Family FAQs

What areas does Nannies Plus serve?

Nannies Plus serves families throughout Alameda county, Contra Costa county, Marin county, and San Francisco, as well as families in the following cities: Benicia, Vallejo, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, and Sonoma.

Why should I use Nannies Plus instead of finding a nanny or family assistant on my own?

Finding a nanny or family assistant on your own is a time consuming process which can be frustrating, confusing, and emotionally draining. Not only will Nannies Plus help you save time and energy, but every member of our team also prides themselves on truly knowing the industry. In fact, each one of us has worked as a professional nanny in the past, and some of us have even employed nannies ourselves.

Engaging Nannies Plus to help you on your search ensures:

  • you receive expert advice about the household employment market and how to attract the skilled, professional childcare provider and/or household helper (family assistant) you desire;
  • your time is well spent meeting only qualified candidates our team has hand-picked for your family based on your unique needs;
  • the candidates you meet have been thoroughly screened through a phone interview, a 90-minute face-to-face interview with our candidate coordinators, in-house reference checks, and background checks;
  • you have ongoing access to support and resources throughout the hiring, on-boarding, and employing process;
  • and you are backed by our Replacement Guarantee period, meaning if the nanny or family assistant you’ve chosen to hire through Nannies Plus does not work out within the time frame* of the Replacement Guarantee period, and you have abided by all applicable laws and honored the terms detailed in our Family Referral Agreement, we will match you with another nanny.

*The time frame depends on the package you select when you initially engage Nannies Plus.

How does Nannies Plus determine which candidates to present to my family?

Nannies Plus considers a variety of factors when determining which nannies or family assistants will be perfect for your family team. These factors include not only the specific details of the job and each candidate’s ability to fulfill the role, but we also pay special attention to the nuances of candidate-family compatibility, such as personality match and caregiving style.

How quickly can I expect Nannies Plus to find a nanny or family assistant for my family?

Nannies Plus cannot guarantee a turnaround time, but we always aim to make placements as quickly and efficiently as possible. Generally, families should expect the process to take 4-12 weeks, although, depending on the most current market conditions, some placements are much quicker and others take longer.

What happens if I identify a nanny or family assistant before Nannies Plus finds one for me?

At Nannies Plus, we recognize how important it is to find a nanny or family assistant who is perfect for your unique family! We aspire to create thriving family teams, because we know the value of a great fit and the gravity of putting your trust into another person to care for your child(ren) and your home. If you identify a nanny or family assistant before Nannies Plus has made a match, we will end your search and no additional fees will be due. Please be aware that the Custom Search Fee is non-refundable.

Can I pause my search through Nannies Plus?

Nannies Plus does not pause searches for more than 48 hours. If you wish to end your search, you are welcome to re-engage Nannies Plus when you are ready to start a new search. This will require a new Family Referral Agreement and a new Custom Search Fee.

What are the minimum requirements for a candidate to register with Nannies Plus?

Every candidate registered with Nannies Plus has a minimum of 3 years of verifiable professional childcare experience after the age of 18, including at least 12 consecutive months within the last 3 years as a professional nanny, family assistant, daycare provider, or teacher. Many of our candidates are career nannies and family assistants and far exceed our minimum requirements, and some candidates also have additional years of robust supplemental experience as babysitters, volunteers, coaches, camp counselors, tutors, and behavioral technicians.

Additionally, we require that all candidates registered with Nannies Plus:

  • are legally eligible to work in the United States;
  • are willing and able to accept a legal, W-2 position;
  • have a valid driver’s license and clean driving record;
  • are willing to undergo criminal background checks;
  • and have stellar references.
What background checks does Nannies Plus run on candidates?

Prior to sending a new candidate for an interview with your family, we run the following background checks:

  • Motor Vehicle Report (DMV)
  • Government Watch List (OFAC terrorist search/”no fly” list)
  • Social Security Number Validation (identity verification)

Some candidates have already interviewed with other families and/or been placed with a family through Nannies Plus. In these cases, when a candidate was previously vetted, we do not repeat the Government Watch List or Social Security Number Validation. However, we do require a new DMV report if has not been run within the last 6 months.

