Freelance vs. Agency Work

Happy 2019 everyone!

It seems I know of a few nannies in transitions as well as families re-evaluating their childcare services and I thought it would be great to give you guys a quick rundown with what i’ve experienced in the nanny market in Houston.

For all of my full time nanny positions I have found them on my own through connections, care.com and Facebook neighborhood groups. In Houston, from my experience, fellow Houston nannies and speaking with nannies in other states about how different their job hunts are, finding full time positions independently seems to be how we in Houston find our families.

I have interviewed with 3 of our major agencies and have continued on with 2. I just thought I would share my experience with our agencies in case there were any new nannies looking for a way in the door as well as more experienced nannies exploring their options. For me personally I had hit a rut in our nanny market and have met many who have as well. With my experience I wanted something slightly above and beyond the normal nanny job structure and thought that joining an agency would help me get closer to that.

Motherhood Center

The Motherhood Center has been open for years and is very well known and established in Houston. Expecting mothers and those with newborns rave about their classes and specialty services. Going into the interview process here was one I really enjoyed, it was set up by nannies and so a lot of the questions and expectations they had laid out were ones that I already implemented in my work ethic. In the interview you speak with the coordinator and then the owner. Both were extremely forthcoming and optimistic about being able to place me. The way Motherhood sets up it’s interviews is the families contact the with their needs, Motherhood sends them profiles of different nannies they feel would be a good fit and whoever the family would like to interview is set up through Motherhood. (must have dad joke. Tinder for nannies.)You do not contact the family beforehand, most of the communication in the beginning is done through them.

During the interview process if you are in between jobs or trying to do extra babysitting before your position ends they also do babysitting where you have availability that you give to the coordinator and they contact you if you are available to work.

I did not wind up having much luck through Motherhood. I went on one interview but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for and didn’t hear much since. During my most recent hunt I contacted them multiple times but wasn’t necessarily given much help or another possibility if their nanny vs job ratio is too great. I haven’t met many nannies who have gotten placed through Motherhood but those who have I have heard great stories from!

The Village Nannies

This is a much smaller agency and I absolutely love it! Upon interviewing you meet Jo one on one and go through the interview process. She was so kind and welcoming upon meeting, the interview flew by. She is an experienced and currently working nanny that understands the ups and downs of nannying. She screens all potential clients and has always been upfront about any possible red flags and gives you lots of one on one communication after you’re done interviewing with the families.

One thing I love about working with Jo is her honesty. It’s a one woman ran operation and you can really feel the sincerity in her wanting to place you in the best situation possible. I’ve never been reluctant about discussing anything with her. One of the biggest differences in working with Jo vs Motherhood or another bigger agency is you are speaking with the parents directly. With Motherhood they are setting up the interview and follow up and here it is more of a traditional nanny interview, the only difference being how you found the family.

All in all I think in comparison to other cities I definitely think our Houston agencies have a long way to go. I have still found all of my full time families through word of mouth and Facebook mom groups. I absolutely loved going through the experience of interviewing with different agencies and going through each process.

The perks of being in a nanny agency is that someone has your back to negotiate contracts, especially if a family is attempting to cut corners, as well as a backup option in case you find yourself in sudden need of part time work. My thinking when entering an agency was that things were going to be 1000 times easier than doing the search on your own however the interview processes and waiting is just about the same as a normal hunt, however the rates can be a little higher coming from a family working through an agency.

I hope this was helpful to someone in some way and I will speak with you all soon!

-Lauren