As we started to look into hiring an live-in nanny, we’ve entered this whole murky world of nanny agencies.  While I’m sure there are many good agencies out there, I have yet to find one with which I’m comfortable.  The first ones I’ve found are the “No Fee” services?  No fees?  That doesn’t make any sense.  Who’s paying the bill?  It turns out the nanny.  She’s being charged $3-5k + usury interest rates.  I don’t want any part of that.

Further to my investigation I had trouble sourcing information about reviews for these agencies, or tips on how to tell if an agency is legitimate.  Some are independent agencies, some have 2-3 different company names, but are all really the same company underneath.

With the exception of the firms that offer a ‘no fee’ service, I have e-mailed the following list of questions to the agencies.  I’ll update the post with their answers as I get them.

  • Do you place nannies in Ottawa?
  • What is your placement fee?
  • Do you charge your nannies a fee?
  • Is there a down-payment required?
  • Is it possible to obtain a nanny with a driver’s license and if so, would that license be valid in Canada?
  • How do we hire someone we’ve never met?  Is it strictly resume reviewing or can phone interviews be arranged?
  • Are there any tips or tricks to helping our nanny make the transition from a populous, warm country to an Ottawa suburb, with limited bus access and long Canadian winters?
  • Are you affiliated with any other nanny agencies?  If so, which ones?

Here’s what I’ve been able to uncover so far:

Elite Care Nanny

  • Website & Contact Information: Can also be found at: http://www.NeedANanny.ca
    • Contact information on the web site is incorrect.  You get redirected to: info@needananny.ca (not a good sign!)
    • Were quick to respond to my e-mail.  However the e-mail response was a form letter and did not answer all the questions I had asked
  • Summary:  Works with nannies all over the world (82 countries), this can shorten your wait time if you have no preference regarding nationality
    • Groups candidates into three pools.  It should be noted that they make it look like that nannies have all the qualifications listed, but if you read the fine print it says, nannies will have at least one of the criteria listed for each group!!!  :
      • Affordable – child care training
      • Elite  (+1 year experience, english speaking, driver’s license, First Aid certificate)
      • Plus (6 months childcare training and at least one of the following: 5 years childcare experience, CPR/First Aid, Driver’s license for +3 years, fluent in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin or Cantonese speaking, previous childcare experience in the USA, UK, Australia, or Canada)
    • Guarantee:  6 month placement guarantee; claim 95% success rate
  • Fees: All fees paid by our caregivers are scaled based upon qualifications, include refundable deposits, and are priced among the lowest of all agencies in the Canadian market.  They didn’t answer my question about whether nannies are charged a fee.  No down payment.
  • Hiring a nanny:  this part wasn’t clear.  They definitely provide you with resumes and ‘dear family’ letters.  It was unclear whether they encouraged/facilitated phone interviews.
  • Engaging their services:  fill in a multi-page questionnaire and you can start reviewing resumes

ExecuNannies

  • Website & Contact:  Great information on this web site – fantastic suggestions about how to determine your requirements, what kinds of questions to ask during the interview (also what not to say!!), information on how to pay your nanny and how to check references
    • Based in Toronto they list phone numbers to contact them
  • Summary:  These ladies have an interesting business model:  they work primarily with nannies that have come to Canada only to find that their job has been canceled, or that their nanny job is really an eldercare job, or for what ever reason, they now need to find other nanny work.  The great part as an employer is that these live-in nannies are already here in Canada.  There’s no wait time.  The down side is that at $1995, the pricing is a little steep for a firm that doesn’t have to go through all the paper work to get someone here.
  • Fees:  $1995+gst fee for all full-time permanent placements, $100 deposit – after viewing profiles, but before interviews

International Family Caregivers

  • The first line on the their web site says it all for me: No Fees.  This to me is synonymous with people trafficking.  My investigation ended right then and there.

Nanny Providers Canada

  • Website & Contact: Professional website – focuses a lot on price:  “placement fees as low as $195” and “you only have to pay our nannies $8-10 an hour”
  • Summary: Work to hire nannies from abroad. Their service revolves around matching your requirements with their nanny database.  They position this as a value added service that they do the matching process for you.  It is my preference to speak to the person that’s going to come and live with us and take care of my kids, before they make that move.
  • Fees: Prices on their web site vary from $195, to $750 to $1,500.  We’ll see if their e-mail response clarifies things.

Select Nannies

  • Website & Contact:  This site gives the appearance of a real business.  It’s professional and offers not just information about their service, but also information about how to hire a nanny, government policies and articles in which the agency has been profiled
    • My e-mail response from Select Nannies was timely, and specifically addressed my questions and concerns
    • While they are based in Toronto, they have a field office here in Ottawa and place many nannies here
  • Summary:
    • Specialize in live-in Filipino caregivers, who are fluent in English,
    • Been in business for over ten years and encourage you to speak with their current parent customers as a references
    • Guarantee:  90 per cent placement success rate over the past 9 years, with a 6 month guarantee
  • Fees:  Total placement fee is $1400, with the initial $650 due once they/we have completed the interviews, selected a suitable caregiver and have prepared all the necessary documents to be submitted to Service Canada.  The remaining $750 becomes due 1 week prior to your caregivers arrival.
    • No fee is charged to the nanny
  • Hiring a Nanny & Engaging Their Services:  They give you access to their nanny database, about 150 caregivers. From there you narrow it down to a couple you would like to interview.  The agency sets up at three way call.  To engage their services you will speak with your sales rep and they will create a profile with you (for the nannies to view).

