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FAQ's

What are the typical responsibilities of a Nanny?

What's the difference between an Au Pair and a Nanny?

What kind of benefits do nannies typically receive?

What are the Agency fees for Long-Term placements?

When is the placement fee due?

What are the Agency fees for Temporary/Short-Term placements?

What if I want to hire the temporary candidate on long-term basis?

Is it possible to hire the same candidate for Temporary/Short-Term assignments?

What if I hire a Temporary/Short-Term candidate and then decide I don't need their services?

Do I pay the Temporary/Short-Term candidate directly?

What happens if my nanny is sick or takes a vacation?

How does SS@MA find qualified candidates?

What experience is required of SS@MA candidates?

How do you screen your caregivers?

What is a Newborn Specialist/Doula?

What are the responsibilities of a Newborn Specialist/Doula?

When should I begin a Newborn Specialist/Doula search?

What is the typical work schedule for a Newborn Specialist/Doula?

What is the typical salary range for a Newborn Specialist/Doula?

How do I get started with SS@MA?


What are the typical responsibilities of a Nanny?

A Nanny's #1 priority is to create a safe, loving, and stimulating environment because this is most crucial for nurturing a child's well-being. The specific responsibilities vary upon the agreement made between the Nanny and the employer. Their duties typically include the full range of activities in childcare such as: supervising the child; playing and reading with them; engaging in developmental activities, especially with younger children; preparing the children's meals; driving the children to appointments and coordinating their activities; light housekeeping, e.g. maintaining the playroom, the children's rooms and laundry. A Nanny may also have the responsibility of running the household while a parent is away on business or personal travel.

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What's the difference between an Au Pair and a Nanny?

An Au Pair is a young adult from a foreign country who comes to the U.S. as part of an educational and cultural exchange program. Au Pairs are considered to be members of the family, not employees. They may or may not have prior childcare experience or training.

Their work is restricted to childcare duties only. They are not allowed to perform general household responsibilities or manage the home if parents are away on travel. Their work week is restricted to 45 hours or less and they receive a small allowance/salary. The Au Pair program limits the time they can stay in the U.S. to one year to experience American life.

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What kind of benefits do nannies typically receive?

Benefits vary from family to family depending on the market and on what you negotiate during the interviewing process. Examples of some of the more common benefits families are offering nannies: Paid holidays, paid vacations, sick days, personal days, gas/mileage, partial or full health insurance, dental insurance, use of family vehicle, cash bonus for longevity, paid airfare home for visits, cell phone allowance, 401K, Sep IRA.

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What are the Agency fees for Long-Term placements?

There is a non-refundable annual Registration Fee of $295.00. This fee covers consultation, search and the registration of a long-term placement or summer placement, and the use of our "Temporary/Short Term Services" for one year from the date of registration.

If you hire a candidate we refer to you, our referral fee is as follows:

Full-time, Live-out or Live-in Nanny, Parent Helper, Family Assistant, Governess
15% of gross annual salary or $3000, whichever is greater

Part Time, Nanny, Parent Helper, Family Assistant, Governess
15% of gross annual salary or $3000, whichever is greater

Summer Nanny employment of 120 days or less)
35% of gross compensation or $1500, whichever is greater

Share A- Nanny/Live-in or Live-out, Full or Part-Time
20% of gross annual salary or $3000, whichever is greater

SS@MA conducts in-depth interviews with our clients to identify specific requirements. This helps us create the best matches between employer needs and employee services. In the event that you terminate employment during the first 4 months of placement, we will offer you a partial credit of your original fee to be applied towards a future search. This credit is prorated based on the employee's last day in the position. Our Referral Agreement provides a detailed outline of all of the terms and fees mentioned.

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When is the placement fee due?

The placement fee is due only when you make the offer and the Nanny accepts the position. At that time we do the criminal background check.

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What are the Agency fees for Temporary/Short-Term placements?

There is a non-refundable annual Registration Fee of $295 that allows you to use all of our services, including searching for a long-term candidate or use our Temporary/Short-Term department. In addition to the registration fee, there is a referral fee due to the agency of $40 for each day the provider is placed in your home for days or evenings. There are additional fees for overnights and holidays. There is a 4-hour minimum.

If you do not wish to register for the year, you can become a non-registered client and pay $70 referral fee for each day the provider is scheduled to come to your home. The referral fee is due when a candidate is confirmed for the assignment. There are additional fees for overnights and holidays.

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What if I want to hire the temporary candidate on long-term basis?

If you choose to hire a temporary candidate on a long-term basis, a Placement Counselor will be happy to review the long-term placement fee structure with you. Temporary fees do not apply toward a permanent referral fee.

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Is it possible to hire the same candidate for Temporary/Short-Term assignments?

