How to find a nanny?

baby bottleNew parents S and J reached out to us looking for some suggestions on finding childcare. They're having a tough time getting into their daycare programs of choice, so they're looking for a nanny. Eventually they may also be needing sitters. So...

How do you find a nanny -- or baby sitter -- in the Capital Region?

They'd welcome specific names (of course), but also suggestions about where to look.

Got a suggestion? Please share!

photo: Flickr user nerissa's ring (cc)


I've heard great things about SitterCity for reliable, consistent care.

If you're lucky, someone you know will share their sitter's name. But its a competitive gig, finding someone you trust to watch your kiddos and keeping them around (and available).

While I'm a huge Craigslist fan, it doesn't take long to be mortified by the childcare ads.

I've tried a TON of sources for childcare... and here's what I've found.

Craigslist: I've actually found a few really good sitters through Craigslist (my first nanny, then our part-time sitter (both of which have moved on to new cities/new jobs) and a local high school girl who watches the kids on occasion). You have to weed through, but you get a pretty good gist of what people are like from their replies. I tried this, but I never found a nanny that fit our situation. The membership costs start to rack-up after a while, too.

Local College Job Board: My husband is a professor, and he suggested we put a listing up with the school's career center and student life office. We found some GREAT candidates (mostly graduate students who were available during the day until about 6pm), but ended up going with the nanny from Craigslist. The school my husband taught at during our search has a great early childhood education program, so we had some amazing candidates who really wanted the job come along.

Good luck with your search! It's such a hard process finding someone to trust with your baby/babies!

I second Sitter City! I've used it in Boston, NYC, and Albany. I have the best sitter ever for my three kids and found her on Sitter City.

I have tried several services and found that SitterCity give me the best choices for babysitter/nanny. Lots of college students and stay at home mom on the site. You can run a background check on any sitter/nanny you are interested in. Membership can be monthly or yearly.

Also, words of mouth is a great way to find a trustworthy nanny. I have found a long term nanny through talking to another parents. She (the nanny) is now working for another friend of mine.

Using a service like New England Nanny is another way. But, my personal experience has been hit-and-miss. Some great sitters but some are not so great.

Make sure you interview and screen the potential candidate before making commitment even when you are in a pinch.

Looking for babysitters, we posted an online ad with The College of St. Rose Career Center. Within 24 hours we had heard from about 10 excellent, qualified candidates.

I have a number of friends who's used Au Pair in America with a great deal of success.

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