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If you're thinking about hiring a nanny for the first time, give some thought to the strengths you're looking for. Do you need someone creative and funny to entertain the kids, someone strict and no-nonsense, or a nanny with a personality that falls within these two spectrums? Don't rush into hiring a nanny. Take your time to find a good fit for your family's needs. Unless you already have someone in mind, maybe on a reference from a good friend, your first point of contact is going to be through an ad or an online profile. In fact, online sites like nannies4hire have a great reputation and offer you the chance to narrow down your choices based on whether you want to hire a nanny full-time, part-time, live-in, live-out, etc.
Another great thing about sites like this is that it's free to look. Consider it a lot like window shopping. You can scan a limited number of profiles to get a sense of who you might want to contact. To get contact information on any of the nannies, you then have to subscribe as a member. The level of services you get depends on whether you choose a premier, platinum, or gold subscription. What's the difference? Basically, the more you spend, the more you get. For $299 you get 99 days of service including comprehensive background checks. By the way…background checks are a good idea and if you've never done them before, it might be worth it to you to have the pros handle the details.
Finding the perfect nanny is like finding a hidden treasure, just make sure you're hunting for quality, not fool's gold.