More agencies and facts to come as I get time for more research

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96 thoughts on “Navigating Nanny Agencies

    1. Don’t use Execu-nannies!! The office staff is polite but the owner is HORRIBLE. If you have any issues they will hang you out to dry.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I recently went through a similar exercise in Toronto and was really shocked by how hard it is to get upfront answers from a number of agencies. Specifically, I wanted to hire an agency that did not engage in unfair or unethical hiring practices, which typically means they charge the caregiver to come to Canada and it’s ‘free’ to the family.

    I researched most of the companies that you list and the company I decided to initially engage was Elite Nannies as part of their ‘sell’ is their ethics.

    After a talking to some of their candidates I discovered that they do charge a substantial fee to the nannies to come to Canada, though done under a different company and once they are in Canada they must continue to pay a monthly fee to Elite.

    The nanny we ended up hiring was brought to Canada through Elite and we paid out of pocket to figure out the legal implications.

    My recommendation to anyone working with an agency is to ask the candidates when interviewing them how they came to Canada and will they need to pay any additional fees once they are here. This only applies to candidates who are already here.

    This was a real eye opener in the fact that I thought I had done my homework with Elite.

    I had written documentation from Elite saying that they charged no fees, besides a nominal administration fee, for candidates to come to Canada which is why they charge the clients. Reality is they charge an avg, from the 3 women I have met, of about $5,000 and require them to pay a monthly fee for 2 years.

    Do not sign a contract with an agency until you have opportunity to interview nannies.

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  2. Hi Bytown Mom,

    Thanks for including us in your post. I wanted to correct you on one point though.

    “The down side is that at $1995, the pricing is a little steep for a firm that doesn’t have to go through all the paper work to get someone here.”

    The paperwork is actually 100% identical to the paperwork done for overseas caregivers, and it is included in our fee for all locally available live-ins. Nannies already in Canada still need an LMO and still need to apply for their work permit (it’s a changeover to the new employer’s name). The only difference between the processing locally and from abroad is that the local processing takes less time, but not less work.

    Thanks again for the kind words. Great blog!

    Ian @ Execu-Nannies Inc.

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  3. PLease be a very careful consumer. I dealt with Selective Personnel. After months of them looking they finally found someone who at first blush looked good. They told me they had known this lady for many years and they highly recommended her. Long story short I did some reference checking of my own and it was mixed. I shared this with the agency and again they swore up and down that this was an amazing lady. I went on good faith that they knew what they were talking about hired her and paid the $2000 fee. After 4 days I knew this woman would not work out. She was painfully slow in cleaning and had no clue how to handle my 6 year old son. This is not a hard job as we are just my husband, myself and my son. I informed the agency and they told me that they had no other candidates at the moment if I could just hang in a couple of weeks with this lady. This meant I had to re-arrange my work schedule to do drop off and pick up at school as this nanny was not capable. After 2 weeks they found me one lady that had no references. At that point I let go of the other nanny and wanted my money back as they were unable to find me anyone suitable. I did my own search through canadiannanny.ca and within 2 days had 15 potential candidates. I did a weekend of many interviews and found myself the most wonderful nanny with all the requirements that I had. Again I asked for my money back and the agency has refused to return my money. They were awful to deal with and as far as I am concerned they lack business integrity. They kept the money, lied to me about the person they recommended and after speaking to the owner who has rude and ruthless I got nowhere. DO NOT EVER USE SELECTIVE PERSONNEL!!!!

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  4. I recently used Elite Care Canada and was mislead by the women who I was dealing iwth. I unfortunately signed the contract and faxed it in to them. Their service was terrible..they repeated pushed old profiles on me even when I said I wasn’t intereste din them. Finally I emialed the lady and told them I wa sno longer interested in their service as it was not as it had been offered to me which I felt was breaking thier end of the contract. I did not hear back from her which lead me to beleive that was the end of it and I would no longer be hearing from them.

    Well I just got an invoice in the mail from them for 1622.12. I am not paying it but looking for advice from anyone who has bene in this situation as to what they did. What rights do I have and what rights do they have. I do not feel I owe them anythign as they did not follow through on their end nor did we end up with a nanny.

    Any advice much appreciated.

    Also they have a very limited amount of ladies as they still charge their nannies!! Stay away!!

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    1. What a terrible experience. The more horror stories I hear, the more I thnk Canadian Nanny us the way to go. It connects you directly to the nannies.

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  5. I am an Austrian father of 2 boys in the process finding for my current au-pair a subsequent job in Canada from March 2012 onwards. And I was terrified what I found on the internet regarding agencies.
    As more I appreciated to read these blogs and found them very helpful.

    If by coincidence a familiy looking for an au-upair will reade this I’ll appreciate to receive your follow-up.
    She is a wonderful, hard working girl form Zimbabwe, my kids love her, and from all au-pairs I hired during the last 5 years, clearly the outperformer :-). And I want to help her in finding a nice family in Canada she can work for.
    Peter.

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    1. Hi Peter, I realize your post was quite a few years ago, but were you able to help your Au-pair find a family? My family is currently looking for one in Toronto and she sounds delightful.

