Read through the last few weeks to get a feel for the types of nannies available to find possibilities.
First off, realize that just about every post is for a "beloved," "amazing," "fantastic," "wonderful" nanny who is the "best nanny in the world." The kids are always "unbelievably happy," with credit going to the nanny and the wonderful relationship they have with the child. While we don't doubt that this may be true for the family, this doesn't help you narrow down your search.
Find nannies that may fit your schedule and needs. Copy and paste the "possibilities" into a word or Google document (or perhaps create a Google Doc) so you have a record of the advertisement for future use. Take screen shots, print everything you find and paper clip it with the post is an organized way to help you remember what you've researched and most importantly, what you found. It can be difficult to keep track; and don’t get overwhelmed by information that could easily stay organized.
Find out as much as you can about both the nanny and the recommender. Much like the review process that Park Slope Parents conducts to verify the ad, you should also do your due diligence to find out more about the nanny (and the recommender). The Internet has given us the ability to research people who have left cyber-crumbs about themselves which can give you a sense of what the nanny is like and what kind of employer she worked for. You can:
Search the nannies name. If there are multiple posts by multiple people then you can get a sense that the nanny hasn’t stayed long at a job. If one recommender keeps posting about a nanny multiple years it may be an older reference which means you need to check why they don’t have a more recent reference.
Review past messages of the person giving the referral on the PSP Advice and Classifieds Groups. If they have multiple posts you can get a sense of their personality style. Check and see what questions they ask, how they answer emails publicly, and so on to see if the recommender comes across as needy, supportive, argumentative, funny, helpful. Knowing the recommender is a step in knowing what kind of nanny they might likely have hired. However, many people join online parenting groups JUST to post about their nanny so don't be surprised if you don't find much.
Search for the Phone number (and name if it's unique) to determine if the nanny candidate has been off and on the market
Do a Google Search of the nanny's phone number
Search Facebook using the email address of both the reference and nanny to verify the referral and get a sense (if privacy settings are tight) what kind of person the employer is.
Search LinkedIn to investigate the employer’s job.
Search Craigslist to see if you can see other ads about the candidate.
If you find out any information you want to double check (e.g., “Why did X post 5 ads about you over 3 years?"), write that down so you can follow up with either the employer or nanny. Some people leave few digital tracks, so finding little information is not necessarily a bad thing. However, figuring out as much as you can helps you know that you’ve done your best at figuring out the background of your next nanny.
Once you have your potential Nannies and the follow up questions, it's time to start contacting folks and doing phone interviews. Read the whole section on Step 2: Where can you find Mary Poppins for further information about phone and in-person interviews.