Finding Nanny and Au Pair Employment
If you’re just starting out in the nanny or au pair industry, it might be difficult to determine where to begin your childcare job search. Most former nannies and agency founders and executives recommend starting out as a babysitter, daycare staff or camp counselor in order to get the experience that most families will be looking for in a nanny or au pair.
If becoming a nanny or au pair is a career change for you, and you don’t have the appropriate experience, try to pick up some babysitting jobs before your dive head-first into looking for nanny or au pair employment full time. This will give the chance to not only gain valuable experience but to ascertain whether working with children full time is really what you want to do. SIDENOTE – You might consider youth volunteering abroad as a rewarding employment option. Read about it on JobMonkey.
Once you are ready to start looking for a nanny or au pair job, there are a number of resources available to you:
1) Personal and Professional Networks
Use your current network of friends and co-workers to find a nanny or au pair job. If you work at a day care center, ask around about parents who are looking for full time or part time help at home. You can also make a flyer and post it at the center or school, as well as other places where children and parents congregate: ballet/dance studios, the local park, the soccer field. Parents tend to look to each other for advice and recommendations for child care, and people who know you and your abilities will be the best way to spread the word about your nanny job search.
2) Nanny Agencies
With more and more agencies popping up online, many experts will suggest that the only way to find a nanny job is to sign up with one. While this isn’t always the case, checking out agencies in your area is definitely good advice. A nanny placement agency or service serving a specific geographic location can sometimes be a better fit for a nanny starting out because many take a more hands-on approach to placement than the larger, national online agencies.
However, larger agencies can offer more variety in the kind of experience they are looking for and can put a lot of the control of the process in the hands of the nanny and families who are looking for the perfect fit. Whichever type of agency you choose, if you are looking for a nanny position, nanny placement agencies are an excellent resource. Check out our listing of great nanny agencies.
NOTE – If you truly enjoy working around young people, then children’s museums should not be overlooked. JobMonkey covers the topic – check it out.
3) Classified Ads
Classified ads (whether online or in the newspaper) remain one of the best ways to find jobs of all kinds, especially nanny jobs. Many families who are looking for a nanny won’t want to go through the nanny agency process, and will instead place an ad on Craigslist or in the local paper. If you are set on a location, particularly a small town or suburb, you will probably have success with the classifieds as you look for your nanny job. As you scan through ads, make sure that you respond to those that are upfront about what they are looking for in a nanny, and don’t ask for any personal information via email beyond the resume and cover letter. As with any job hunt, it’s important to keep safety in mind when responding to strangers.