If the candidate you choose to make an offer to is not already registered with TrustLine (clearance with the California Department of Justice, the Child Abuse Central Index, and the FBI), they are also required to become registered once a job offer is made.

What is TrustLine and how much does it cost?

TrustLine is the state of California’s official background check for license-exempt in-home childcare providers (nannies and family assistants, babysitters, newborn care specialists, and doulas). TrustLine provides a detailed, thorough background check using LiveScan fingerprints, which are sent to the California Department of Justice, the Child Abuse Central Index, and the FBI for review.

State law requires that every in-home childcare provider who finds a job through a domestic placement agency becomes registered with TrustLine by their first day of work.

TrustLine registration starts with an online application, and is followed by completion of LiveScan fingerprints. When hiring a nanny or family assistant through Nannies Plus, families do not pay any additional fees for TrustLine. The cost of TrustLine is included in the Placement Fee.

Who employs our nanny or family assistant?

Nannies Plus is a referral agency and does not directly or indirectly employ any candidate registered with the agency. A nanny or family assistant placed with your family by Nannies Plus will be employed by your family.

What is a household employee?

According to the IRS, one of the biggest factors in determining whether you are working with an employee or an independent contractor is control. When employing a nanny or family assistant, you direct their work responsibilities, set their hours with your family, and provide all the materials they reasonably need to do their job. Your nanny or family assistant cannot send a subcontractor in their place, and though they have been matched with your family through a referral agency, they are not employed by Nannies Plus, nor is Nannies Plus a contracting company. This makes you an employer and your nanny or family assistant your employee. Since your nanny or family assistant specifically works in your private home, they are considered a “household employee.”

What kinds of household employees does Nannies Plus represent?

Nannies Plus works with professional, in-home childcare providers who are either nannies or family assistants.

Nannies are very child-focused. Their typical responsibilities include direct supervision of the child(ren) and any additional duties directly related to supervision of the child(ren), such as meal preparation for the child(ren), laundry for the child(ren), tidying up after the child(ren), and so on.

It is not typical for a nanny to assist with household duties that do not directly pertain to the child(ren). If you are looking for a nanny who can also pitch in with things like family laundry, light housekeeping, family meal preparation, dog walking, errands, and such, a family assistant will best meet your needs.

Please note that neither nannies nor family assistants are housekeepers or house cleaners. Light housekeeping may include tidying of the kitchen and/or common areas, simple organizing projects (kids’ toys or clothes, pantries, linen closets), and washing and/or folding laundry. Light housekeeping never includes bathroom cleaning or any deep cleaning.

What are "industry standards" and what should I know about them?

Industry standards are benefits which are widely accepted as appropriate and recommended within the household employment industry. These are voluntarily offered to your nanny or family assistant at your discretion; however, because Nannies Plus represents the best career nannies and family assistants in the Bay Area, we work with families who are willing and able to offer industry standard benefits.

Offering these benefits to your nanny or family assistant will give your family an edge when searching for qualified, dedicated professionals in the industry. It also demonstrates to your future household employee that you respect their time and are looking forward to cultivating a relationship and creating an agreement that is beneficial to all parties involved.

 At this time, families who wish to engage Nannies Plus for their search should expect to offer:

  • legal, W-2 pay, at an hourly rate with standard overtime differential (not salary);
  • an hourly rate which meets or exceeds current market minimums;
  • accrued sick pay;
  • paid holidays and a minimum of 2 (work) weeks of paid vacation;
  • guaranteed hours;
  • and a safe and respectful working environment.
What is market rate?

Market rate is the typical hourly rate being offered to nannies and family assistants within our service areas, and it is ever-changing. A variety of factors will determine the appropriate rate to attract the most qualified candidates for your family’s needs, including: location, level of experience, job responsibilities, schedule, ages and number of children, and more. Current market rate throughout the Bay Area falls within a range of $32-50+* per hour, depending on the above criteria. Nannies Plus is accepting clients able to offer market rate for their area.**

*Please note that you will be responsible for employer taxes in addition to the hourly rate.
**We are happy to discuss market rate for your area and your specific position during your Complimentary Consultation phone call. 

