Some of you have asked me about my experience with hiring a nanny through OC Nannies so I thought I would share it with everyone. As you may know, my baby less than a year old and I was looking for someone I could trust for a long time. I finally decided to go through OC Nannies for the peace of mind of having a nanny whose background would be checked, references checked, CPR, etc, all that good stuff. Let me start with the good and bad.
The person I worked through - Maria Fruto is a gem. She was so easy to work with and extremely thoughtful. If you contact her, please let her know that Windy referred you.
You get your nanny's background info in detail: SSN, fingerprints, identification copy, reference letters, CPR/First Aide/TB credentials, etc.
We were able to interview in total 7 nannies and Maria is open to having you interview as many as you feel you need to in order to find a good match. At our first group of interviews, we had a mixed experience. The agency has people to help with the interview if translations are needed. The nannies ranged from not speaking any English (we don't speak Spanish) who knew what we were looking to pay and for what hours and were ok with it to nannies who spoke perfect English but who tried to bargain on the days/hours and some about the rate we were paying on the spot. This was a little annoying as we felt that the agency should have pre-screened candidates who were comfortable with our rate.
The first nanny that we agreed on, who was our second choice, because the first wouldn't work the hours we needed was so-so. She lacked newborn/infant experience so we needed to make a switch quickly. The agency helped us make a smooth switch to a new nanny in a matter of three days. Also, you can make a switch within 90 days without having to repay the agency their finders fee. Our second nanny is much better.
The bad: there's not much - just the cost.
The OC Nannies finders fee is very high especially in this economy. They charge you a full month of what the nanny will cost you. For example, if you are paying $1800 a month, your fee to the agency is $1800. Also, make sure they charge you a "monthly" and not a "weekly" rate as they will try and charge you extra days over and above the regular month. Hard to explain, but just trust me on this one.
Most importantly, I thought I'd offer someone on this list some help. My nanny, who we are delighted by, has a friend who is also a nanny in the Irvine/Tustin/Newport area who just became available. She would prefer to work in Irvine or very close to it. Her name is Nora and she has not yet signed up with an agency so you could meet and interview her right away to see if you'd like her to work for you without the finder's fee. She experienced, drives, speaks more Spanish than English
(but understands a lot of English), and is very good with kids (from newborn and up) from what my nanny tells me. She has plenty of experience and detailed references. She is good at establishing good childhood patterns and keeps kids on a comfortable sleeping schedule. You can call Nora directly at: 714-616-9802.
I wished I had gotten this type of info before finding our nanny, but maybe one of you will benefit from it.