I would like to share some of my experiences searching for Nanny and Babysitting services in Prague. You can also scroll down to contact some of my girls.
There are several possibilities to find home help and I think I’ve tried them all. The first time I was looking for someone I called all my friends for help. One of them offered to lend me her Nanny from time to time, but this wasn’t enough.
When I was 8 months pregnant with Nicolas and Marcus was just 11 months, I desperately needed someone to help me out for the last months of my pregnancy with the possibility of staying on with us a bit longer. I first went to a website I found with profiles of women and students offering their services as babysitters. After several calls, I chose to see 3 girls and picked one out of these. Unfortunately, this website does not exist anymore, or at least I didn’t find it :-( my next project? The girl was nice, but 10 days before the delivery of Nicolas we have moved to a new apartment and it was too far away for her to reach us.
I don’t know what I had in mind when I decided to take on an older woman with experience. I guess I completely dismissed young girls, thinking “What do they know”, I guess I was looking for a Grandma figure, more than anything else. Unfortunately, I am not so lucky as some of my friends. My mum is 100km from Prague and is still working and Martin’s mum lives in Poland, 4 hours drive from Prague. This could actually be a good distance from a mother in law :-) but we do miss her being so far away. So, I called up an agency and hired a woman in her 50s who had raised 3 kids of her own. WHAT A NIGHTMARE. She was constantly bossing me around, telling me how to do things, disputing some of my decisions as a mother and coming in late. I had problems telling her off, since I was brought up to respect the elderly but in the end I had to let her go after just 3 weeks in service which she found to hard to swallow. We were paying her 130 CZK per hour for one child, out of which she gave around 50 CZK to the agency. Maybe I was unlucky, because my friend Gaby invited a girl to helpout for her son’s birthday party through the same agency and was completely happy with the service.
Before motherhood I had worked as a team manager in hospitality so I finally decided to use my instincts and search for the right girl on my own. But where to start? Luckily, I was recommended http://www.jobs.cz/. Here, you can advertise for free in the part time jobs section (called: brigady in Czech).
I placed an ad explaining exactly what I was looking for, the hours per week and money offered (80-90 CZK per hour - considering the average hourly rate for a student is 80 CZK). I had to delete the ad 3 days later after getting so many responses. I called up few girls after reading their CVs that they sent me and invited them for an Interview. Out of the 6 I chose 2 to come on different days for a trial period so I could see how the boys liked her and reacted to her. For the first 14 days I would spend most of my time with them I also went (secretly) to check on them when they went to our local playground. All was fine. I am sure you could place an advert in English, probably with the help of a Czech person. The majority of the girls spoke fluent English and could read it for sure.
In the end I was very happy to find a lovely Nanny who came 3-4 times a week to our house for 4-5 hours each visit. She even did evenings as well and had become part of our family. But after one year with us, she decided to move in with her boyfriend and so needed a higher paying job. So using the same method above I found another girl Ilona (seen in the photos), who is even better then the first one.
We pay her 100 CZK per hour and she looks after both of our babies :-) happily. Sometimes she helps out with cleaning too. I know, that 100 CZK/per hour is just enough for a student. I have met some girls who already had experiences with babysitting and 2 of them asked for 130 CZK which I was not willing to pay. On the other hand, if you are looking for someone really experienced, you might be happy with this amount. Also, if you live on outskirts of Prague, you might be expected to pay more.
So agencies usually ask for 150 - 160 CZK per hour and provide you with a guarantee of exchanging the babysitter anytime. But after my experience I know that there are many willing and trustworthy students out there looking for a family like ours. I therefore have dismissed the agencies completely. On the other hand, if you are a foreign resident or visitor and need confirmed babysitting, I’ve listed some of the agencies for you at kidsinprague.com
What has also worked for us is talking to students that work in kids play areas at restaurants. They usually speak English and have plenty of experience with children. One girl we found at Ambiente restaurant at Namesti Republiky, Prague 1, which provides baby sitting on weekends.
For evening babysitting you can try Jana. She speaks perfect English. Jana is the sweetest girl I have ever met. She worked as an Au-pair in Spain and had 3 kids in her care, including a 6 month old boy. She has been babysitting our boys since Marcus was 5 months and always does a great job.
You can also try Sylva, she also speaks English