[Parentsgroup-list] nanny suggestions

Andrea Heberlein heberlein at wjh.harvard.edu
Wed Sep 1 23:45:58 EDT 2010

We found our nanny through Craig's List as well, but did use  
nannytaxes.com (i.e. HomeWork Solutions) to take care of tax paperwork  
for us (getting an EIN, preparing but not filing paperwork-- you can  
pay more $ to have them file as well but that didn't seem worth it,  
and filing hasn't been hard once they send you the paperwork).  That  
website also has lists of recommended interview questions which we  
relied on to construct our own lists.  Not everyone wants to be paid  
aboveboard, however, so you'll need to sort that out for yourself.

(We also found a bunch of people (and interviewed several of them)  
through care.com and sittercity.com, which have membership fees but do  
some pre-screening and background checks.  We just  clicked best with  
the person we found via Craig's List.  We'd actually hired someone via  
care.com, but stipulated a "trial week" in our contract with her, and  
after a week it was very clear to both her and us that it wasn't  
working out; just very different styles and expectations, in ways we  
didn't know to look for when we were interviewing.  With our second  
hire things went very smoothly from the start and it's been great for  
the 8 months we've employed her.)

We also checked references by phone and did a CORI (background check)  
ourselves; the forms can be downloaded online here: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopsterminal&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Crime+Prevention+%26+Personal+Safety&L2=Background+Check&L3=Criminal+Offender+Record+Information+%28CORI%29&sid=Eeops&b=terminalcontent&f=chsb_cori_forms&csid=Eeops 

We paid $15/hour (gross, not net) for hours when she was watching one  
child, and $20/hour for hours when she was watching two (when our  
older child was home from school), which seemed within the ballpark.   
Nanny shares make this much more affordable, especially if you have  
one child ($20 pre-tax is just $10/kid-hour).  Basically my post-tax  
postdoc salary is entirely consumed by our nanny's gross salary, again  
including employer tax + benefits (we contribute towards her health  
insurance with a monthly lump sum payment, though this is not legally  

We found several people interested in nanny shares via Harvard's child  
care message board (http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k13666&pageid=icb.page74982 
; log-in may be required), but since it was for just part of a year  
and we had the complication of needing older-child pick-up/care, we  
ended up going solo.  Our daughter just started daycare this week, but  
we had a very positive experience with our nanny and I would  
definitely do it again.

(postdoc, psychology)

On Sep 1, 2010, at 10:44 PM, Ian Stokes-Rees wrote:

> On 9/1/10 4:35 PM, Michelle Forman wrote:
>> I am tentatively embarking on a search for a nanny or nanny share for
>> my three year old son. If anyone has suggestions I would be most
>> appreciative.
> We just finished this process.  I found the single most useful single
> source of information was:
> https://www.4nannytaxes.com/
> When I saw how complicated it was going to be to sort out a contract,
> get an EIN, workers comp insurance, tax filing, etc. I went to some
> nanny agencies hoping one of them would do everything for me -- I'd  
> pay
> the agency monthly, they'd make sure someone showed up at the agreed
> times.  No such luck.  The agencies screen the candidates and advance
> people who match your requirements, but everything else is on you.  I
> didn't feel that was worth the $1500 to $3000 they charge.
> We found our Nanny through boston.craigslist.com in Community/ 
> Childcare:
> http://boston.craigslist.org/kid/
> I later found out about "barefootstudent", which I'd try as well ('tho
> there is a $25 fee to contact candidates) if we need a part time nanny
> (some are available F/T).
> Nanny's generally talk about hourly rates and what they mean is their
> "take home" pay.  We were hoping to find someone for about $15 an hour
> (although I know some families in the area who manage to find a  
> nanny at
> $12 an hour).  The person we've ended up with wanted $17 an hour,  
> which
> meant $20 declared, and after the employer taxes/deductions, we're
> paying $22 an hour.  Ouch.  Basically 100% of my wife's postdoc salary
> pays for our nanny.
> I hope you find someone quickly and easily for a good rate and who  
> is a
> good match for you and your son.
> Regards,
> Ian
> PS - It seems many people pay nannys under the table (i.e. don't  
> declare
> them, and the Nanny doesn't pay taxes, thus making it appear they are
> unemployed and in a lower income braket, so eligible for more social
> assistance).  The IRS estimates that 2/3rds of all families do  
> this.  It
> is tax evasion and illegal, and I think it is incredible how educated,
> professional people who can afford a nanny get up in arms about  
> someone
> stealing a $100 GPS (e.g. this just happened to me), but are  
> prepared to
> knowingly defraud the government of thousands of dollars of tax  
> revenue.
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