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Child Care: Nanny Agencies and Au Pair Agencies
Nannies | Au Pair | Child-Care Centers | Baby Sitters

Nanny Agencies

Absolute Best Care, Inc.
274 Madison Ave., near 40th St., Ste. 1003
This agency refers nannies and baby nurses to families in all five boroughs as well as Long Island and Connecticut. For a onetime fee of $195, parents can choose among hundreds of nannies, some of whom have taken a specialty course on how to handle twins and fussy babies. ABC also offers short-term nanny services and babysitting. Agency fees are 15 percent of the nanny’s first annual salary; wages range from $10 to $15 an hour.

Best Domestic Placement Service
10 E. 39th St., near Fifth Ave., Ste. 1118
With Best Domestic, parents can choose from a large network of full- and part-time nannies and housekeepers. The company also offers a database of 10,000 babysitters, who are subjected to thorough interviews and background checks if employed. The agency’s fee is 15 percent of the nanny’s annual salary. Nanny wages start at $500 a week.

Nanny Surveillance
Meyerson Associates
Private investigation and security specialist Barry Meyerson and his staff will prescreen your nanny to ensure that she’s not illegal, criminal, sexually predatory, or litigious ($750); install sophisticated covert digital surveillance systems (a.k.a. nanny cams) in your home ($4,000–$7,000); and videotape your nanny while she plays (or neglects to play), with your children outdoors (“activity checks” are $125 per hour).

A Choice Nanny
850 Seventh Ave., near 55th St., Ste. 706
Beyond placing full-time nannies, this multipurpose agency offers services like NaniTemp, which provides short-term care in emergency situations, and TutorCare, where nannies help children with their homework and escort them to after-school activities. Contact the agency for wages and fees.

My Child’s Best Friend
239 E. 73rd St., near Second Ave., Ste. 2E
For six years, former nanny Janet Cook has successfully matched families with suitable long- and short-term nannies as well as traveling nanny temps and babysitters. The agency charges 12 percent of the nanny’s first annual salary, but up-front payment earns a 15 percent discount; average wages start at $600 per week.

New York Nanny Center, Inc.
787 Seventh Ave., near 51st St.
New York Nanny’s roster includes mostly young college grads willing to commit to at least one year of employment for families in all five boroughs, plus Connecticut, Westchester, and Long Island. The fourteen-year-old agency charges a $125 application fee, and a $2,900 placement fee for live-in nannies (for live-out nannies, the fee is five times the weekly salary). Nanny wages range from $350 to $600 per week.

Au Pair Agencies

Au Pair Care
For any au pair service in the U.S., families are required to pay an initial fee of $5,000 to $6,000. On arriving in New York, Au Pair Care participants go through extensive training in child-care development, household safety, crime prevention, and CPR. Parents are required to pay au pairs an average of $260 per week, which includes transportation and a weekly stipend.

Au Pair in America
9 W. Broad St., Stamford, Conn.
This American Institute for Foreign Study-affiliated program has been matching international au pairs with families for nearly twenty years. Choose from several programs: Au Pair Child Care ($265 per week), which includes 45 weekly hours of care; Au Pair Extraordinaire ($343 per week), which upgrades you to an au pair with a formal child-care degree; and Educare ($209), which is for parents seeking a lesser time commitment. Community-based counselors are available to help with any issues that arise.

Cultural Care Au Pair
1 Education St., Cambridge, Mass.
EF Education, a worldwide foreign-language organization, oversees this exchange program, which not only screens candidates thoroughly but also trains them at its own facility. Total cost for the standard program is $5,395 per year, plus the standard weekly stipend of $139 and an education allowance of up to $500.

EurAuPair Intercultural Childcare Programs
407 N. Washington St., Alexandria, Va.
This organization can match your family with an au pair from almost anywhere in the world. The regular program is $5,800 per year; the Au Pair Par Experience program, which ensures you an au pair who has either a kindergarten teaching degree or two years of full-time child-care experience, costs $6,700 (plus weekly $140 stipend, plus education fees). Returning families get a discount.

Go Au Pair
6965 Union Park Center, Suite 100, Salt Lake City, Utah
888-287-2471 This company offers two programs: the standard Go Au Pair ($5,745) and the Premiere Au Pair ($5,945), which requires two years’ experience or a relevant child-care degree. The standard $140 weekly stipend and education fees are not included. Au pairs arrive with comprehensive health insurance obtained through the company.

InterExchange, Inc
161 Sixth Ave., at Spring St.
InterExchange au pairs are thoroughly interviewed and investigated before their profiles are sent to host families. Beyond the mandatory $5,490 fee for enrolling in the au pair program, parents can expect to pay a weekly stipend of about $140.

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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide