The risks of not using a professional nanny agency with a reputation for standards and integrity are clearly highlighted in this Daily Mail story. Fortunately no harm came to any child on this occasion but the situation nonetheless illustrates the potential perils of using unregulated online nanny recruitment.
The decision to employ a nanny is one of the most important decisions a parent will ever make. When choosing a nanny, the parent is in full control of who eventually cares for their child; that carer must fit in with both the parents’ and the child’s routines, way of life and outlook on life.
Many parents report that nannies employed via the internet do not deliver the quality of care provided by nannies sourced via agencies. Indeed, we know from first-hand experience that things often do go wrong; yet, embarrassed by poor outcomes and a sense of failure, many parents will simply summarily dismiss the nanny and put the matter down to bad experience, preferring not to make it public.
Whilst we understand the concerns of these parents, as professionals in the childcare sector we need parents to come forward to acknowledge the difficulties they have faced when using internet nanny finding services and to emphasise the lack of safe guards available to parents who do so …if for no other reason than for the sake of- and in the interests of- all children.
Finding a nanny on line is arguably a cheap form of recruitment but it comes at a cost: and not just a financial one. A nanny will almost certainly have sole charge of a child (a vulnerable child) for anything up to 12 hours a day. It is absolutely essential that thorough checks are made on that child-carer to ensure their suitability and fitness to look after what is the most treasured and precious gift one can ever have. It is illegal to work with children under 18 without a DBS check but many parents still employ nannies who have never had one and who don’t apply for one.
A nanny recruitment agency will not only help parents through the selection process but will provide assurances that the nanny eventually employed (indeed all candidates offered for employment) are suitable and are bona fide child-carers appropriately qualified by training and experience to look after children.
Use these few simple steps when selecting a recruitment agency. A professional and reputable agency:
- listens to, understands and responds to your particular needs;
- interviews its candidates in person, face to face (not via social media);
- supplies CVs, profile checking, documented DBS checks and references;
- is local and/or offers nannies from the neighbourhood/surrounding areas;
- advises on hours, duties, contracts, terms and conditions, holidays, and gross pay;
- provides post-employment and remediation services should things not work out; and
- clarifies upfront its terms of business and any costs for registering.