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  6. I myself went through a confusing a murky time trying to find a nanny. I had emailed the agencies mentioned, with just some general inquiries and got bombarded with emails saying that they had “found the perfect person for me.” How is that possible? I haven’t told you anything about my family!

    Their websites were suspicious, sketchy and looked really illegitimate. I asked around to friends, family and co-workers and was recommended by two to Diamond Personnel. Finally, a LEGITIMATE place! They had an office I could visit, I saw the staff working, the immigration consultants who made sure all the paperwork was done ETHICALLY and LEGALLY, and I met the consultants. They walked me through their process, called the Diamond Experience, and it was so reassuring.

    And the cherry on top? The proudly displayed plaque by the door, showing that they had passed the 2011 audit by the government. I, too, was scared by the stories you hear about these shady businesses, but Diamond was nothing like that. In fact, a few of their staff members were FORMER DIAMOND NANNIES who received their permits, went to school and were hired as immigration consultants, recruitment consultants, etc.!

    Their fees are charged directly to the family — not the caregivers. My husband and I explored the overseas route and sponsored a nanny from Hong Kong, and we were responsible for airfare and the agency fee. And you know what? We were okay with that. It was the right thing to do, rather than all those other “businesses” charging those poor women to work in Canada.

    Mary Ann has been with our family for 3 years, and we adore her. She has since sponsored her family, and continues to work for us in a live-out capacity. Mary Ann has been a loving, interactive and dedicated caregiver and we would be lost without her.

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  7. Shelly’s Nannies in Toronto is great. She is a independent agengy. She herself started up the agency, she is the sole owner of the business and she works on her own. Shelly is from Britian and is a qualified ECE in Britian. She came to Canada, worked as a Nanny for many years. After the family she worked for no longer needed her as the children grew up, she decided to start up her own nanny placement agency. I went through her, found a lovely family and cared their one infant at the time. Over the course of my three years with the family, developed a lovely bond with the family, and still ten years later – not working for them as things have changed, still keep in contact with both the children and parents. Alot of her nannies she placed with families with either ECE trained, or from Europe. She is great. There was no fee for me to register, the parents paid a placement fee. Hope this helps.

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  8. Anyone with more up to date experience with nanny agencies? There are so many reviews on Diamond but you can almost tell they are all written by the same people (come on, at least try a different writing style!). Even the president’s comment puts me off. I am going through the process right now and just want some genuine answers from real families.

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    1. Hi Eva,

      Nannies on Call has had a growing branch office in Toronto since 2010 which is now serving the entire GTA. Our head office in Vancouver BC has been going strong for over 12 years and we also serve Victoria BC, Kelowna BC, and Calgary AB. I encourage you to check out our website at http://www.nanniesoncall.com which includes client testimonials, and give us a call at 1-877-214-2828 with any questions. In a nutshell, we offer live-out local nannies for full-time or part-time placements, long-term or short-term, as well as an on-call babysitting service by the same pool of professional career nannies. We look forward to hearing from you!

      Warm Regards,
      Lindsay Laurence

      Regional Manager
      Nannies on Call – Toronto/GTA

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      1. Nannies on call are a COMPLETE joke– dont even interview their nannies in person before sending to families, don’t trust them!

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      2. We 100% guarantee that every one of our nannies is interviewed face to face. We take this very seriously. If you are having a problem I encourage you to contact me directly.

        Michelle Kelsey (Owner)

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    2. Hi Eva, I have contacted Diamond to ask for a live-in and live-out nanny arrangement. I am pleased with their customer service and they seem to have given clear expectations. HOwever, I will likely not proceed with them because I find the pool of candidiates to be fairly limited.

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    3. Hello Eva,
      Diamond has been in business for close to 25 years. We have legitimately earned the Best Nanny Agency Award from City Parent for the past several years. It makes sense that we would have positive reviews. I welcome you to contact us directly and we would be happy to provide you with as many verbal references of both employers and nannies as you require to have confidence in our service.

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      1. Shauna,

        Ana (below) made a good point. Does your agency have native Chinese speakers who can do proper reference checks? If English is not an employer’s first language, they will less likely give you a detailed response. I think if this would put you above your competition if you have this advantage.

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    4. We have been searching for a live in nanny for 3 months now and the process certainly takes much longer than expected. We are working with Family Matters nanny agency. They specialize in finding live in or live out caregivers who a currently in hong kong and this agency actually had an office and staff in hong kong to facilitate screening of candidates and interviews. If you are specifically looking to sponsor an overseas caregiver in HK, I old highly recommend them. They are prompt with phone calls and service. their candidates have comprehensive profiles, including biographical data, answers to interview style questions, and a free written essay. They also have videos of their candidates and can arrange Skype video interviews to give you a better idea of the candidates.
      We have also had experience with Select Nannies and I would not recommend them as their service was poor. It may be because they changed ownership recently.

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    5. Hi Eva,

      Yes, we now have staff that speak not only English but Tagalog, Farsi, French, Ilocano, Urdu, Cantonese and Hebrew. Reference checking can be a challenge when you are dealing with different countries and cultures so it is always a good idea to double check and verify to ensure that you are confident with the candidate that you would like to hire. Thanks for asking!

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  9. Give the agencies a call? I found there was a huge difference in service, and that really solidified my decision.

