What's the difference between using an agency and finding your own nanny?

Finding a nanny can be overwhelming for most, and most parents start the journey with a decision of whether they should they use an agency, or explore the process of finding a nanny themselves.  The decision is often made once they weigh up what they value the most between time, effort and costs.  It’s a misconception that you need a nanny agency but in this age of outsourcing, many prefer to hand over the logistics.  Regardless of your situation, making the right decision on this first decision depicts the experience you will have in your nanny search.  It’s important to consider your preferences to make sure you’re making the best decision for you time and money.

Below I’ve broken down the 4 main differences that most parents weigh up when they are making the decision.  



Using an agency will typically be more expensive but it will mean you have professionals to guide and do the work for you.


Searching on your own will be cheaper but takes more of your time. It can also be confusing to navigate the nanny industry.

Time + effort

Having a dedicated team who understands the nanny industry means that you get to sit back and relax as they sort through the resume pile.  Once you receive a shortlist, the agency should have done all the required verification and reference checks.  

The nanny industry can be hard to navigate.  Investing the time to find your own nanny often involves time spent researching to understand how to engage with a nanny.  Pile this on top of having to sort through the applications, it can become overwhelming quickly.  


Agencies will either charge parents a one off placement fee to recruit the nanny or an ongoing hourly rate if they employ the nanny for the family.  Agencies have to cover systems, staff, admin, insurances and all of this is passed on in fees.

Parents can achieve much lower costs by searching for their own nanny.  The only expenses will come once you have found someone and these will be the costs of the nanny’s employment, often saving you $1000s.

Job advertising + posting

Agencies often post their job ads using templates they have built with proven recipes for what will catch a nanny’s attention.  They also have proven methods on large recruitment platforms like Indeed or Seek that can tap into applicants that you wouldn’t normally find on nanny network groups (like childcare educators).  Agencies also have the benefit of an existing network, as some nannies work exclusively for agencies.  The job ads are often general in nature as the matching work is done in the recruiting.   The different style of job posts tends to set a more professional vibe, which results in different methods as they work through the interested applicants.  

The job ads placed by parents  are often less formal, which offers more of a personal touch as nannies consider if the job is a match for them. Families typically post their job ads across social media, especially on nanny+family Facebook groups and it’s usually just a short paragraph, saving a lot of the details to be discussed after they connect with interested nannies. I think nannies within those Facebook groups typically avoid applying for agency work as a preference as many nannies like to represent themselves.  As families and nannies make these private connections, the lead up to interviewing is often much more relaxed than it would be through an agency.

Management + set up

Agencies are well equipped to set up the employment for the nanny once it’s complete.  This once again saves you effort and time whether the agency just sets it up initially or provides ongoing management.  If you pay a placement fee you may find that agencies will leave you to set up on your own, so it’s important to explore where you will take over and if you have the time and resources to do what needs to be done.

This is often the hardest part for parents finding their own nanny.  The confusion around this stage is what results in the (suspected) 80% of the nanny industry being cash in hand.  Unless you run your own business, employment can be difficult but there are companies like Nanny Pay or Boss Nanny who offer different employment solutions.


We offer supporting services for BOTH options.


After 5 years in the industry, I became tired of services only being offered one side of the market.  Don’t get me wrong, we still very much offer recruiting services for families that are time poor, but I’ve spent the last 6 months working on a new solution for parents who are wanting to recruit their own nanny but need to understand the process better in order to find success.  Simply read through both options below and click through to find out how to get started on your preference!

We Find

we find the perfect nanny for you

We’ll recruit a nanny for you, provide support services, and set up the working arrangement.

We’ll manage the entire recruitment for you, from start to finish.  Our expert team will advertise, interview, reference check, negotiate, and help set up the role.

Either you employ the Nanager independently or we’ll employ for you.  From there you pay a one-off placement fee, or an ongoing hourly rate.



You Find

we give you everything you need

A short online course empowering you to find your own nanny and set up a strong long term working relationship.

A digital resource that empowers you to find your own nanny and set up a strong long term working relationship.

Three short modules help you to find your own nanny and set up their employment.  Offering you exclusive resources, downloadable tools, information, and advice along the way.


nanny help


Lauren has spent the last 15 years working with families in the nanny and childcare industry, she’s a qualifed educator and personally nannied for over 70 families.   

In 2017 Lauren founded Nanager.  A nanny agency dedicated to help families make the most out of their nanny arrangements. Nanager has now placed over 100 nanagers with families.  She is dedicated to the art of ensuring matches are compatible, fair and built on strong foundations.

For the past 5 years Lauren has volunteered with the Australian Nanny Association.  This work involved stakeholder meetings to represent the nanny industry with organisations like the ATO, FWO and the Federal Government.  She is an advocate for professional nannies to be paid in fair and legal working arrangements.

Need some extra help to get started? Book in a free half hour phone call to chat through your needs with Lauren.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave us a message and we'll get back to you.

A webform by Podio