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Using the Internet to Search for a Nanny

By Michelle Hainer

When Yin Chang of Glen Ridge, N.J., knew she would need to hire a nanny, she started her childcare search early -- two months before her son was even born. And instead of going to an agency, Chang decided to try her luck first on the Internet.

"So many people told me you could do so much better on your own," says Chang, who decided to focus her search by using online nanny sites. Unfortunately, she didn't find what she was looking for: "I was surprised at the fact that many of these sites don't vet the people who post [their resumes]."

Online nanny listing services can be much faster -- and cheaper -- than going through a brick and mortar agency. But that doesn't mean parents can skip doing their due diligence, says Kathleen Webb, co-founder of 4nannies.com. "You have to be very careful." Here are a few key things to keep in mind when conducting your nanny search online:

Tip No. 1: Use the web to check an agencies' credentials Many parents go online not to find a nanny, but to find a creditable agency that will work offline to screen candidates and to place the best person with their family for a fee. Agencies should ideally belong to the International Nanny Association (INA). A list of members can be found on nanny.org. "This shows that they're willing to be reviewed by their peers," says Webb. Also, peruse a member's site before signing up for the service so you can determine whether they have what you're looking for and the geographic areas they serve, Webb adds.
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