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  10. Nannies 911 are EXCELLENT for both the employer and the nanny/au pair. They really look out and are fair to both party and they nearly always answer my calls or email me back promptly.

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  11. Salut! I came across this forum today whilst taking the entire week last week calling agencies and interviewing candidates. I worked with nearly all of the agencies that have been named in this blog and I was most impressed with Nannies On Call. I would highly recommend them and I am certain that they have the Ontario market. They are really up to date with little education videos on employer/nanny dynamics professional relationship ect. Also they are very accurate and detail oriented. I felt good about paying the finding fee because Nannies On Call worked for it, in always listening to my specific needs.
    I have a child with a spectrum disorder and needed a prof. British trained Nanny who (bonus) has a very caring and patient and fun personality.
    I have found a gem in my present and first Nanny, I hope she will stay with us forever.
    Nannies On Call don’t charge the Nanny, they charge the Employer.
    All of the Nannies that they suggested to me, were/are presently in this province.

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  12. My biggest problem with these agencies is that they do no have native speakers who can conduct accurate reference checks for nannies in Hong Kong. One of the agencies mentioned above gave a stellar review on one of their Filipino nannies who lives in Hong Kong. Since I speak the language, I requested that I call the references myself. Quite to my disappointment, the previous employer said she almost fired the nanny 3 times in the past and would not recommend her to anyone. The agency was shocked when I gave them my feedback. They tried to rectify the problem by giving me more choices. However, you would think that after being in the business for over 20 years,having a native Chinese speaker on board would be the first business decision one would make. Not the brightest bulbs if you ask me.

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      1. The agency frequents this forum so I would rather not specify. But they did rectify the problem by sending us additional candidates. What I did find out after hiring our nanny is that, although they do not pay the agency an official fee, it was mandatory that they take a course organized by this agency. Sure,they learned about first aid and Canadian cold winters etc but they should not be charged approx. $3,000 in cash for it. Its just wrong to me since nannies don’t make a lot and that was the whole reason why we had selected them in the first place. We didn’t realize our nanny had to pay a hefty sum out of picket in addition to the fee we paid.

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  13. I have my own blog and a pal of mine flagged this and sent it my way. Recently I had my own experience with a number of nanny agencies and online nanny agencies. I found the canadiansitter.ca to be quite a good bang for your buck but my wife and I were too anxious to follow up through the site.
    We were very disappointed with Diamond Agency who sent us volumes of resumes and even after hiring our present nanny kept us flowing with constant streams of resumes.
    I have to say I am disappointed with the calibre of all the Toronto agencies. In the end my wife found a nanny word-of-mouth.Nanny seems to be settling into job really well.

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    1. Tom — I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. That sounds awful. We’ve given up on agencies. I’m using care.com when we need help. The high cost & high risk of the agencies is a loose, loose model as far as I can figure out. Good luck.

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      1. Hi bytownmom,Yes it was like we struck gold when he hired our present nanny through word of mouth.I totally agree with you, the finders fee cost is really quite high, but I guess if you get someone really good then i dont mind as much.

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    2. Hello Tom, I am surprised to read your review about Diamond. We pride ourselves on representing the most qualified candidates and sending only those that meet your individual needs that were outlined to us during our discovery process. After a personal consultation with each of our families, we typically send 3 candidates that we feel would make the best fit with your family. It does not sound like us to send “a stream of resumes”. Is it possible that you are confusing us with another agency? I would welcome an opportunity to speak with you personally to better understand your experience. I can be reached at (416) 730 8866 ext 226. Thank you.

      Shauna Guth
      Director of Placements and Operations
      Diamond Personnel

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    3. Tom, we also had a terrible experience with Diamond. Poor service, broken promises and expensive. Definitely don’t stand by their word. Stay away.

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  14. It’s really interesting reading this blog. A lot of the bigger agencies in Toronto are there for business only, bar a few. They spend little time interviewing nannies, get nannies to fill in a lot of paper work. Maybe see them for 15 mins 30 max. “We will call you” they say to the nanny. Have to say the fees for some agencies are ridiculous, even if you can afford it. Being a nanny and having dealt with agencies it was quite something.
    There are a hand full of professional agencies. Yet some of the ones claiming to be voted best agency year after year, I ask myself how? The main goal is the money. Yes the money. Diamond personnel are clearly not worth what they are asking for and their service is not that great even if they have a big office.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I used Diamond and was very happy. The nanny came well trained and the agency pretty much took care of everything from start to finish. Would use them again and have sent my friends who have had similar experiences.

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  16. Do any of you have any experience or recommendations for finding a live-in caregiver to help with seniors, rather than children? I am at that other stage life, trying to set things up for my parents in Ottawa. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thanks.

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  17. Hello Ala
    We also do eldercare placements and we place live in caregivers in Ottawa. I would be happy to speak with you about this. Please feel free to give us a call 1 888 886 8209.
    Warm regards,
    Shauna

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  18. Hi Ala,

    Unlike most agencies in Ontario, Execu-Nannies specializes in locally available live in caregiver – already in Canada and ready to meet. This is especially valuable for seniors where they can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable welcoming someone into their home whom they’ve never met in person.

    Give our office a call at 416-221-6000. We can provide references for some very happy families of seniors in the Ottawa area who have used our services.