What is legal pay?

As a household employer, you are responsible for state and federal unemployment taxes as well as workers compensation. Additionally, you can either deduct from your household employee’s paychecks or fund on your own social security and Medicare taxes. Legal pay also holds the employer responsible for paying at least minimum wage and using the proper overtime differential.

Your nanny or family assistant is your household employee, and is responsible for state and federal income taxes, which you are able to deduct from their paychecks to ensure that at the end of the year, they don’t owe the government a significant amount of money. It is important to note that the hourly wage you offer your nanny or family assistant is their gross hourly wage, not net (take-home).

Employees who are paid as little as $750 quarterly and employers who pay to any individual household employee as little as $750 quarterly are required to report to the IRS. Any employer who pays more than $2,400 to an individual employee over 18 years of age is responsible for federal employment taxes.

Most families use a payroll service that specializes in domestic employment in order to ensure expert management of legal pay. To learn more about legal pay, please visit HomeWork Solutions’ Knowledge Center and/or review the California EDD Household Employment Information Packet.

When is my nanny or family assistant entitled to overtime pay and what is the overtime rate?

This will depend on your nanny or family assistant’s duties. In the state of California, household employees can either be considered personal attendants or non-attendants.

Personal attendants feed, bathe, dress, and supervise for more than 80% of their work hours. Generally, nannies are personal attendants.

Non-attendants can feed, bathe, dress, and supervise, but they do so for less than 80% of their work hours. The remaining time is dedicated to duties related to the maintenance of a private household including, but not limited to: cooking, tidying, laundry, and errands. Family assistants and household managers are non-attendants.

Live-out personal attendants are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5x their regular hourly rate after 9 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Live-out non-attendants are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5x their regular hourly rate after 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. For more information about the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, visit the California Department of Industrial Relations FAQ page or HomeWork Solutions’ California Knowledge Center.

What are guaranteed hours and why do they matter?

Guaranteed hours can best be described as an agreement between your family and your nanny or family assistant that they will be consistently available for their regular schedule and your family will pay them for their availability, even if you don’t require the nanny or family assistant to work all of those hours. For example, if your family travels several days or weeks without your family assistant, or if you come home from work early and send the nanny home, guaranteed hours ensure that your employee will not unexpectedly lose pay for that time.

While household employment relationships are much more personal and nuanced than most working relationships in corporate or office settings, this does not mean that the arrangement is casual. As an employee, your nanny or family assistant expects to bring in a steady income, and as an employer, you are subject to the same expectations that you would hold your own employer to. Do you lose pay if your employer leaves the office early, or goes on a vacation?

When you guarantee hours, you agree to pay your employee for their base weekly schedule, and in return, your employee agrees to be available for that schedule, so that even if your plans change and you don’t end up coming home early, or if you want to ask your employee to pick up the mail or sanitize the baby toys while you’re on vacation (which should be outlined in your work agreement if they are expectations), you will not be in a bind. Guaranteed hours should be specified in the work agreement, and should be seen as a win-win. You know that you can depend on your employee to be there when you need them, and your employee knows that they can depend on you to pay them fairly and steadily.

Guaranteed hours do not tell your nanny or family assistant that they can take any day off that they choose to at any time. They do not take the place of paid time off or sick leave. Should your nanny or family assistant require time off for a vacation, personal day, or illness, and wish to be compensated for that time off, they would be expected to use their PTO. 

While guaranteed hours are not a legal requirement, they are considered an industry standard, and are therefore a requirement for families to offer when using Nannies Plus’ services to find their nanny or family assistant.

Are there other benefits that I can and/or should offer my nanny or family assistant?

While guaranteed hours are a minimum for families to offer any nanny or family assistant hired through Nannies Plus, there are additional benefits that your family may wish to offer, such as: a healthcare reimbursement, a reimbursement for tuition and/or investment in job related professional development, additional paid time off, raises and bonuses, professional or recreational memberships, and so on. Many of these benefits can be offered tax-free.

