How Nanny Databases Are Affecting San Diego nannies and families
Nanny databases have allowed families to find nanny candidates on their own. They’re the electronic equivalent of placing an ad in a newspaper. They provide a low cost alternative to using an agency, but as with any low-cost alternative, they come with pitfalls such as requiring extensive time and effort to find the solid candidates, the risk of hiring a nanny who may lack certain traits such as responsibility, good judgment and attentiveness to your child, or the risk of hiring a nanny who doesn’t make a solid commitment. The result of any of the above can be high nanny turnover. Switching nannies is stressful on parents, interferes with a parent’s reliability in their own job, and most importantly, can be detrimental to your child’s safety and emotional well being.
I”ve seen much higher turnover in families who are using a database to find nannies. Families frequently call me to say they’ve been through 2 or 3 nannies they found on databases within the last year. The problem is that nannies who are using databases are frequently “shopping” for new jobs while they’re in a job. It’s a little like a dating website. When you start dating someone from a dating website, you’re never sure if they’re going back online to browse for other partners when the relationship encounters a challenge. I’ve also heard of nannies who commit to jobs they’re not really interested in out of financial desperation, knowing they will continue to search a database site until they find a job that is closer to them or that pays more. Then they leave the current job because they feel they have nothing to lose.
Nanny Screening Process
When we place nannies through our agency, they first undergo our extensive screening process to make sure they have solid nanny traits such as conscientiousness, reliability, good judgment, interpersonal sensitivity, emotional stability, etc. Then we check references carefully and conduct a thorough in-person interview. We run a court record check in every county that they’ve lived in. The court record checks we run will find and report ANY infraction (felony or misdemeanor) of ANY type. We run a nationwide sex offender check. We run a driving check and they must have current CPR. They have trial time with the family to make sure it’s a good fit for both the nanny and family.
The Best Nannies Come Through Safe and Sound Nannies
The nannies who come to our agency are proud of their experience and references. They’re proud to have qualified as a Safe and Sound Nanny. They know that in addition to our stringent requirements, we require a minimum one year commitment (most want to be in a job much longer). They feel accountable to us and to the family. We will not place a nanny again if she leaves one of our jobs before one year (unless she is treated badly). The nannies take this commitment seriously and want to remain in good standing with our agency and the family for whom they work. Most of our nannies stay in contact with their families long term. Our part-time nannies stay with our families for an average of 2 years. Our full-time nannies stay in their jobs for an average of 3 years. Our nannies know that to remain a member of Safe and Sound, they have to make a solid commitment for a minimum of one year and give their very best. If they have an issue with a family, we’re happy to help facilitate communication if needed, but it is rare for one of our nannies to encounter a problem with a family. We have long-term relationships with hundreds of families in San Diego, and they treat the nannies with respect.
Nanny Databases: A Good Source for Babysitters
Nanny databases have their place. They can be helpful, especially for babysitting jobs, if the family takes the time to check references thoroughly and run court record checks. But when a family is looking for a solid commitment, the easy access that databases afford nannies (especially part-time nannies), can increase turnover and negatively affect commitment level. Any time a family is hiring a nanny, it’s important to assess her longevity in her previous jobs, and probe to find out if the job is truly what the nanny is looking for long term, or if she is taking the position for the short term. Your children deserve a nanny who won’t leave when something “better’ comes along.
Dr. Ann Wycoff is a licensed psychologist and is the founder of Safe and Sound Nannies, a full-service San Diego nanny referral agency, and The Nanny Answer, an online service providing nanny personality screening, selection and background checking tools.