    Good luck in your search,

    Ian

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  19. I have used Diamond Personnel 3 times and am always pleased with their service and screening. We love our nanny and the agency reps are always there to help when needed. Sure it’s expensive but you get what you pay for. I always thought it was a worthwhile investment and saved me a lot of time and aggravation. If your not willing to invest in your kids then what are you willing to invest in? I was happy to pay for the peace of mind and knowing that my kids were safe and in good hands.

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  20. I am working mother, 4 children, over the years we hired 3 Filipino nannies using ABC Nannies Canada agency. They help me select our nannies and they processed all the paperwork plus they are providing on going support. Their fees are very reasonable.

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    1. Linda, I would love to hear more about your experience with ABC! I think I will be going with them. They are much cheaper than the Toronto agencies, and that sets off alarm bells!

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  21. interesting stuff and eye opening!I am in the process of gathering information on behalf of my very busy son and daughter-in-law , who reside in northern bc. Can anyone suggest a reputable agency for this side of canada that also employs european central and south american live in nannies?

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    1. Hey Judi,
      I would like to recommend one of the best nanny service providers in USA. Recommending on my own experience. They take care of you son or daughter in best manner as its need.

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    2. ABC nannies is in Vancouver and sent me South American and Eastern Europeans. They seem great so far.

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  22. interesting reviews on nanny agencies…a friend recommended canadiannanny.ca . We interview 5 solid candidates from that site. We had about 20 responses from our ad. Although the nannies on not screened we used there additional screening service to reference and complete background checks. Took 2weeks. I think it cost me $55 to use and contact nannies on the site. Speaking to the staff at canadiannanny they said that many families use there site and work with a nanny agency at the same time. Anyway for the cost savings it’s worth a try.

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  23. i referred many friends & family members to diamond over the years because we had a fabulous experience with them; a friend actually told me she saw this blog and told me a bit about the comments so i had to check it out. wow, i am surprised! diamond placed us with our nanny 7 years ago and we’ve never looked back. she’s become a memeber of our family, i can’t imagine how we’d function without Juvy. because of these comments, i asked Juvy what it was like for her with diamond. she said they were great! professional, had a lengthy conversation with her in person in their office, and they had her fill out lots of tests. these guys don’t mess around! i know for a fact that my other friends who went with diamond have NO regrets. that’s why i stand by this agency.

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  24. Great blog Bytown mom and I understand your concerns as parents but I have a question. Why is everyone who has commented on this topic so dependent on agencies?? Do you feel that an agency can judge who is best to look after your child/children better than yourself? What about the websites online where you can search and contact the nannies directly by your own means (e.g. greataupair.com, newaupair.com), surely that’s a better option – there are no fees either or if so, they are they are considerably smaller! I am a nanny and have a decent amount of experience in looking after children as I have worked with a variety of families over the years and I have always found it a much nicer experience to find the family myself and contact them directly rather than the obtrusive process of going through an agency. It just bewilders me why people are so dependent on agencies nowadays when the truth is that half the time the agency is no better than finding someone off your own merit, they are just acting on your behalf and primarily looking to make money as with any business! Your thoughts/comments on this are welcomed.

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  25. Hi. We are a nanny agency in Vancouver, BC, and have dealt mostly with local ladies once they are in Canada as the risk involved in bringing someone from abroad is just too great. There are local people with the experience and education to do a good job. Whenever you approach an agency, just make sure they are licensed as in BC you need to be licensed by the BC authorities. If an agency does not do as promised, then there us recourse of course – find out if they are licensed – lodge a complaint. Then there is the BBB – lodge a complaint. Make sure what you are signing and if not delivered you also have a legal matter. Questions to consider: Where is the agency listed for credibility purposes? Do they screen, check references, check criminal records, check education? DO they provide some sort of training either themselves or through accredited organizations? Do a quick Google/Bing check to see if their were any complaints or appraisals regarding the agency? Hope the above advice helps? From Nannies Galore – nanniesgalore.ca

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  26. I agree with TamTam..I am also a live in caregiver that was hired directly. I had searched and inquire to different agencies and I found out that the process is the same with direct hiring. The only difference is that they are the ones who will look for nanny instead of you but you will spend a lot more if you will hire through agency. And also if you are worried about getting a wrong nanny, how can you say that agencies will give you the right one? They don’t even know the applicant personally, they are also just relying on the resume. Some agencies will ask you to pick from variety of choices, so why not do it by yourself then? This is just my opinion, comments are welcomed.

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  27. dont use totalnannies they appear helpful and reliable but you will loose your down payment on a nanny if the nanny decides to quit and be expected to pay again for a new one

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  28. I have dealt with AYAH NANNIES in the past year and half.They are local based in Ottawa but service Canada.they are very forth coming and answer all your questions and respond in a timely manner. Muni and Anita the owners are very helpful.I was beside myself as my Nanny had received her open permit and left me a note that her last day was today.I contacted ayah nannies through their website and within days she found me a local nanny in Calgary who made a commitment to work for i year.Then i sponsored a nanny from HK and ayah nannies took care of the whole process hassle free.I now have my nanny who arrived within 5 months.they have quality nannies who speak English fairly well.
    NOTE I have recommended ayah nannies to 2 of my friends and they also have had excellent service from Ayah Nannies.
    Tash

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  29. Nannies On Call were very good for us. My friend told me about this blog and asked that I also comment and give a shout out to Nannies On Call. I was very happy with the regular sitters that they’ve sent to our home. In particular the British nannies and were great with our sons. My wife and I are both school principles and we will recommend Nannies On Call to both families and friends and caregivers.

