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The Costs of Hiring a Nanny Through an Agency

By: Helena Stratford - Updated: 11 Feb 2020 | comments*Discuss
Hire Nanny Nanny Agency Fees Cost

There are several ways in which a family can hire a nanny which needn’t be expensive. Avenues such as placing or responding to a personal advertisement are simple, inexpensive and effective methods – but if time is short, there are also many agencies which will find a nanny on your behalf and charge a fee for their service.

Finding a Nanny through an Agency

If using the services of a nanny agency to help find a British nanny, there will be cost implications which can sometimes be a little tricky to work out. Most agencies work in similar ways, with a few variations, and it is important to understand their fee structures before asking them to undertake the work.

How the Charges are Set Out

When considering agency fees, it would be wise to do a little background research and shop around, because there can be vast variations in pricing structures. Those that seem to charge less, may not have added VAT, or may not refund the fee/replace the nanny should things not work out in the first month – so always read the small print.

Registration Charges

One of the first costs to consider when choosing an agency is whether they charge a fee for registering with them. A lot of agencies allow clients to register for free and only charge a fee once they have found a suitable applicant. However, others ask for a small administrative fee upfront. This is usually in the region of £15-£45 and is non-returnable. The reasons why agents make this charge is:

  • To sort out ‘serious’ clients from ‘time-wasters’
  • To cover the administrative costs of making up new client files etc
  • To cover any costs of initial phone calls or visits to a client in determining their requirements
  • To deter clients from signing up with other agencies at the same time.

Types of Charge

Once a client has registered, the agency will then search for a nanny to fit their needs and offer as many applicants for interview as is appropriate. Once their search is complete and the family wishes to offer a nanny a position, the agency will invoice their client. The way the client is charged can take three forms:

  • As a one-off payment
  • As a proportion of the nanny’s salary over a certain number of weeks
  • As ongoing payments to the agency

One-Off Payments

This is the easiest and most straightforward form of charging system. It means that a set fee is charged to the client on the successful introduction and placement of a nanny. Prices are published and given to the client at the time of enquiry and are accepted as part of the initial registration process. Prices vary hugely and can start from as little as £500 for a small, out-of-London agency to as much as £3,000 for placements by some London agencies. The advantages of this type of payment system are that:

  • You know how much you are going to have to pay the agency right from the start
  • There are no later ‘add-on’s or changes because you are paying a fixed price
  • The fee is easily split if you are doing a nanny-share with another family
  • You will generally be paying a lesser fee this way

Proportional Payments

Most nanny agencies adopt the practise of charging fees based on what the nanny will earn and then multiplying it by a certain number of weeks. For instance, they ask for the nanny’s net or gross weekly salary (being offered by the family) times 5 or 7 etc.

This means that the client fee will depend on how much the family offer the nanny per week, how many hours she will be working and so on. The lowest fee structure we have seen recently is 3 x the nanny’s gross weekly wage. However more common is either 5 or 7 x the nanny’s net weekly wage, where the numbers of hours they work per week are also taken into consideration. There will also be a variation as to whether the nanny is ‘live-in’ or ‘live-out. To cover instances where the nanny is only doing a few hours per week, agencies usually stipulate a minimum charge of circa £600-££800. The advantages of this system are that:

  • The fee you pay reflects the salary you will pay your nanny (and possibly her calibre)
  • The fee you pay reflects the hours for which you will employ your nanny per week

Ongoing Agency Commissions

Ongoing payments to agencies are usually made where families or subsidiary employers such as holiday companies, might contract out temporary or emergency nannies. In these instances, agents usually charge a daily or weekly fee, which are also subject to a minimum stipulated payment. These vary hugely but can be worked out either as a one-off set payment or again, as a proportion of the time that the nanny is hired.

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What qualifications are needed to start an agency
Ivy - 11-Feb-20 @ 9:53 AM
hello i havé something g to ask.I registered with several nannies agencies in london but i am from spain. I speak fluent english spanish and french. I girl I knox who is from paris but has been a nanny for 15 years in england found me a family in the us that she does not want to work for anymore and who is willing to take me ( i did a 7 days trial at their house no long ago and all went well ) They proposed to take me a à rota nanny 15 days per months and pay me 4000 pounds every time i go there which means every month. The thing is that now the girl who introduced me to them is asking me for 1000 pounds collision every month on what i earn. I found it too much as she does not even have an agency. so she lowed it down to 700 per month. If I refuse she said she would tell the family to not take me. What do you think ?
Anna - 3-Nov-17 @ 10:58 AM
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