Moms

8 Charlotte agencies for finding child care

From live-in to babysitter....here’s a run down of local agencies that help parents find and place child care providers.
From live-in to babysitter....here’s a run down of local agencies that help parents find and place child care providers. Getty Images/iStockphoto

With spring is right around the corner, the task of summer child care is in the air. A quick Google search reveals that Charlotte has a variety of agencies to choose from that help you find, vet, and place sitters ranging from temporary care to a Governess (yeah, like the Sound of Music).

The amount of information out there is overwhelming, and sifting through each of their websites trying to find what you need can be tedious. Thankfully, the nanny realm is something that I am happy to support, and with that, I have compiled a list of 8 agencies that pass inspection.

Each of the agencies below made the list because they have user-friendly websites, give you a ton of information up front, and have customer reviews for you to check out in the process. All agency reviews are complete with what they help with, what their registration fee is (if any), and a breakdown of their placement fee structure. Plus, other notable highlights and my two cents.

Purple Nanny

Helps with: Full Time, Part Time, Temp care, Mommy’s Helper, Overnight/Weekend coverage, Summer Nanny, Nanny Share

Registration/Application Fee: $200

Placement fees: Permanent, Summer, and Temporary Nannies = 8% of Annual Salary ($1000 minimum)

Live-in Nanny = 8% of Annual Salary ($3000 minimum)

Nanny Share = $4000 total ($2000/family)

Other highlights: Purple Nanny provides subs for when your Nanny is sick or on vacation. All nannies are 21 years of age or older.

Thoughts: The website does a good job of explaining the process however it is unclear what the fee system is for any placement other than the 3 categorizes explained above

First Choice Sitters

Helps with: Full Time, Part Time, Occasional and Overnight

Registration/Application Fee: $75 one-time fee if you prepare the paperwork yourself OR $125 one-time to have FCS handle your registration

Placement fees: Referral fees are based upon the amount the family uses the service and families need to talk directly to FCS to get a referral fee quote. *Note: you will be charged a referral fee every time you schedule a sitter

If you are using FCS to hire a Full Time sitter, you have three options:

1) You can pay regular placement fees for each day of use

2) You can pay a lump sum of $1500

3) Pay by quarter for Nannies working 35+ hours per week.

Other Highlights: Minimum of 4 hours per job. There is a set rate for the sitters depending on how many children will be present. There is a one-week advance notice required for jobs.

Thoughts: The pricing structure seems very confusing, especially when it comes to just the regular referral fees. However, it is super helpful that the sitter rates are set and available on the website.

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Hopeful Nannies

Helps with: Full Time, Part Time, Nanny Share, Summer Temp, Babysitting (3 different membership levels)

Registration/Application Fee: $200 *no fee for signing up for a Babysitting Membership

Placement fees:

Full Time & Part Time Nanny = 8% annual salary

Nanny Share = $4000 total ($2000 per family)

Temporary Nanny (assigned for 3 months or less) = $450

Babysitter Membership

Silver Member = $175 per year, includes 40 bookings (~$4/booking)

Gold Member = $225 per year, includes 60 bookings (~$3.75/booking)

Platinum Member = $275 per year, includes 90 bookings (~$3/booking)

Other Highlights: There is an online portal for booking so you can reserve a sitter easily from your computer. Sitters have their own profiles and post their own rates. You have a 24 hour book/cancel window so you can book or cancel last-minute without worrying about additional fees!

Thoughts: The website is one of the best I have seen, specifically, how it explains their different options and what is included in each package. Being able to book online really changes the game.

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Georgia’s Dream Nannies

Helps with: Everything. I would list every single one out but I will spare you the reading. From a Mother’s Helper to a Governess to a Chef, most everything is covered.

Registration/Application Fee: $349

Placement fees:

Personal Assistant/Nanny/Helper/Newborn care = 12% of annual salary ($3299 minimum)

Housekeeper/Nanny Manager/House or Estate Manager/Governess/Chef = 15% of annual salary ($3299 minimum)

Live-in Nanny = 20% of annual salary ($3500 minimum)

Live-Out Temp Nanny (3 months or less) = $1500 flat fee

Other Highlights: Offices in Florida and Georgia. A wide range of upscale services. Lots of coverage in the press and have received various awards.

