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 are experts at 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.

    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 screening and qualifying applicants. By interviewing only experienced qualified candidates, you'll have more time to concentrate on what's really important - your family!

    Services and Fees Top of Page

    Nanny Screening and Referral:

    • Detailed Applications - documented full time nanny 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 referred to the family have a current or previous relationship with our agency.

    Additional Services:

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

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

    • Temporary Nanny Service - providing 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:

    To get started with the search, please call to discuss your needs. If we mutually agree to proceed with working together, you complete the Family Application and  Agency/Family Agreement and send this to our office. We will post a customized job description for you on our website at no charge. If there are experienced qualified applicant(s) interested in being referred to you, we will contact you. You then  pay a $100 referral fee if you would like to initiate the referral process and receive their  complete applicant file. This non-refundable referral fee also includes purchase of the Interview Guide for Families and a membership ($50 value) in the agency's temporary nanny services. The $100 referral fee is your only initial financial commitment with our service.  If you hire a nanny referred to you by our service, you then pay a one time placement fee. The $1000 placement fee is for long-term placements and is payable within the nanny's first seven days of employment with you.

           Please note: We do work directly with families within the seven county Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area in Minnesota.
                               We  do not do summer only or part time before or after school placements.
    *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

    • Please call us to discuss your nanny needs. If we mutually agree to proceed with working together, complete the Family Application and Agency/Family Agreement forms and submit to our office.
    • When we receive your application, we will call you to discuss and confirm we have all the information we need from you.
    • We then post your customized personal job description on our website at no charge to you.
    • We describe your position to qualified prescreened candidate(s) who express interest in your job. Typically we know them from previous experience with our service. If one or more is interested in your job opportunity and you would like us to send their applicant file(s), you then pay the nonrefundable $100 referral fee. We forward their detailed applicant file to you.  This non-refundable referral fee also includes purchase of the Interview Guide for Families and a membership ($50 value) in the agency's temporary nanny services. The $100 referral fee is your only initial financial commitment with our service.  If you hire a nanny referred to you by our service, you then pay a one time $1000 placement fee.
    • You review candidate file(s) that we email to you and call the applicant(s) 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 are here to assist you and the nanny candidate through the interviewing process and to answer any questions.  
    • 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 $1000 placement fee, payable within the first week of the nanny's employment.

    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? To be considered, an applicant must have a minimum of one year full time nanny employment experience that is current or very recent and other related child care employment or post secondary education. We are primarily referring nannies that have been placed and/or screened through our service previously.  Most of our positions are with children birth to 5-6 years of age so employment experience with this age group is required unless the job is with school age children.  

    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 prior nanny employment experience and preference for post secondary education related to child development (or extensive child care experience), they will typically be at least 24 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.

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

    All of our candidates have previous full time nanny experience and  many  have also worked in other child care settings. 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 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

  • Please call us to discuss your nanny needs or complete the Family Agreement and Agency/Family Agreement forms and submit to our office. There is no initial referral fee required.
  • Once we receive your application we will call you to discuss further.

    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.

    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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