Child Care Agencies

Choosing a childcare agency can be difficult at the best of times. After all, you have an awful lot of choice out there. So how do you go about making your decision as to which childcare agency Waterford  you should use in your search for your ideal childcare solution?

Well there are a lot of things for you to consider. Just a small amount of research will show you just how many different options you have available. You could go it alone using online Nanny and Child Care search sites, or you could pay huge fees to ‘exclusive’ agencies promising only the very highest levels of quality. Of course there are many other options that fall between the two.

Some families just simply cannot afford to pay the fees charged by some agencies, others could afford to but simply don’t want to. After all, childcare is expensive enough without having to add additional expense to the situation. But do you get what you pay for? If you engage an agency charging expensive fees for a top class ‘exclusive’ service are you going to find the best possible Nanny for your family?

Unfortunately the answer is not necessarily. If only things were only that simple childcare would be much less of a headache. A family that I worked with recently raised a very valid point in advising that throughout the years of them employing Nannies, they have come to realise that the Nannies that look best on paper, with the most qualifications and masses of experience, are not always the best Nannies in practice. After all, every family wants something different from their Nanny. What suits another family perfectly may not suit your family at all.

So what about going it alone? Surely it cannot be too difficult to find your own Nanny? At least that way you are in total control. Well this approach works for many families. They can place their own adverts, specifying exactly that they are looking for in a Nanny and own the full process from beginning to end. No middle man to deal with and no expensive fees to pay. It sounds like the perfect solution!

The problem is however, that it rarely turns out to be as simple as it sounds. A lot of time and effort can go in to finding a Nanny meeting your requirements and many families just simply don’t have the time to commit to it. There is also the issue of where and how you advertise. Yes, many Nannies will review local classifieds and online advertising sites and some will register for online childcare search sites, but certainly not all. Many Nannies choose only to register with agencies, meaning that families looking for their own childcare often don’t have access to some of the most suitable applicants.

However, many families do manage to find the person that they are looking for this way and are pleased to avoid the costs involved with a childcare agency. But what do you do to ensure that the person that you have found is honest and trustworthy and safe to be left with your children? Well that’s when things can get a little more difficult.

If you work in recruitment then you are likely to be very familiar with completing background checks and referencing, However if not, this could just prove to be a stretch too far – in fact where on earth do you start, and just how long will it all take? This is the time that the Child Care Agency could have come in useful!

There are other options however that can combine the best of both worlds. Some Childcare Agencies and online search sites now offer a stand-alone ‘Background Check’ meaning you can find your Nanny yourself and then instruct an agency to complete only the checking process for you. This can give you the peace of mind you need while still substantially reducing the cost involved, giving you a blended solution that works.

It’s certainly worth taking your time to fully research your options before making your final decision. Even if you are sure that you would prefer to instruct a Childcare Agency to recruit your Nanny for you, there are enormous variations in the services and costs on offer. Some childcare agencies charge a registration fee before they even begin to search for your Nanny, where as others don’t charge a registration fee at all. Some charge a percentage of your Nanny’s salary as their fee where as others have a fixed fee structure. And as for cost, some agencies charge thousands where as others charge significantly cheaper fees. Don’t always presume that standards or quality will be higher just because the fee is higher. There are very good quality agencies charging reasonable and affordable fees that are worthy of your attention.

If you do decide to find your Nanny yourself, research your options in terms of background checks before you begin your process. If you find a Nanny that does not have a valid Enhanced CRB Disclosure in place you will need to find an umbrella agency that can complete one for you. It’s worth understanding that this can take around 6 weeks so allow yourself plenty of time with your search or ensure that you specify in your advert that you are looking for CRB checked applicants only.

You also need to consider some additional practicalities such as setting up contracts, negotiating salaries, and organising payroll. These are all areas that a good childcare agency will guide you through so if you are sure that you don’t want to engage an agency; it is worth thoroughly researching these areas before you begin your search.

Whichever approach you take, your interview with your applicant can be the most important factor. As well as taking the time to understand their experience and qualifications, really take some time just to learn more about them and their character. Employing a Nanny is very much like inviting someone in to your family. They will spend an awful lot of time with you, in your home and obviously with your children. The best qualified and experienced Nannies just might not be the right fit. The most important thing is that you find someone who you can get along with. Someone who has the approach that you are looking for and can give your children the care that you want for them. After all, as parents the general rule for us all is that if our children are safe, happy and well cared for, we are happy!

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