In an ideal world, you’d always have childcare lined up well in advance. Every caregiver you hired would always work out longterm, and you’d never have to stress about childcare. But in the real world, things aren’t always so perfect. Parents are often scrambling for last-minute care for their children. Maybe their nanny needs to move or change schedules, or parents need to find a more suitable caregiver without much notice. If you find that you need a last-minute nanny, it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Here are some tips to help you find a nanny quickly and efficiently.
How far in advance should you hire a nanny?
On average, the nanny hiring process requires 1-2 months of lead time. Therefore it’s recommended to begin the nanny hiring process at least 6-8 weeks before your ideal start date. Waiting until the last minute means that you’ll likely be faced with a gap in childcare or a smaller pool of potential nanny candidates to choose from. You’ll need time to define your needs, advertise your job description, interview candidates, check references, and secure a contract.
A professional nanny placement agency can help cut down on the time and energy needed for the nanny hiring process, offering a streamlined customer service experience for parents in need of childcare. In many areas, nannies are in high demand, and it can be challenging to secure your perfect nanny in the exact timeframe that you need childcare. Parent in need of last-minute childcare do often find themselves with a gap in care.
What to do when you need last minute childcare
When you’re faced with work obligations and no viable childcare options, stress levels quickly rise. Parents in this situation need to be as creative as possible to help bridge the gap so they can continue to work. Some options that might work for your family could be:
- Asking friends and family to provide temporary childcare
- Asking a friend or colleague if their nanny is open to a temporary nanny share
- Working remotely from home with your child(ren) in tow
- Using PTO to cover a gap in childcare
- Utilizing drop-in childcare centers
- Hiring a temporary babysitter while you search for a longterm career nanny
Oftentimes, parents in need of last-minute childcare must rely on their personal network of friends, family members, and neighbors, as many professional caregivers and daycare centers are not available for an imminent start date.
Warning signs that your current nanny isn’t a good fit
Sometimes, parents are faced with a gap in childcare not due to lack of planning, but because the nanny they hired isn’t a good fit. This is an unfortunate situation that ideally is prevented before it can happen with thorough vetting of references, in-depth interviewing, and potentially a nanny trial period. However, sometimes things just don’t work out and parents need to re-assess their childcare situation.
If you currently have a nanny and are considering finding a new one, here are some warning signs that your current nanny isn’t working out:
- Your child is unhappy or uncomfortable around the nanny
- Your child’s behavior has changed for the worse since the nanny started working for you
- The nanny is frequently late or absent
- The nanny is not following your instructions or rules
- You have concerns about the nanny’s qualifications or experience
- Your nanny is not fulfilling their contracted obligations
Ideally, these situations can be remedied with clear communication. Sit down with your nanny to explain your concerns and what needs to change. You could also consider composing a written letter to your nanny about the matters at hand. Make sure to document any written correspondence about the issues. Unfortunately, at a certain point it may become clear that the issues will not be resolved to your standards. In these situations where you need to consider letting your nanny go, a paper trail can be helpful in justifying the decision.
How to find a last minute nanny
Perhaps life got extra busy and you waited a bit too long to start looking for a nanny. Don’t beat yourself up. It happens! If you have only a few weeks before you need a nanny to start, you may have just enough time to find a full time nanny, as opposed to relying on temporary care. Here are some ways you may be able to find a last-minute nanny:
- Word of mouth
- Online job boards
- Social media
- Nanny placement agencies
Sometimes, luck is in your favor! You may find an acquaintance who’s children are starting school, and doesn’t need a full-time nanny anymore. You may be able to connect with a last-minute nanny online, through online job boards or social media. Lastly, a nanny placement agency may be able to help you expedite the nanny hiring process and secure a last-minute nanny.
How a nanny placement agency can help you find a nanny faster
A nanny placement agency can be a valuable resource for finding a last-minute nanny. Professional nanny placement agencies have a pool of pre-screened nannies and access to the industry’s most highly qualified professionals. Furthermore, they can help you with the hiring process, including conducting background checks, screening references, and negotiating contracts. They can also provide ongoing support and resources to help you manage your nanny relationship after you begin working together. Many of the nanny industry’s top candidates look to nanny placement agencies to find their ideal jobs, so utilizing an agency as a parent is a good way to have access to highly experienced candidates.
Furthermore, there’s a lot of learn about the nanny hiring process including nanny industry standards and how to pay your nanny legally. They can recommend payroll services to simplify how you pay your nanny and advise on benefits such as insurance contributions. Nanny placement agencies are experts in the field and can help parents quickly understand the ins and outs of what it’s like to hire and work with a nanny. Particularly if you’ve tried hiring a nanny in the past and it didn’t work out, you may want to consider using the help of an agency this time around. An agency can help to both prevent and remedy a less-than-positive working relationship with your nanny.
Need a Last Minute Childcare?
Don’t delay your nanny hiring process. We’re here to streamline your experience and help you find the perfect caregiver ASAP. Whether you need to re-hire a nanny or it’s your first time hiring a nanny, we can help you find and secure a perfect fit for your family. Complete our Family Registration Form today to begin the process!