Dear DNB,

We no longer need our beloved nanny anymore now that our kids are older. We want to help her find an awesome family to work for. Do we just list our name as a reference, or what’s the protocol here?


Trying to Do The Right Thing

Dear Trying,

Your nanny needs a recommendation letter, although she might feel weird asking for one.

“Write a letter about how amazing I am,” says no one ever (at least not without feeling awkward).

No one wants to have to ask someone to write them a letter of recommendation. This is even more true in an industry like childcare, where formalities like these are a rarity. But having a glowing letter of recommendation can make or break a nanny’s next career move.

As a nanny agency that requires every caregiver to have at least 2 letters of recommendation, we want recommendation letters to become a standard practice. That’s where you come in.

So to the kind, thoughtful, and generous families like yours, we say this:

When your nanny’s position comes to an end, write her a heartfelt recommendation letter whether she asks for one or not.

Take the time to be specific. The more examples you provide, the better.

Here’s one of our favorite letters that a DNB family wrote about one of our caregivers, Pam:

If you’re reading this, your family just found the jackpot of all nannies. If you’re reading this, it means that Pam is still available — and I promise you, she won’t be for long.

It’s hard to explain how much my family loves her and how sad we are that both our boys are old enough for school now. She has been our nanny for the past 6 years.

It didn’t take long for us to see that Pam was special. Every smile my sons flash up at her, she meets with her own. Every thought they enthusiastically express in gibberish, she enthusiastically responds right back. Every playground pebble that grabs their attention, she explores by their side and strategically keeps out of their mouths. Every sidewalk cigarette that piques their curiosity, she distracts them away from.

She helps out with the kids’ laundry, cleans up, and is one of the only people we’ve ever trusted to drive our boys around. She’s happily willing to help out around the house or run errands when we need her to. She never makes it seem like a chore. Her positive attitude is hard to come by!

I wish I could embed a video montage of all the times our sons waited by the front door for their “Pom Pom” to walk in, bouncing up and down as she drove up.

I wish you could watch her carry my youngest 10 blocks to the park because he loves the swings as much as he hates his stroller.

I wish you could see how gently she applies sunscreen so it doesn’t get in their eyes. And I wish you could see her cross the street just to keep them in the shade anyway.

I wish you could see her offer them water shortly after they refuse it the first time because she knows they’re having too much fun to care about hydration.

I wish you could see the pictures she texts me whenever they go anywhere, even though I never ask her to.

I wish you could see how many times they’ve fallen asleep on her shoulder. I wish you could see how small she’d cut their food when they were little just to be safe. I wish you could see her pretend to eat whatever they try to feed her because they’re sharing and “how could she say no?!”.

I wish you could hear her belly laugh at something they do, and see how long they beam with pride afterwards.

I wish you could hear the excitement in her responses as my kids recount their weekends.

I could go on.

Pam is patient. She’s present. She’s energetic. Her own 20-year old son adores her, and it matters.

It really does take a village to raise a child, and Pam is the safest, most loving village out there. Please feel free to call/text/email me with questions anytime!

[Contact info]

It took one day for Pam to get placed with another family. One. The family that hired her said that they knew she was great when they met her, but it was the letter that sealed the deal.

Your recommendation letter may convince another family to make an offer, or it may just bring a smile to her face. Either way, it’s one of the most supportive last things you can do for someone who cared for your children so dearly.


Ask DNB Team