How To Find The Perfect Nanny In 5 Simple Steps

Allison Gouskos 


May 2024

Are you considering hiring a nanny to join your family’s team? Whether you and your partner both work and need an extra set of hands around the house, you stay at home but would like to have some free time, or are a single parent and need someone to help care for your children, hiring a nanny is a serious, but exciting endeavor! It takes time, consideration, lots of research and perhaps many interviews to find the perfect match. After all, the person you hire will become part of your household. You’re trusting them with your most precious gift(s), so you
should approach the search for your perfect nanny wisely and carefully. But never fear, Great British Nannies is here to help break down the somewhat intimidating process and help you along the way with our 5 simple steps for finding your family’s perfect nanny!

Here Are Our 5 Simple Steps For Finding The Perfect Nanny:

1. Start Your Search Early

Giving yourself adequate time to find a nanny that suits your requirements can take time. If you have a deadline in mind, we recommend starting three months beforehand to ensure an unhurried decision. While agencies like GBN vet their candidates and have often worked with them before, it’s difficult to say if someone will be a great fit for your particular family.
Waiting until the last minute may leave you choosing someone solely based on availability. Be especially mindful of this if conducting your search without the help of an agency.

By allowing enough time, you will have the chance to conduct proper interviews and trial
day(s). A trial is a combination of interview and training before a job offer is made or any
paperwork has been signed. They can last for a day or even up to a week, and consist of a
potential nanny coming to your home or a designated location to meet your family, have
hands-on learning experience regarding the role and requirements, and a trial gives you an
opportunity to see how you work together. This is a great chance to see firsthand how a
candidate would fit into your family’s team and is an important part of hiring a nanny.

2. What Do You Really Want In A Nanny?

rota nanny

Hiring a nanny is a very important decision for any family. Whoever you hire will spend many hours with you and your children, maybe even traveling with you on holidays or living
in your home. So when considering your needs and requirements, it’s crucial to be extremely honest with yourself and to be outright and thorough in your search.

Be honest with yourself. It may be helpful to think of your family’s values and favorite
activities. You should also consider your children’s characteristics. Are they shy? Very
active? Prone to tantrums? Interested in art or animals? When looking for a nanny, you
should search for someone who compliments your overall family characteristics, as well as
those of your individual child(ren). On one hand, it can be beneficial to search for a nanny
with similar hobbies and interests. But perhaps you can expand your children’s world view
and experience of others outside the family by looking for someone with different values or
hobbies. If your family runs 5ks every morning and goes on skiing holidays regularly, your
children are already well exposed to sport and may get a more well-rounded experience
with an artsy nanny or someone with a calm demeanor. If you hate cooking, but want your
children to have healthy, planned-out meals, then it would be wise to hire a nanny who
enjoys cooking or hire a private chef, if that’s within your family’s means.


It’s equally important to be honest with any agencies you work with, or on your personal
job listings for the position. Finding a great nanny can be difficult and it’s often competitive,
but don’t forego honesty to broaden your candidate pool as it won’t serve you or your
family in the long run. Don’t fret about the idea of not finding a candidate. If you’re honest
and outright with your requirements, it will be exponentially more likely you’ll find that
perfect match!

This is where you can contact an agency, like Great British Nannies, to help you find the
perfect nanny. Through the agency’s screening processes, they will have thorough
knowledge about the candidates and can conduct more in-depth matching processes, so
you won’t have to weed through incompatible candidates. Only the most suitable matches
will make it to you.

Remember, your nanny will become part of your family’s team. The more aligned your
needs, values, and characteristics are, the happier everyone will be!

3. Find A Reputable Agency (Like GBN!)

Great British Nannies Logo

We’ve already mentioned agencies a couple times, but why exactly should you consider using an agency? As we’ve mentioned, a reputable one will already have screened and vetted potential candidates before they can join the agency’s roster. They can cross-match your needs and requirements and ensure your peace of mind regarding safety.

We would advise not to spread yourself too thinly among agencies. There are many
reputable international agencies available. Or perhaps you might want a boutique option,
like Great British Nannies. One of GBN’s many great offerings is that the owner has worked
in childcare for many years herself and can provide unique insight into the search for a
great nanny! In the end, remember to do your research and go with agencies that resonate
with you the most to build a solid professional relationship. If you choose to use an agency,
they will be a big part of the nanny hiring process and it’s important that your goals align
with what they can offer.