Thoughts: 3 locations can make things easy if you frequently travel to FL or GA and need a sitter. This is one of the most expensive agencies but has a wide variety of services that other agencies in Charlotte don’t offer.

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Charlotte’s Best Nanny

Helps with: Live-In, Full Time, Part Time, Temporary or Summer, Full and Part Time Personal Assistant, Night and Weekend Babysitting, Overnight care

Registration/Application Fee: $199

Placement Fees:

Live-In = $2000

Full Time = $1500

Part Time = $700

Temp/Summer = $500

Nights & Weekend Babysitter = $50 per placement, up to 10 hours per placement

Overnight = Varies by job

Highlights: This service specifically has rates for holiday placements (average = $200). You can pay $300 for them to just run a full background check on someone you found outside the agency.

Thoughts: This is one of the most straight-forward pricing model I have seen. The $50 Babysitting fee due upon placement (every time) is a little steep compared to others.

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Carolina Nannies & Sitters

Helps with: Long term, Summer, Temporary, Nights/Occasional sitter

Registration/Application fees:

Long term = $300 (good for 1 calendar year and is credited towards your placement fee)

Summer = $100 (credited towards placement fee)

Annual Temp Membership = $160 for the first year, $100 per year thereafter

Special Rates Membership = $0

Placement fees:

Live-Out Nanny Manager = 12.5% of first year’s gross salary or $1800 (whichever is greater)

Live-In Nanny = 12% of first year’s gross salary or $2000 (whichever is greater)

Domestic = 15% of first year’s gross salary or $1500 (whichever is greater)

Summer = $650 (including the $100 credit)

Plus two Membership options:

Annual Temp Membership - Gain access to their pool of sitters as often as needed at a discounted rate

$17 fee paid per weekday, evening and weekend per use of sitter (minimum 4 hours)

$20 fee paid for overnight coverage

$25 fee paid for less than 24 hour notice

2) Special Rates Membership - For families who only need assistance a few times per year.

$35 fee paid per weekday, evening and weekend per use of sitter (minimum 4 hours)

$40 fee paid for overnight coverage

Highlights: There is a free option!

Thoughts: The Temporary Annual Membership breaks down to a pretty decent deal. Having the option to book coverage whenever you need it for only $100/year (after the first year) is pretty legit.

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Babysitters of Charlotte

Help with: Full Time, Part Time, Hotel Babysitting, Event Childcare

Registration/Application Fees: *None listed on the website

Placement Fees:

Full Time = 3 different options ranging from 10% of annual salary to $1000 flat fee

Part Time = 3 different options, ranging from 10% of annual salary to $500 flat fee

*It should be noted that the difference in packages is due to the extensiveness of their vetting process. A Full Time Nanny places at $1000 is not vetted as thoroughly as the package that changes 10% of annual salary

Date Night Sitters = hourly rate dependent upon amount of children (starting at $16/hour for 1-2 children, all the way up to $35/hour for 6 children). There is a 3 hour minimum per job.

Event Childcare = $25 per child with a minimum of 5 children for 4 hours then, $5 per child additional after the 4 hours.

Highlights: There is an obvious focus on the different ways they interview and vet sitters that (I know) is greatly appreciated.

Thoughts: I think they are the only people in Charlotte advertising event childcare as well as hotel care. Pretty innovative! Seeing that they don’t charge a placement fee for Date Night Sitters, the hourly rates are reasonable.

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Olive You Nanny

Helps with: Full Time (Live-In and Out), Part Time, Summer, Temporary, Permanent Occasional, Nanny Share, Night Nurse

Registration/Application Fee: $200

Placement Fees:

Full-Time (more than 29 hours/week) - $1800

Full-Time Live In - $2250

Part Time (up to 29 hours/week) - $1350

Night Nurse - $1250

Nanny Share - $2200

Summer/Temporary - $750

Permanent Sitter - $500

Reference/Background Check Only - $350 (no consult required)

Highlights: Olive You also offers other consulting services that can aid your search if you don’t want to fully commit to a placement service. Other locations include Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, and Milwaukee.

Thoughts: Their pricing is super straightforward which makes it easy to do the math. Also, they have a blog that is up-to-date and full of content.

Abby Clark is a connector and entrepreneur who loves to spend her free time supporting the nannies and families of Charlotte through her resource, Charlotte Babysitters Club.

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