The Nanny vs Daycare Dilemma

I read a tweet from a mom trying to figure out how to hire a nanny and I felt for her. Every life change in our "parenthood" comes with so many complications. We are so busy in the day to day business of caring for our kids that these extra tasks can make life so stressful.

When I went to hire a nanny I looked at agencies and searched online for tips and suggestions and nothing I found really spoke to me in a totally practical way. There's lots of interviewing tips which are useful but the list below seemed to be left out so hopefully you will find it useful :)

  1. Agencies: I am a control freak so in the end I decided an agency was not the way to go. It is very expensive for one thing, but my main reason for going it alone is I wanted to be the one conducting the background checks. What I found out was that hiring a nanny on your own is extremely difficult.
  2.  Vulnerable Sector Screening Program - Doing your own criminal reference check does not give you the peace of mind I thought it would bring. Here's why- in Toronto, a regular "citizen" can not conduct a vulnerable reference check. Only "organizations"  can request do this with a special application form approved in advance by the Police Department. What do you get as a regular citizen requesting a nanny to get a check? You can have your nanny candidate apply for a regular police reference check. It checks for a "criminal record" but for the "deep" search only comes from a vulnerable one. So no total peace of mind really.
  3. Setting up an Employee on Payroll - The hardest thing for me to wrap my head around was the financial stuff. Luckily the government has a Payroll Deductions Online Calculator and you can call Revenue Canada to you walk through setting up an employee.  Here's the link to play with deductions - gross vs. net pay  (all nannies want to know what the net pay will be.) 
Written by: Leigh Mitchell, Read rest of the article on my Urban Moms Blog

Bookmark and Share



  1. A vulnerable sector screening has many 'bugs' in it. It can show that you were somehow involved in an incident - but it may be as an observer of an incident. You can have your record cleared which means it doesn't really screen anyone, and you cannot fire someone based on the results of their screening. The screening goes directly to the person not to the organization. These are a few of many reasons to simply do your homework and do it well. Don't rely on a criminal reference check!


Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Ask about our School & Parent Workshops