Nannies from the Heartland
Caring, Supportive, Professional Placements
Serving Families and Nannies since 1990

Information for Families - Hiring a Nanny:

  • Benefits for Families

  • Services and Fees

  • The Search Process

  • Requirements for Nannies
  • How to Get Started
  • Additional Resources
  • Hiring a Nanny On Your Own


    Benefits for Families Top of Page

    Most experts agree that if parents cannot be with their children because of career, schooling, or other commitments, the next best option is an in-home child care professional, otherwise known as a nanny. It is an option that has gained increasing popularity because of its heartfelt benefits for both parents and children. Here are a few benefits of in-home care as mentioned by families we've helped:

    • Care in familiar surroundings fosters a sense of security.

    • Complete, individualized attention from consistent caregivers creates an environment for learning and builds self-confidence.

    • Illnesses decrease because exposure to other children's germs is minimized.

    • When children do get sick, parents can still rely on their caregiver.

    • Schedules can be more manageable and days more enjoyable when care is centered around the child's own life and rhythms.

    • Caregivers become a valuable resource for parenting knowledge and a relied upon partner in the family's support network.

    Nannies from the Heartland offers the following advantages:

    Peace of Mind

    Nannies from the Heartland puts your mind at ease. We're experts at recruiting, screening, and qualifying applicants. We provide you with detailed information prior to interviewing so you'll feel comfortable and secure inviting qualified candidates into your home.

    Time to Enjoy
    Families that have previously hired nannies through local advertising, word of mouth and online services tell us they often wasted time talking to unqualified applicants and planning for interviews with people who never showed up. Leave the hassle to us!

    Quality Candidates
    Highly qualified nannies know it is advantageous to work with our agency; we help them find prescreened employers who appreciate their unique talents.

    Satisfaction Guaranteed
    Finding the right fit for your family is of the utmost importance to us. For your peace of mind, we offer a four month free replacement guarantee and a one year extended prorated guarantee on long-term placements; and one month on short-term placements.

    Choosing child care is one of the most personal and important decisions in your life. Let us help make your decision a confident and safe one!

    Using our agency will put your mind at ease. We're experts at recruiting, screening, and qualifying applicants. By interviewing only qualified applicants, you'll have more time to concentrate on what's really important - your family!

    Services and Fees Top of Page

    In-Home Family Consultation includes:

    • Nanny Qualifications - help family understand the qualifications and background of nanny candidates

    • Family Profile - opportunity to personally meet with the family in order to personalize recruitment efforts

    • Job Description - understand the family's needs and develop an individualized realistic job description

    • Compensation Package - develop a competitive salary and benefit package to attract top candidates

    • Hiring Process - discussion of interview process and making a hiring decision based on family's timetable

    Nanny Screening and Referral:

    • Recruitment - online presence, customized job posting on our website, postings on and, referral and returning nannies, yellow pages advertising

    • Detailed Applications - documented full time child care experience, employment history and child care references

    • Personal Interviews - assess child development knowledge, skill sets and ability to work unsupervised in a private home

    • Reference Checks - conduct a telephone interview with references, pose detailed questions and record reference's specific responses

    • Background Checks -  Driving record, ID Searchplus & county and national criminal background checks, national sex offender registry (see below*)

    • Complete Disclosure - detailed and documented candidate information including application, interview notes, copies of reference and background checks provided to family at time of referral

    • Referral - nanny candidates are referred to the family based on their individualized specific needs prior to interviewing in their home

    Additional Services:

    • Support and Consultation - we continue to be available for consultation at any time

    • Playdate List - we help your nanny connect with other nannies to facilitate playdates for your child

    • Annual Picnic - Nannies from the Heartland hosts an annual nanny/child picnic event

    • Quarterly Newsletter - sent to nannies and families and includes child care related articles, recipes, art and craft ideas, announcements, and more

    • Blog with postings as a resource to all families and nannies

    • Temporary Nanny Service - providing as prescreened qualified nannies for as needed days, evenings, weekends or overnights

    • Additional Resources - provided to help families in the interviewing and hiring process (see below)


    Full-time and Part-time Placement Fees and Guarantees:

    We offer two ways for you to get started with the search. An application fee of $150 includes an in-home consultation (highly recommended) and is due before or at the time of the home consultation. A $100 application fee does not include the in-home consultation, and is due when we receive your application. This non-refundable application fee includes a membership ($50 value) in the agency's temporary nanny services. The application fee is your only financial commitment in order to initiate a search with our service.  When you hire a nanny referred to you by our service, you then pay a one time placement fee.


    The $1600 placement fee is for long-term placements and includes a four month free replacement guarantee.

             The $700 minimum placement fee for short-term placements includes a two month free replacement guarantee.
    The guarantee is contingent on the placement fee paid  and a copy of written employment agreement provided to both the nanny and agency within the first seven days of the nanny's employment.
    *ID Searchplus - verifies and checks for contradictory application information by matching a candidate's name, address and Social Security number against TransUnion's credit-reporting database. ID Searchplus delivers current/previous addresses, SSN, birth dates and aliases (all essential identifiers in researching criminal history).

    Driving Records - report of candidate's driving record history. Driving reports are accessed directly through Department of Motor Vehicles ensuring the license status; class, moving violations and restrictions.

    County Criminal Record - 7 year felony/misdemeanor county criminal record searches. Counties are generally selected based on the candidate's residence history, work history and/or school locations during the past 7 years.
    National Sex Offender Public Registry - searches updated registry that is specific to names and addresses of known convicted sex offenders nationwide.
    National Criminal Database - search of proprietary database containing over 149 million records from 88 jurisdiction-sources. Sources include state court repositories, departments of correction, some county courts, and other state level agencies, as well as sex and violent offender records. This search is designed to identify jurisdictions, undisclosed by the applicant, in which they may potentially have a criminal record.                                                                                 

    The Search Process Top of Page

    • To start a search please complete and return the Family Application and Agency/Family Agreement forms. We do not place nannies for part time before or after school jobs.
    • Once we receive your application we will call you.  You have a choice to schedule an in-home consultation or a consultation by phone. 
    • We post your personal job description on our website which we invite you to review and we will customize based on your input.
    • We describe your position to qualified prescreened candidates who we feel will be a "best match" for your family. If they are interested, we forward their detailed applicant file to you.
    • You review candidate files that we email to you and call the applicants ASAP to interview in your home. You and the candidate may choose to schedule a second interview which can be an opportunity for the nanny spend more time with your children.
    • We follow up with you and the candidates to answer any questions, and assist you through the interviewing process.  Most families will interview one to four qualified applicants and make a hiring decision.
    • Once you feel you've found the nanny for your family, you make her a job offer.  Again, we're available to assist you through this process.
    • If she accepts your offer, you meet to finalize the employment agreement.  We provide you with an employment agreement template.
    • We will invoice you for the placement fee, payable within the first week of the nanny's employment.

    Well qualified nanny candidates could be interviewing with several families in a short period of time. You don't want to lose the opportunity to hire a great nanny by prolonging the process.

    Requirements for Nannies Top of Page

    Please see our Nanny Qualifications page for more detailed information.

    We screen applicants on three broad criteria:

    Do they have adequate experience and knowledge to care for young children?

    • Must have a minimum of one year full time child care employment experience that is current or very recent with references
    • Or a two or four year degree in a child related field with practicum experience working directly with children, and some current part time child care employment experience

    Will they be a good employee?

    • Stable verifiable employment history
    • Strong communication skills
    • Trustworthy, able to maintain confidentiality
    • Present a professional image

    Do they possess the skills and attributes necessary to work with young children in an unsupervised setting?

    • Must provide the names and telephone numbers of three to four child care references who can respond to our questions about them 
    • Able to demonstrate: good judgment, critical thinking skills, time management, trustworthiness, responsibility, and maturity

    Because of the requirements for work experience and for post secondary education related to child development (or extensive child care experience), they will typically be at least 21 years old.

    The nanny must be able to work with your family for a minimum of one year and, in most cases, ideally longer.

    For live-out jobs, the nanny needs a reliable vehicle for transportation to the job, and frequently also for transporting the children.

    If the nanny has young children of her own, she needs to have reliable child care for them.  The exception to this is if the nanny is very experienced and we have placed her previously in a job. We may consider her for a job where she could bring her child along as a playmate if the family is interested in this.

    The nanny must have a valid driver's license.  Her driving record must be clear of any recent offenses relating to drugs or alcohol and excessive moving violations.

    Nannies from the Heartland requires all applicants to complete a release form allowing us to conduct background checks.

    The nanny needs to be a non-smoker.

    The majority of our candidates have previous nanny experience or have worked in a day care setting. Over 50% of the nannies we place in jobs have two or four year degrees in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Elementary Education, Family Social Sciences, Child Psychology or other child care related post-secondary education. 

    Of course, this is a very simplified overview of the screening process. There are dozens of detailed items we look for to help determine if a candidate should be referred to your family.

    How to Get Started Top of Page

  • To start a search please complete and return the Family Agreement and Agency/Family Agreement forms.
  • Once we receive your application we will call you.  You have a choice to schedule an in-home consultation or a consultation by phone. 

    Additional Resources Top of Page

    As part of our service, we provide the following materials to our client families:

    • Hiring a Nanny: How To Do It ASAP
      Great tips from the professionals that provide invaluable insights to hiring an excellent nanny as fast as possible.

    • Interview Guide For Families
      Suggestions to help you prepare for and conduct interviews with prospective nannies.

    • Family/Nanny Employment Agreement
      One of the most important things you can do to get off to a great start with your nanny is to have a clear understanding of expectations. This agreement template is an excellent tool that will remind you of many important items that you will want to discuss.

    • A Nanny For Your Family (INA Publication)
      This brochure from the International Nanny Association offers answers to common questions that families ask about in-home child care.

    • The Household Employment Handbook                                                                                                               An easy-to-reference compilation of helpful tax and legal information written for household employers.

    • Guidelines For Employment Taxes
      This is a brief summary of the steps to get set up as a domestic employer, including forms #'s and telephone #'s. It includes information specific to the State of Minnesota. For more extensive information, visit some of the sites listed in our "Hot Links" page.

    • Nanny Logs
      For the nanny to keep you up to date on the day's events.

    • Medical Release and Medication Forms
      So the nanny can obtain emergency medical treatment for the children and administer medications if necessary.

    • Quarterly Newsletter                                                                                                                                     Feature articles, craft ideas, recipes, upcoming events.

    • Play Date List
      Contact information for nannies looking to network with other nannies to plan activities.

    •  Blog with multiple weekly postings as a resource to all families and nannies

    FYI - The International Nanny Association provides these child care definitions:

  • Nanny - Employed by the family on either a live in or live out, part time or full time basis, to undertake all tasks related to the care of children. Duties are generally restricted to child care and the domestic tasks related to the children. May or may not have had formal training, though often have extensive child care experience and a background in early childhood education. Typically, full time employed nannies will work 40 - 60 hours per week. Usually work unsupervised.

  • Babysitter - Provides supervisory, custodial care of children on a full time or part time basis with no special training or experience required.

  • Hiring a Nanny On Your Own Top of Page

    Not all families work with an agency to find a nanny. Following are some tips for hiring a nanny based on our experience and that of families who signed up with us after trying to hire on their own. We won't share all our secrets, just a few of them.

    • If you are searching on your own using online matching services or other sources, be prepared to eliminate at least 90% of the inquiries. Experienced full service agencies such as ours typically screen out a higher percentage applicants  than this. You will get many contacts from persons who already know they can't pass our agency's rigorous screening. Many parents are surprised to learn that the candidates they gain access to using an on line service are unscreened individuals who are free to create their own profiles.

    • Watch out for gaps in employment history and/or a series of short-term jobs.

    • Be skeptical when a nanny says her previous employer moved and she doesn't know how to reach them.

    • Be skeptical if a nanny says she has applied with a large agency but they don't have any jobs for her. Families sometimes take this as an implied endorsement, when in fact the nanny has been screened out as not qualified. Or there may be some other reason why the nanny isn't finding a job that she is not sharing with you.
    • Don't assume a nanny is qualified just because she has passed the screening requirements of a new and/or small agency. Such agencies may accept candidates that have been rejected by a more experienced agency.
    • Do as much screening as possible over the phone. Ask:

    What is your experience working with children?
    Can you provide child care references that we can talk to?
    Do you have at least a high school degree?
    What other education after high school?
    What is the longest you have worked at a full time job?
    Do you smoke?
    Do you have reliable transportation (for live-out jobs)?
    How is your driving record over the last five years?
    Do you have your own children that you expect to bring to the job?
    Are you able to legally work in the United States?

    • You should always do a criminal history check, drivers license check, and social security trace. You should be able to find a background screening service to do those for you for a reasonable fee. Don't skip the drivers license check. It may show problems with drugs and alcohol, including violations as a minor. Criminal records for minors are usually not available.
    • Don't skip conversations with references, these can be very helpful to determine if the nanny is being honest with you, especially when combined with the basic checks noted above. Be suspicious when you can't reach a reference after repeated attempts. Some applicants will provide phony references who are reluctant to talk to you. You should develop your own techniques to catch these.


    5490 Balsam Lane No, Minneapolis, MN 55442-1805 | Phone: (763) 550-0219 | Fax: (763) 519-0881 | Email:


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