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If you choose to forgo the agency and do your own nanny search, you will have to be resourceful in order to assemble a good-sized pool of candidates. Classified ads, whether yours or those placed by people looking for nanny positions, can provide you with some leads. Nanny ads can be found not only in large city newspapers, but in local papers and specialty classified publications such as the Penny Saver. If you live in an urban area, your prospects will be more numerous than if you are in a suburban or rural area.
Want ads can be an extremely hit or miss method of finding worthy applicants. The more ads you have, the tougher your job will be, because you will have to sift through them all to decide which candidates you will make initial contact with. A better process for finding potential nannies is to conduct a more focused search, if possible. To do this, you should direct your efforts toward several good sources of candidates.
Often, nannies have friends or acquaintances who are also nannies. They may know other nannies from spending time in the park, at preschool, or at other activities with their employers' children. If you have friends or coworkers who are employing in-home caregivers, ask them if their nannies can refer you to others who are looking for childcare work.
Another way to obtain nanny leads is by asking around at the type of establishments that typically cater to people who might be able to connect you with potential caregivers. Examples would be your local park district, YMCA, or other organization where you might find families with young children participating in activities. Talking with the director or even the receptionist might lead you to a family who uses a nanny, which may in turn get you in contact with the nanny's friend, who also works as a childcare provider, but is between jobs. If you have a community center, church, or coffeehouse that has a designated area for posting ads, staple up a few flyers stating that you are looking for in-home childcare. Include your phone number and the ages of your children, but no other personal information.
An even better place to contact and to post ads would be a college in your area, if possible. Call the employment placement office at the school and ask if you may place a job posting. Some colleges that grant degrees in early childhood education even have services that match early child環ood students who want to earn extra money and gain childcare experience with local families looking for nannies or babysitters.
Nanny schools themselves may be one of the best places to look for an in-home caregiver on your own. There, you have a pool of prospective nannies, presumably eager to work. Of course, the downside to nanny students and recent graduates would be their lack of experience. If that is not a problem for you, however, your family can give a new or aspiring nanny that all-important first job.
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Copyright © 2005 by Linda H. Connell. Excerpted from The Childcare Answer Book with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.
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