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Recommendation for a nanny/nannying agency in Canberra?

By calligraphy - 4 October 2011 19

Hi Canberrans

Can anyone recommend a good nannying agency? A few of the mums in my mother’s group are thinking of hiring a nanny and splitting the cost rather than dealing with the nightmare of childcare centre  waiting lists, etc.

I’ve checked the yellow pages but there are not many results. A google search comes up with all kinds of nonsense.

Any recommendations much appreciated – as are any experiences you may have had.

What’s Your opinion?

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19 Responses to
Recommendation for a nanny/nannying agency in Canberra?
kazari 9:04 pm 06 Oct 11

we love love love our family daycarer – exactly the situation you describe. she started with her mother’s group, looks after 4 boys all roughly the same age, and I could not be happier.
i know people have mixed experiences with family day care, but I got the best one 🙂

Pooks 8:51 pm 05 Oct 11

I work in a day care centre and I love my job. I can also understand how some parents prefer a Nanny for their children.

There are positive and negative aspects to both.

Some of the most difficult children at my center have had a Nanny. They are very wary of new situations and have a difficult time relating to other kids. Daycare is wonderful because it teaches children the importance of group interaction.

I think it’s important to get kids used to group situations and not being the center of attention all the time. How will they react when they start primary school?

I-filed 6:36 pm 05 Oct 11

I expect there are regulations that would require a group nannying situation to be conducted in houses that meet the family day care standards. Remember that child in WA who died falling back through a dining room window during day care a few years ago? I’m pretty sure the windows in all the houses in your group would need to be altered to toughened glass. Either the regulations were changed after that death, or the child minder concerned was breaking the rules.
Or you’d have to nominate one of your houses and upgrade it, and all the childcare would have to happen in that house. In which case, might as well use a registered family day care provider …

Classified 5:21 pm 05 Oct 11

+1 on family day care sucking. Our carer was an idiot, and we had apparently got ‘one of the good ones’.

gumby34 5:08 pm 05 Oct 11

Over the years we have used just about every permutation of child care on offer. Between child care, family day care, stay-at-home mum and nanny. (couldn’t afford the stay-at-home dad and grandparent weren’t a long term option)

Nothing is cheap and everything comes with pros and cons. You need to look at your individual situation and also at the type of children you have. If I had put one of my kids in childcare every day she would have freaked and no amount of saving money was worth that. We later found out she had Aspergers. Personally I hated family day care for a range of reasons mostly to do with quality of care but I am sure there are good ones out there. Just not when I was needing them.

The Nannies we had came from and we enjoyed 3 different people while our children where little. They were all wonderful and one still comes on family trips with our teenages.

Compared to childcare, nannies are not not as cost effective but other things make up for it. You can have a direct say in how you want your children’s day to work. Very important if you have a child with special needs. What kind of discipline is acceptable etc. They are also working in your home environment which is way less stress when the boss gives you a last minute paper that just has to be done now! They will often prepare meals for the family which can be the difference between walking in the door and spending time with the kids or walking in the door and cooking dinner.

IMHO nothing beats the stay-at- home mum for family life but we haven’t been able to do that very often and finances etc often have a big say in this.

Not matter which way you go I hope it works out as it is stressful trying to decide when to go back to work and how to make it work.

calligraphy 4:39 pm 05 Oct 11

Thanks for the comments. I’m a bit taken aback to discover that hiring nannies with child care qualifications means I can’t qualify for the child care rebate. Why not? They are paid professionals after all, and surely not much different from a worker in a child care centre.

With that in mind, I don’t think I could afford to go down the nanny route, even after splitting the cost with two other families. Perhaps in-home family day care might be the next best option.

Rachie303 2:04 pm 05 Oct 11

Have you had a look at the website? The mychild website is Australia’s online child care portal. On this website you will find information on different types of child care and how to get assistance with the cost of child care. You can also search a database to find child care centres in your local area. In many cases, you will also be able to find the services’ vacancy and fee information.

crackerpants 1:20 pm 05 Oct 11

In all honesty, and as painful as it is to get in, I’d probably stick with daycare, for a number of reasons.

