With all these new apps and resources, finding a nanny yourself online seems a viable option when recruiting. Why should I use a nanny agency instead of an online platform? 
1 - It is safer recruitment 
The biggest reason is – it is safer. Not all online platforms do any form of vetting. I have known nannies to regularly work through an online platform for temporary work who don’t hold a DBS certificate, or have one but its 8 years old, or only a basic DBS (which is not suitable for childcare, they must have an enhanced check to work through an agency). 
A platform may not verify employment references or even talk to the nanny in any way – some of them are literally ‘upload your CV and documents’ and expect you as the parent to do all the due diligence (hence the cheaper price tag!) 
I will note this does not mean all platforms do this - there are definitely varying levels of vetting done but none are as thorough as a nanny agency. 
I have had parents ring me after finding a nanny through an online website, finding out a few weeks into employment that she wasn’t all they’d hoped. When I speak to them and ask the checks they did, they often say ‘the website does it all’ – so they hadn’t spoken to any references or seen a DBS check, first aid etc. These often turn out to be nannies who wouldn’t have passed my recruitment process and their CV would never have reached the client through an agency as a viable option. 
2 - It is time saving 
Finding a nanny through an app or ‘matching’ website may bring you 30 nannies ‘in your area’ – but they wont all be looking for jobs with your hours/ages/location. They also wont ALL be good. You’ll need to talk to all 30 to find the 5 that fit your requirements – and could then go as far as meeting them, and introducing the children, to find out their references don’t add up (leading back to point 1). This is hugely time wasting and can then bring you back to square one. 
3 – Its less upheaval 
Following on from points 1 and 2, using an agency means you’re more likely to recruit the right person first time. This means less upheaval for the children, and also ultimately saves you money (and more time) changing insurances, payroll etc. 
In the same vein, if there are any niggles, by working with a person at an agency (rather than a computer with a platform) you will have support to resolve any issues and find solutions. 
4 - It is simpler 
There are good nannies available on these websites. You may even find the same nanny through a platform that you’d hire through me! However (particularly if you’ve not employed a nanny before) - what next? What is a fair rate; is what they’re asking you to pay a valid salary for their experience? What does that salary actually mean to you as a total employment cost? What are your obligations as an employer? 
You’ll need to set up payroll, draw up a decent and fair employment contract, speak to the nanny’s previous employers for references, check their licence for points. You can’t check the employees DBS on the online update service as a ‘person’, only an agency. How do you navigate that? Do you have the right insurance in place to have an employee? 
Using a nanny agency means we hold your hand through this entire process (and beyond!). We make it stress free and as simple as possible. 
Are all agencies the same, do they all do these checks? 
Unfortunately – no. Nannying is an unregulated industry, meaning anyone can technically be employed as a nanny – there is no rules on them having any training, experience - they don’t legally have to hold a DBS certificate or first aid training. That also means anyone can start a nanny agency – again there’s no regulation in place.  
Make sure you ask your agency their vetting process and see proof of the checks at the point of hire. A strong nanny agency will ensure this is ALL in place, and more. A newer agency may not even be aware of all these things they can/should do – I’ve been running 11 years now and have honed my process over this time. I have met nannies who have secured work through other agencies with only a basic DBS, or one that’s 3 years old, or haven’t ever actually spoken to the agent – just sent their CV over email, then had an interview booked with the family. In that instance you have to ask what your fee is for! 
This is why I am honoured to be a member of the Association of Nanny Agencies Ltd. All member agencies adhere to their high standards and will ensure every nanny is interviewed by the agency, has relevant training and/or qualifications, and has the experience required for each job they are submitted to. They will ALWAYS have a valid DBS certificate and paediatric first aid training. Driving licences are checked, references are checked. They will clearly explain the full cost to you, both for the nanny’s salary and all additional costs, and guide you through the contract and payroll processes. It is safer recruitment. 
Whats the big deal about DBS checks/ the update service? The nanny I met had a DBS check from 2.5 years ago, that’s fine! 
There is a myth that a DBS ‘lasts’ for 3 years, and a lot of people think that means you don’t need a new one if its been less than 3 years.  
However this is not safe. A DBS is literally a snap shot into the nanny’s police record on that day. So if the nanny has a clear DBS which was printed 3rd Dec 2021, this means that on the 3rd Dec 2021, they didn’t have a criminal record. If they received a caution or conviction on 4th Dec 2021, it isn’t going to magically appear on that bit of paper. Technically the document goes out of date the day its printed. 
The DBS update service is a website where the nanny can register the DBS certificate (this must be done within 30 days of the certificate print date) and an agency can then check the status of the DBS. The system will then either say the DBS remains valid as nothing has changed on the applicants record, OR say a new DBS must be obtained – it will not specify what has changed, just that it has. 
Its worth noting the update service alone is not sufficient – you must also see the original DBS certificate. If this is lost a new one must be applied for. 
The nanny can log into the update service at any time and see who has checked it, and when. It SHOULD be checked every time she starts a new role, or even does an evenings babysitting. 
To recruit a nanny through safer recruitment, reach out to Rosebud Nanny Agency. 
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