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  30. I have had a great experience with diamond personnel over the years and most of the nannies in my neighbourhood came through them. Whenever anyone talks about nannies their name always comes up so they obviously have a good reputation. I also know they meet the nannies that they bring over here personally and require specific training. I can definitely recommend them from my own experience and other families in the neighbourhood and my network. Good luck!

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  31. Anyone have experience hiring a nanny in Calgary? We have checked various websites, and there seems to be very few availble.
    thanks

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  32. Another vote for Diamond. Divorced , two kids with a busy job. Found this blog when I did the search, decided to call around, went with Diamond and got fast and good results.

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  33. I have been searching for a live-in nanny for a few weeks now. I started by googling for reputable agencies. This is a very difficult process as there are not a lot of independant reviews online. I have spoken to two; freefromcare and diamondpersonnel. Freefromcare is a smaller agency and works out of Cyrpus. They seem honest and genuine, answering all of my questions in detail and elaborating where warranted and without being prompted. Diamond is the largest agency in Canada and seems good based on their website, and they say all the right things, but my interactions have left me wary of them due to their limited replies to my questions. Whereas freefromcare goes into detail willingly I am having trouble getting diamond to provide straight answers to my questions even with repeated prompting. I will be interviewing nannies from both agencies in the near future. I see a lot of comments re Diamond on here but none on freefromcare; does anyone have experience with them?

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    1. Hi Michael, I am also in Calgary and beginning to look into a live-in nanny. I came across the Freefromcare website and was quite impressed. I have only just tried to contact them today. Please share any of your experience with them and I will do the same. I have not encountered anyone else who has used them.

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  34. I am also happy to write a positive review on Diamond Personnel. My partner and I are a same sex couple living in Toronto. I called Diamond after reading about them on here. They were fantastic. We had a bad experience with some other agencies and trying to do it on our own because many of the nannies we interviewed weren’t comfortable working with a same sex couple. After reassuring us that we wouldn’t have a problem, Diamond sent us three great nannies to interview. We would have felt comfortable having any one of them take care of our son. You will pay a premium for their service but it was worth it for us. Only wish I had found them first! They made it seem so easy but take it from me, doing it on your own is not worth the hassle, Call Diamond!

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  35. Hey Jennifer, I found a nanny through freefromcare and we are moving through the process now. Everything has gone smoothly so far. I interviewed 3 applicants from freefromcare and two from diamond. Both of the applicants I interviewed through Diamond had great credentials and interviewed well. Out of the three from freefromcare, one was good, one was perfect and one has horrible (on paper she was our favorite, its interesting how that works out). Even though both Diamond applicants interviewed well I have to say I went into the process needing to be blown away by a candidate due to the evasive and cryptic nature of all of my communications with diamond. I also do not feel that Diamond provides a proper environment for the interview as both were in internet cafes and I had a very difficult time communicating. Freefromcare provides a private interview experience in their Cyprus office. An additional detail on freefromcare is that our nanny is employing an immigration consultant and this consultant does work with freefromcare. I also spoke with two references provided by freefromcare and both were happy with their experience even though both of them had to wait 8+ months for their nanny to arrive (longer than the quoted 4-6 months). Both references did say that they caused some of the delay themselves.

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  36. while the blog post itself was useful, i find the comments to be mainly from agencies touting their business and i have serious doubts about all these “so-called clients” that are providing positive reviews for specific agencies. can the owner of the blog validate that these comments are for real?

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    1. I absolutely agree Monica! Exactly the feeling I get from reading these comments. For sure some of these so called testimonials are fake. I am leaning less and less toward an agency and doing word of mouth.

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  37. How times have changed! I started one of the first, true nanny agencies in Toronto. I had a great reputation and have to say I had wonderful clients and highly qualified nannies, mostly from the UK, to work for families who put childcare foremost with only light housekeeping duties that pertained to the children. I know of many cases where the families and their previous nannies are still close friends.
    Sure I had competition as in all businesses but I have to say for the most part the other agencies were hard working and ethical. I closed my agency after 25 years on my hretirement and from reading this website I can only thank my lucky stars that I got out in time! It does not sound to be a pleasant business to be in these days.
    To the lady who put together this website I say “well done”.

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  38. DIAMOND –My wife and I used Diamond when looking for a nanny a number of months ago and they seemed all customer service focused in the beginning, but once we gave them the upfront fee they completely changed their attitude. They ended up being unable to get us a suitable nanny – only one that wouldn’t be available until 6 months later. Other agencies quickly stepped up for much less and were way higher quality for less money. Diamond was a complete rip off and refused to give us any money back despite them not being able to deliver on their promise. After speaking to other people I’ve found out that we weren’t the only ones they’ve ripped off. These people are only interested in taking advantage of people and making a quick buck. I’d strongly caution you before giving Diamond a penny.

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  39. GT,

    As the founder and President of Diamond Personnel, I welcome legitimate reviews of our business and I find your comments above deeply disheartening. The complaints you have described do not reflect our business practices, which would lead one to conclude that this is not a factual review. In order for us to improve client experience, I ask that you please contact me directly at 416-730-8866 ext. 224 to discuss your comments above.