How many mums/babies would be in the group? I can’t imagine any nanny wanting to take on more than 2 or 3. There are legal limits on how many children can be cared for in one home…I think in the ACT it is 4. Maybe 5. I should think the same regulations which govern the provision of Family Daycare would apply.

If your nanny is sick, all of you will have to take the day off work (in addition to all the days you will have to take off when your own child is sick, which can be a lot!!) – the same is true for family daycare.

How many of you want to work part time? Full time? Will all the part-timers work the same days? What happens when one of you wants to change from full to part-time, or vice versa, or has another child?

Whose house will be offered up? What will the ground rules be? Will there be enough room for 4+ portacots, high chairs etc? Will everyone chip in for the costs of complying with the childcare at home regulations (laminating windows etc)?

Will the nanny provide a full programme of activities for the children?

I do know of a group of mums who managed to coordinate their working arrangements so that 2 mums cared for 4 babies on 2 days, and the other two cared for the babies on the other 2 days, and was obviously only workable for a short period.

I really balked at sending my daughter to formal daycare. The thought of it made me sick, and waiting lists were a nightmare (and still are). But it is BRILLIANT. They provide absolutely everything – meals, nappies, lovely carers that babies can form that oh-so-important attachment to, friendship, play, and a full educational programme. I was fortunate to get my son into the same centre, and they both love it. And I mean, LOVE it.

If you put your name down at a bunch of centres when you were pregnant, I would persist, call them every 2 weeks so they know you’re still keen, visit them etc etc…even if you go ahead with a nanny, it’s good to have a back-up. Consider family daycare as an option too.

Clown Killer 11:39 am 05 Oct 11

If you have the room in your house the Au Pair option is great. We went down that track for around three years when our kids were starting school and shared our home with a number of wonderful young women from around the world – France, China, UK and the USA. Admittedly it’s not for everyone, but when it works it can be genuinely rewarding.

In our instance we provided a room, all meals at home, use of a dedicated vehicle and $200 a week ‘pocket money’ and considered that we were getting an absolute bargain.

madamcholet 9:17 am 05 Oct 11

I looked into this when my son was born, but figured it was too hard, given the accounting involved, i.e. paying someone’s salary, recouping money from the other parties, tax obligations etc. Add to that the fact that someone has to volunteer their home for all the shared kids, so your child may still be spending their days out of home – which for me defeated the purpose.

It also may involve providing a roof over the head of the nanny, although I understand there are tax breaks for this. I don’t think it’s really any cheaper or easier than childcare. You can’t claim the child care tax rebate ($7500 max) for nannies though.

Good nannies are really hard to find and keep – I was one once, in London and Sydney, although freely admit it was not going to be a career – which is how I think many feel as they get .older

KeenGolfer 3:52 pm 04 Oct 11

Another viable option is to get an AuPair from overseas, typically Europe. Give them free board and food and pay them pocket money of around $150 week depending on how many kids you have, how much extra stuff they do like clean up etc. Our family has used 5 AuPairs over 3 years or so and each girl has been excellent. Highly recommended.

Joe Canberran 2:59 pm 04 Oct 11

Try the ACT Legislative Assembly, although lacking in positive reviews from other clients they do very well as promoting themselves as a nanny state

ahk 2:52 pm 04 Oct 11

I have been working in Canberra as a part-time nanny for the last 2 years. I got all my jobs through I have a number of friends who also do this sort of work, and they have all found their jobs through findababysitter too. It is free for babysitters to sign up to the website, but I think there is a fee for parents. I highly recommend this site though, I know of people in Sydney and Melbourne who use it as well, always reliable.

pink little birdie 2:48 pm 04 Oct 11

try the find a babysitter website. I got my nanny job from there. Though lots of nanny people might charge extra for multiple families as a regular gig.

BethiePrice 2:33 pm 04 Oct 11

Hi Calligraphy, I researched this a few weeks ago. The only company I could find in Canberra was the Dial an Angel company. They don’t have Nanny’s on a full time basis only as and when needed. I completely agree with you, I’m sick of waiting lists and such as well. I couldn’t find anywhere else but I gave up after hitting numerous dead ends…good luck!

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