While we cannot guarantee that the same person will be available for each assignment, we will be happy to check the availability of a specific person for you. We make every effort to honor our clients’ requests and with sufficient notice, we can usually make the necessary arrangements. We understand our clients’ need for consistency.

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What if I hire a Temporary/Short-Term candidate and then decide I don't need their services?

If the assignment is changed or cancelled after it has been confirmed, there is a $25.00 Service Provider charge for cancellations with less than 24 hours notice, in addition to the non-refundable referral fee.

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Do I pay the Temporary/Short-Term candidate directly?

Yes, you pay the caregiver’s wages directly upon completion of the assignment. The caregiver's wages are separate from the agency fees.

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What happens if my nanny is sick or takes a vacation?

SS@MA provides Temporary Short-Term childcare services for personal in-home use as well as corporate services for conferences, special events, worship centers, hotels, daycare centers, etc. You may utilize this service when your nanny is sick, on vacation, or when you just want to get away for the weekend.

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How does SS@MA find qualified candidates?

Since 1979, we have successfully placed experienced caregivers in homes throughout the Washington metro area. We are proud to work with caregivers who have completed long-term assignments through us and have returned to us for further placement. We also partner with other leading agencies to conduct nationwide searches for qualified candidates.

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What experience is required of SS@MA candidates?

The candidates represented by our Agency must have at least two years professional experience, as well as references in their related field. Our candidate pool consists of a wonderful variety of ages, ethnic and educational backgrounds and experience levels. This diversity allows us to offer you a wide range of profiles to match your unique needs.

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How do you screen your caregivers?

Our 9-step background check allows us to screen candidates meticulously. Our priority is your peace of mind. We hire professional caregivers who take their responsibilities and care giving seriously. All our providers meet our exceptionally high standards of qualifications and are selected for their experience, character and reliability. Some of our providers have been with us for more than 15 years, and some of our families have been with us more than 20 years - a reflection of our stability and a sign of confidence. Additionally, all our providers speak English, are legal residents of the United States, and have their own transportation.

Our 9 Step background check includes:

  1. Personal Interview
  2. Reference Check
  3. Health & Safety Orientation
  4. Fingerprints & Photograph
  5. Criminal History
  6. Driving History
  7. Sex Offender Registry
  8. Social Security Verification
  9. CPR Certification

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What is a Newborn Specialist/Doula?

A Newborn Specialist or Doula (Greek, meaning “new mother/new baby”), can be a nurse or a person who has gone through training with a lactation consultant. They have extensive training and experience and help nurture and care for the baby while providing guidance and education for you. A Newborn Specialist will provide unique expertise in all aspects of newborn care and parental education and support. Whether you need a lactation consultant, an expert in the care of multiples, or just an extra set of hands, SS@MA can provide a Newborn Specialist who meets your needs.

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What are the responsibilities of a Newborn Specialist/Doula?

The primary role of a Newborn Specialist/Doula is to provide assistance during the post-delivery recovery period and help you transition into a regular schedule. The Newborn Specialist is available at night to take care of your baby in order to give you needed rest. The Newborn Specialist feeds your baby by bottle or brings the baby to you for nursing. After feeding, she burps and changes your baby before settling him or her back to sleep. A daytime Newborn Specialist provides similar care and also strives to create a nurturing, stimulating environment for your baby during waking hours. Both day and night Newborn Specialists document your baby's patterns and keep a log of sleeping, feeding and changing times so you can transition your baby to a regular schedule.

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When should I begin a Newborn Specialist/Doula search?

It's never too early to start your search for a qualified, trustworthy Newborn Specialist/Doula. To ensure the broadest selection available, allow up to 3 months prior to your anticipated delivery date to begin the selection process. However, don't hesitate to call us if you have an immediate need. We have accommodated many families on short notice.

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What is the typical work schedule for a Newborn Specialist/Doula?

A Newborn Specialist/Doula can work full-time, usually in 12-hour shifts day or night, or work 24-hour shifts, either 5 or 7 days a week. A Newborn Specialist usually works a minimum of 2 weeks.

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What is the typical salary range for a Newborn Specialist/Doula?

Salary is usually based on two factors: the amount of experience the caregiver brings to the position and the number of infants involved (twins, triplets, etc.) The average salary range for a Newborn Specialist is $17 to $30 per hour or $250 to $400 + per day. Since Newborn Specialists work as temporary employees, they usually receive no benefits.

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How do I get started with SS@MA?

Our team of Placement Counselors is ready to assist you with our extensive pool of cheerful, professional caregivers for your childcare needs. Contact our Placement Counselors at 703-250-0700 or 800-526-2669 from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Friday or click to begin your search.

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