    Diamond is entering our twenty-sixth year of business in an industry that breeds fly by night operators. We have highly trained consultants who are committed to an exemplary client experience. We are selective, representing only those candidates that can provide stellar references, strong command of the English language, and appropriate experience. All of our nannies are personally interviewed, must have first aid and CPR certification, a personality screening, and verified references. We proudly have a 95% success rate, an unheard of figure in the nanny placement industry. We have a one year guarantee on our overseas placements and have always honored this guarantee in Diamond’s 25 years of business. I can only surmise from your comments above that your are unhappy with the government processing times to secure a live in replacement. While we wish this was faster, Diamond has no control over embassy processing times. However, we are consistently lobbying our Minister of Immigration to reduce the delays which cause our clients tremendous frustration and disruption.

    I look forward to speaking with you so that we can fully understand your previous experience and hopefully work with you to leave you with a positive experience with Diamond Personnel.

    Audrey Guth
    President, Diamond Personnel

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  40. Audrey, the fact that you are unaware or cant remember when you failed to deliver on your promise for my family but kept our money (more than $2000) regardless indicates that perhaps you either aren’t as close to the business as you proclaim (another empty claim) or you make this a regular habit (shameful)
    The purpose of this forum (and others like it) is to empower consumers to share open and honest feedback, experiences and advice with each other, not for companies to further misclaim and mislead.
    GT

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  41. GT
    Again I invite you to call me directly to discuss your issues. I look forward to hearing about your experience.

    Audrey Guth
    President, Diamond Personnel

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  42. We have had several live out nannies in the past 4 years and have never found that “fit” with our family. We’re now considering live in. Has anyone used Apple Nannies?

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  43. Hi there… I have used care solutions nanny agency located in North Vancouver. The owner Angie is really great and very diligent. She provided us our first nanny who was absolutley amazing with my two children. She just received her open work permit and wants to pursue other career options. Currently – using Angie once again to help us find another nanny. Angie did not charge our nanny a few however we paid Angie a placement fee. It’s very difficult to find live in caregivers at the moment, apparently many of them prefer to work in elderly care as they think it is easier.
    Prior to using angie, we used simplified homecare which came highly recommended by a few friends. They did not deliver any candidates that met our requirements rather sent me 2 candidates during a 3 month period. They were trying to convince me to try them out for a few days but i declined as they were not the right fit. They did not deliver or return my initial deposit which the owner promised he would if they were unable to find a suitable match for us. I was not impressed.

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  44. I LOOOVE this site – great blogs!!! Thank you for sharing all of this vauable information. It is really appreciated!!!! I will definitely revisit your site as I search for a nanny for our family.

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  45. ANONYMOUS
    FEB. 20,2014 AT 5:20PM
    Thank you for sharing the information. My sister is currently working in Hongkong for a few years now and like to change the country of employment. She wants me to find an agency who can find her an employer with out ripping my sister’s pocket or employers pocket , since live-in nannies don’t save a lot of money as they send most of their salaries back home to support their family they left behind. After reading this bogs, I’m totally confused and need any recommendation. thanks

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  46. Many of the owners of agencies are doing their best to bias this forum and use it to promote themselves. I even had an owner of one of the agencies (see my other posts for details) try to stop me from posting my very negative experience with their agency here. She then asked me to contact her directly to try and “resolve” ( ie get me not to post). Funny how she wasn’t interested in helping me or returning my calls or my money before I posted.

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    1. To GT, Monica & Roy — I hope things are going smoothly for your. It is tough with the agencies looking @ the site. When I look through comments, I try to weed out the obvious “fake” testimonials….. but there are others where I simply can’t tell, and give people the benefit of the doubt. On our side, we gave up, and have one parent staying home for a while. We’ll be back in the nanny search game this fall. Wish us luck!

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  47. My colleague from the office tried Diamond and she said they were expensive and their service was terrible. Luckily we’ve had our nanny for 4 yrs and she is great! Luck of the draw. Good luck everyone!

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  48. I work at a law firm and have been asking around about agencies for the last 3 months as I am expecting my second child. Almost everyone here who has a nanny seems to know about Diamond and everyone who has used them raved about them. Word around here is that it was money well spent. I may just bite the bullet and spend the extra money because they seem to be the most professional from what I can tell. I like that they go and meet the nannies in Hong Kong and that the nannies have to have specialized training. Will report back after my nanny arrives!

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  49. FYI Diamond Personnel charges overseas nannies in Hong Kong can $ 3000.- for ” training ” which is only 2 days !! They don’t have a very good reputation at all and were under investigation a few years back charging nannies 18 % interest.
    http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2009/03/17/critics_want_crackdown_as_nannies_exploited.html

    They are charging now families between $ 3500 – 5000.-.
    We used a smaller agency a few years back who have now gone out of business since changes to the program.

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  50. Laura,
    Diamond does NOT charge ANY fees to caregivers. We do ensure caregivers have Canadian caregiver training from an independent professional institution which includes Canadian first aid and CPR to make sure that they are qualified to care for children in canada. Diamond is in compliance with all rules and regulations around the temporary foreign worker program and have licenses to operate in all provinces. Our employers appreciate having trained professional nannies sourced for them and are confident that their children are safe under their care. I would be happy to answer any further questions you may have about our recruitment or the caregiver’s requirements but ask that you please post only truthful and accurate information about any company that you review.

    Shauna Guth
    Diamond Personnel

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  51. We recently (last October, 2013) hired WeeCare in toronto to help us through the process of finding and sponsoring a nanny from Hong Kong. Horrific process!!!! Do NOT use WeeCare!!
    -incorrectly and incompletely filled out forms for LMO application
    -did not ensure form was properly filed (I called service canada to check on my file status in 3months after it was faxed in – service canada had no record of it)
    -no idea of actual processing times! I spoke with the president of the company in March 2014 to confirm processing times in Hong Kong. She assured me it would not be longer than 4 weeks. 6 weeks later when I was still waiting, I found out it is really a 4 MONTH wait.

    Needless to say all these occurances have been stressful, expensive, and COMPLETELY un-necessary!!! And to make matters worse, the company will not return our calls or emails now.
    Completely unprofessional – save yourself the time and aggregation by hiring another Agency or simply doing it yourself!

    Like

    1. For anyone still looking to sponsor, the process is LONG – please don’t let any agency tell you otherwise. Our care-giver submitted all her paperwork to the VAC in Hong Kong the first week of March and we still haven’t heard anything back. Going onto a 6month wait after all the paperwork finishes in Canada. AND WeeCare still won’t answer any emails or calls to discuss the problems we experienced.

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      1. Beth,

        The issue is Hong Kong right now is that there was apparently a move of the department to a new location. This changed the “posted” processing time from 4 to 5 months. Of course we always add 1-2 months to any posted processing time.

        I would recommend that you acquire the file number from the nanny and make an inquiry through the Hong Kong embassy website.

        Not making any judgements about the service you received through your agency but overseas processing can never be given a time guarantee by anyone. It’s the most frustrating part of the process.

        Best of luck. We recently had a few from HK process in 4 or 5 months so I recommend a follow up for sure.

        Like

  52. I have tried to become a part of the roster for few of these nanny agencies but been told basically that because of my age (I am 20 years old, 21 in December), they cannot represent me. I have been working with children(infant,toddler,pre-school,school aged) for 9 years including babysitting,nanny and mother’s helper. I am also doing ECE classes online through one of the top college’s in Ontario to obtain my diploma. I am looking for a full-time,live-out, nanny position in the GTA. If you know anybody who needs a fun, loving nanny, please do not hesitate to contact me. I have experience,driver’s license, legal documentation to work,first aid+cpr,police check and references. Thank You.-Monika

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  53. Hey Monika,

    It’s often hard as an early 20 year old to find jobs in the industry mostly because employers are cautious and want proven long term full time experience.

    Live out jobs are also generally harder to find these days as most opt for live in.

    Our agency doesn’t discriminate by age but if you did contact us and did not get a favourable response then I’d ask you to contact me directly. You sound like a well spoken person with great experience.

    Good luck in your search and maybe we can help.

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  54. Hello Ian,
    Thank you for answering the question many have not done which is why I am not able to get a full time position. Although I understand that I am young, I have references for each job I have done to prove my experience. I actually have an interview with your agency on Tuesday and am very excited! Hopefully it works out as I really cannot see myself working anywhere else other Than with children.

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    1. Awesome, we look forward to meeting you. I’ll make sure to pay extra attention to your file and see if we can make a match for you. If you’re patient I’m sure we can find something suitable. I’m also glad to hear that you were treated fairly and given an interview to further explore your experience. We have a zero tolerance policy against ageism, young or mature, and I think we need to do our best to cultivate the young talent in the industry.

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  55. On the word of mouth search, if anyone reads this blog and would like to recommend a nanny, please reply or send us a message. My wife and I are in a transition and would love to find someone suitable and perhaps help someone who would like to stay in Canada. If you know a family who is about to end their relationship with a great individual, or a nanny who is looking for opportunities in Toronto, we would really appreciate your help.

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  56. We are happy to say that we’ve had an AMAZING experience with Apple Nannies. We were recommended to Apple Nannies by my sister, as she too utilized their services to bring her Nanny 6 years ago. . We began our process for Live-In-Nanny in September 2014; Interviewed several potential candidates (via Skype) in October-Chose our Nanny (Filipino working in Hong Kong); Submitted her application in November 2014 and will be welcoming her to our HOME April 2015! Our process has truly been smooth sailing. We have always been updated and informed at every step of the way by Apple Nannies incredible staff. We have mainly worked with Val and she has been nothing but outstanding! Thank you Apple Nannies for helping us during this process… We definitely couldn’t have done it without you.

    Like

  57. Don’t use NannyfindersCanada http://www.nannyfinderscanada
    The lady is extremely rude, she does everything wrong and doesn’t care about picking a good nanny for you and does not take responsibility for it. It was a waste of time to use her, even if she didn’t charge us directly. She is nasty!

    Like

  58. I live outside Canada and I am looking for a job as a Nanny/caregiver. I have realized that it’s hard to find a reputable nanny company to help me find a family to work for. There are a lot of companies making a lot of promises about finding jobs for people but it’s hard to judge which companies are genuine. I wonder if someone on this blog has a recommendation/advice on how to navigate the whole process.

    Like

    1. hello ma’am margie, I am a licensed midwife both here in the Philippines and KSA when I was still working there 2010-2016.I am now currently working as a staff midwife and hoping to land a job overseas as a nanny. my e-mail is indiradalida@rocketmail.com.

      Like

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