for a job until they have had the chance to have a quick chat on the phone with a parent first to get a feel for whether they like them and if the salary is what the nanny wants. Then they will send their CV and references if they are still interested but not before that.
Very good nannies will always get snapped up even in a competitive market like it is at the moment. They know what they want and they know their worth.
Live-in jobs are not popular, particularly with very experienced nannies. They do not want to live with their employer 24/7 - they want to have a private life away from work and live with their friends or they have their own family and husband/partner.
Another thing which might put off potential applicants is if the job is combining nannying duties with some general household duties like the family laundry and cleaning etc. A nanny's job involves what is called full nursery duties - everything to do with the child. This includes the child's laundry and ironing, changing the cot/bed, preparing and cooking food for the child and cleaning up afterwards, tidying the child's bedroom and play area and toy boxes etc. It is NOT doing general family laundry and ironing, or cooking dinner for you and your husband/partner, or cleaning the bathroom, hoovering the living room, going to Sainsburys etc etc. There are plenty of nannies who will do more of a nanny/housekeeper role but a proper career nanny, is not likely to want to do that.
As for educational level - you will probably find that a lot of British nannies are GCSE or A level standard and a lot of Eastern European girls who have fallen into nannying are degree level.
There are nannies around with lots of experience and no relevant childcare qualifications and conversely nannies who are qualified but without a lot of hands on experience. The ideal is to have someone who is both well qualified and very experienced but they will not be at the lower end of the pay scale.

Shelds · 17/02/2011 12:10


Afraid I've got to agree with lots of other people. The best way is through an agency. Although the fees can be expensive they do save you time and money - advertising for you, checking refs etc. Also there is the guarantee period that gives you a bit of a safety net and they should send a few applicants for you to see to get the right person for your family. The agency is used was Norma Lewis Domestic Staff and Norma was great.... really helped and found us a great Nanny who my kids adore. I tried the gumtree route before an agency and had a few disasters with no one staying for longer than a couple of months.
Good luck

HappyHappyNanny · 20/02/2011 16:55

Are you still looking?

When are you looking for nanny to start?

ReadMyLips · 20/02/2011 19:03

We used two agencies: one local and the Norland College agency.

We decided against the Gumtree route as we didn't want to risk leaving our daughter with someone so 'random'.

Our preference was Norland, but we also wanted to give the local one a go to see who they would be able to supply (not least because their fee was far lower).

We wanted to use the Norland Agency as this guarantees a minimum standard of conduct and attitude from the nanny, although of course it totally depends on who the person is, in the end.

Using Norland cost us just shy of £3k, the local one would have been £800, plus VAT.

We found an absolutely superb nanny (via Norland as it happens) and I don't think that we could have spent that money better on anything else.

I am back at work and completely confident about my childcare.

The local agency's approach was to put our job out on Gumtree and I guess that they filtered the respondents. The broader candidate pool would be the same if you did it yourself though and the candidates we interviewed from the local agency were all good quality people.

nannynick · 20/02/2011 19:53

£3K is a lot of money but I suspect it is the only way to get a Norland Nanny, at least until the nanny decides to register with a different agency.

CCH181 · 23/02/2011 15:21

We are still looking and am now ready to turn to the agencies. I've interviewed a few nannies I've found off gumtree and with absolutely no luck. I'm at a complete loss and ready to pay the agency fee now. I've signed up with Norland Nannies and while I know that people have strong views about Norlanders, I think that at the very least, I'm guaranteed a certain level of professionalism and education, which is much more than what I can say about the applicants through Gumtree and other websites. So, my next question is - which agencies do you recommend?

OP posts:
eastmidlandsnightnanny · 23/02/2011 15:46

I find my work through netmums mostly although had some through findababysitter and findasitter sites and

Agency wise I am registered with a few local ones and the one I would recommend cover nationwide and are

I think when you are avoiding the agency route you do have to filter through loads of applicants that are not suitable - I put an ad on gumtree when searching for a childminder for my baby and have had many silly replies from people that are not even registered childminders.

I know many families have found me privately as a night nanny then tried to find a full/part time daily nanny through websites and had soooo many responses that were not suitable they have eventually gone to agency but equally some families have been successful in finding nannies through websites.

good luck with search

VipHouseholds · 02/01/2017 16:58

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

user1483387154 · 02/01/2017 20:14

I am a career Nanny and Teacher with Early Years and KS1 specialism.
I would highly recommend as an agency to use.

Personally I would not use gumtree to find a job, however have previously used There is a huge difference between people claiming to be nannies and those of us who are qualified.

Smilingshrew · 07/08/2017 08:51

I am not here to advertise myself as a nanny but I would like to know where West and Central London parents find their nannies. My problem is a. I will commute to a live-in role from Wales so many people do not believe I will stick it and b. although I have 5 years as a part-time nanny in a private house, 12 years in range of nurseries, primary and secondary schools, have worked as an Art Specialist teacher, French teacher for Le Club Francais, am an artist, sucessfully raised 2 children single handed, both recent graduates with a 1st and 2.1, I am too much of a risk; somehow as a fluent speaker or French and Spanish, conversational German, Italian , Russian , Welsh- according to agencies - I don't fit the picture. I am a caring nurturer with oodles of patience and a sense of humour looking always for opportunities for positive reinforcement and unique creative fun involving music, paint, drama, whatever. I have also never cooked a ready meal! Clean enhanced DBS car, non-smoker etc. No ties.
Who can advise me for where to be discovered? My own family background is exclusive.

Batoutahell · 07/08/2017 08:52

Gumtree, great success three times.

Batoutahell · 07/08/2017 08:54

Smiling, what do you mean by an exclusive family background??

But in answer to your question, you sound great to me. Are you not getting interviews even or just not being successful after interview? Because that is two very different problems.

Smilingshrew · 07/08/2017 09:06

My opinion is a mature nanny who has had her own children is far better at being an efficient parenting partner. I have level 3 in early years, experience, qualifications also in art and music and multilingual with patience and humour. Two grown up young graduates so free to travel.

how to find a nanny?
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.