Typically, an agency requires potential candidates to first submit a resume and perhaps
some recommendations and even a headshot (although headshots are not required).
Information such as hobbies, extracurriculars, and background is also collected. Once a
potential nanny is approved, they provide legal identification, often a police background
check, and any relevant degrees or certifications. Once these have been approved by the
agency, then the candidate can be added to their database.

Through this detailed screening process, the agency learns enough information about their
nanny candidates to enable your smooth search. Additionally an agency will sometimes
provide legal documents such as an employment contract, or a template for an
employment contract, according to the agreements made between you and your new
nanny. It is always advisable to go over any legally binding contracts with your legal counsel
before signing. Acting as a middle-man, they can also alleviate some of the “awkwardness”
of contract negotiations and any issues that may arise (although hopefully the latter is

Every agency has a different payment structure. Usually a percentage of the nanny’s salary
is paid by the employer to the agency directly. As you can see, they provide an invaluable
service to make your search for a wonderful nanny as easy as possible. We’d say it’s well
worth it! It’s also perfectly fine to search on your own. Online or through friends and word
of mouth are two great options, but please do your research.


4. Start Interviewing Potential Candidates

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a small handful of candidates, it’s time to start interviews. This is an exciting step because you’re almost there! Whether using an agency or
conducting your own search, be sure to check candidates’ backgrounds and references. Bear in mind, police and background checks can take time, so give your potential nanny appropriate notice to gather the necessary documents.

nanny interview

Before conducting a trial, families often choose to hold an interview in a neutral, public
location or in their private offices. This is a matter of your personal comfort, to be agreed
on with the candidate. After the initial interview, you can arrange a trial through your
agency (if using one), or on your own (if searching independently). Note that trials are paid
work days and should not be seen as a freebie.

You’re under no obligation to invite anyone to a trial. If you think a candidate isn’t the right
fit after the initial interview, don’t worry about offending anyone or feel obligated. It’s
perfectly ok to politely say “thank you for your time but I don’t think we’re the best fit”. It
will save everyone time and frustration down the road! This applies to after trials, as well.

And finally, be true to yourself and your family’s needs. Present yourself to attract the right
nanny for your family. Consider whether you would like a nanny who mirrors your family’s
values and hobbies or someone who can introduce new hobbies and values. Don’t forget,
they will be spending a lot of time with your family and you should like each other’s


5. Make A Great Offer

A family can miss out on their dream nanny by making the wrong offer. It’s a competitive market, and there are certain salary expectations, as with any professional role. Remember, your nanny is not a babysitter. This is their career and livelihood, and your
offer should reflect that knowledge.

Nannies are given PTO, holidays, transport costs included, often receive housing stipends,
usually have set schedules (unless otherwise agreed), and often have healthcare included.
For example, if you require 24/7 care, your offer should reflect that and not a typical 9-5

One of the other benefits of using a great boutwiue agency like Great British Nannies is
they can help you determine a competitive and fair offer based on your requirements and
the nanny’s experience and skills. They take the burden of any awkward salary and benefits
negotiations off your plate so it won’t interfere with the relationship between you and your
new nanny in the future.

Regardless, it’s recommended to research fair salaries based on similar roles to the one
you’re offering, as well as your required schedule and duties. Your offer will also look
different if you’re hiring a nanny with one year of experience as opposed to someone with
ten years of experience under their belt. Your offer reflects the value you place on the role
and should take into account the current market as well. Remembering this will help you
find (and keep) your perfect nanny!


Well there you have it, how to find the perfect nanny in 5 simple steps!

1. Start Your Search Early
2. Consider What You Really Want
3. Find A Reputable Agency
4. Start Interviews
5. Make A Great Offer

Finding the perfect nanny for your precious child(ren) can be both an exciting and
daunting task. This person will be joining your family as a team member and you’ll
be spending lots of time together. It’s important to have a solid foundation of trust
and similar values and goals to ensure a great match and a successful experience
together. Great British Nannies is here to help you find your perfect nanny! Be sure
to check our blog for more tips and how-tos while navigating your nanny