There is no law requiring household employers to offer a healthcare reimbursement, but one of the most highly sought after benefits for nannies and family assistants is a healthcare reimbursement, either from your family directly or pursuant to a health reimbursement arrangement, such as a QSEHRA (Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement.)

Do I have to provide my nanny or family assistant with a car to use on the job?

No, you do not have to offer your nanny or family assistant a car for use on the job. However, if you ask that your nanny or family assistant use their own vehicle on the job, you should expect to pay mileage reimbursement at the federal rate.

If you are able to offer a car for use on the job, there are some added benefits for your family:

  • You will gain access to a larger pool of qualified nannies and family assistants with interest in the position, as a car for use on the job is generally considered an additional benefit. Some nannies and family assistants may even require that if driving on the job is necessary, a car be provided.
  • When you are the owner of the car that your nanny or family assistant is driving, you have more control over the condition of the car. You can ensure that the vehicle is clean, safe, and properly maintained.
  • If you have young children in car seats, you will not need to worry about the added expense of providing additional car seats for the nanny or family assistant’s car, nor will you have to deal with the time and energy required to rotate car seats from vehicle to vehicle if you choose not to purchase additional car seats.
Do I have to add my nanny or family assistant to my car insurance?

If you are providing a vehicle for your nanny or family assistant to use on the job, it is strongly recommended that you add them as an authorized driver on your car insurance policy. Car insurance is assigned to an individual car rather than a driver; therefore, the owner of the car being driven on the job is responsible for insurance.

If your nanny or family assistant is driving their personal vehicle on the job, mileage reimbursement at the federal rate is meant to cover not only the cost of gas, but all expenses related to driving for work, including vehicle insurance. Nannies Plus will require your nanny or family assistant to provide proof of current car insurance for any car to be used on the job prior to their first day of work.

What is a work agreement?

A work agreement is a living document that outlines the expectations between nannies or family assistants and the family/families they work for, for the duration of the position. Work agreements provide a valuable framework for all parties in the working relationship.

Work agreements vary in style and format, depending on your family’s needs, and contain important information which may include your nanny or family assistant’s pay rate, benefits included in the employment package, typical schedule, general outline of expectations and job duties, emergency plans for the children in case of sickness, injury, or natural disaster, how much notice your family requires for the nanny or family assistant to provide prior to using paid time off, and more!

Upon hiring a nanny or family assistant through Nannies Plus, you will receive our Best Practices Work Agreement Template, which you can adapt to fit your family’s needs. Nannies Plus is happy to answer any questions our clients may have about work agreements. We cannot provide legal advice, but we can offer insights about important details to include in your work agreement, up-to-date industry standards, and resources for legal support if requested.*

*For families who select our Thrive Premium placement package, a professionally drafted work agreement with one complimentary revision is included in the placement fee.

What happens if the nanny or family assistant I hire through Nannies Plus doesn't work out?

If you let your nanny or family assistant go or your nanny or family assistant resigns within the Replacement Guarantee period, Nannies Plus will provide one complimentary or prorated rematch, depending on what is included with the placement package you selected.

If you and your employee part ways after the Replacement Guarantee period has ended, you may re-engage Nannies Plus for a new search, which will require payment of all applicable fees and a new Family Referral Agreement.

Please note that any replacement is contingent upon your family honoring the terms outlined in the Family Referral Agreement, including providing a respectful work environment, paying legally, evidenced by a signed work agreement and pay stubs, and not having materially changed the nanny or family assistant’s job description or job duties.

What COVID-19 precautions is Nannies Plus taking?

Nannies Plus takes COVID-19 precautions very seriously. We are conducting all candidate agency interviews remotely, over the phone and/or Zoom. Families and candidates always have the option to request their initial meeting be over Zoom, as well.

We refer to the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies’ COVID-19 Risk Tolerance Scale to help families and candidates determine if their individual lifestyles are in alignment with each other as it pertains to COVID-19 exposure risks. We recommend best practices during in-person interviews, as outlined by the CDC here.