Summer is highly anticipated by parents and children alike, but many working parents also have concerns … how to keep their children actively engaged and safe during the months of summer fun. A summer nanny can be the answer to this dilemma, but many parents are unsure of how to find quality care.
Parents need to start the planning process NOW to ensure they have top-quality childcare choices available. First, we recommend that families openly discuss their needs. Depending upon the ages of your children, it’s a good idea to involve them in this discussion while making it clear that it is ultimately a parental decision. We’ve found the following tips helpful in selecting the right childcare partner for your family.
College Nannies & Tutors Offers TOP 10 Tips for Finding the
Right Childcare Professional for Your Family
1) Allow ample time to conduct a search. It takes about 6-8 weeks to complete a quality nanny or manny search. Individuals with the best credentials will be offered positions first, so don’t miss out on all that great talent by procrastinating!
2) Think about your specific needs, including hours of coverage and responsibilities. Do you have a male or female preference? Also consider special requirements such as whether your nanny needs to drive or have any medical skills or water/pool training.
3) After clarifying needs and preferences, prepare a detailed job description. Then consider your budget, including pay, taxes and insurance.
4) Determine if you will conduct your search or hire an expert/agency to assist. Carefully consider if you have the time to search yourself as it can take anywhere from 40-120 hours to find a qualified nanny who also fits with your family. Also, is it important or more convenient for you to have an agency cover payment, insurance, background checks and other administrative details?
5) Advertise the position in your area including all on-line resources. College campus programs, local newspapers and on-line postings are a great place to start.
6) Pre-screen candidates based on position requirements, and conduct interviews using a list of pre-set, legally approved questions related to availability, pay requirements, past work experience, education and overall qualifications. All candidates should be asked the same questions, giving you equal comparison data.
7) Consider job “fit” along with qualifications. Think about what type of personality will fit best with your family’s philosophy. Review your family values, discipline and parenting style and ask questions to determine how the candidates will perform in those areas.
8) Once you’ve selected a candidate, conduct reference and background checks to minimize risk. This should include state and county criminal checks, national sexual offender and national criminal record searches along with a SSN trace. Many companies offer these checks, but beware of running an Internet search as they are very basic and can miss important information. Avoid the temptation to skip this step even if you know the person.
9) Extend an offer to the final candidate that outlines salary, benefits, taxes, vacation, absences, mileage and other reimbursements. Once you have mutually agreed on the terms, we recommend that you have a written letter that is signed by you and your new nanny.
10) Be sure to start-off on the right foot, and the best way to accomplish this is to COMMUNICATE. Provide guidelines and assistance with planning the daily activities. Give the relationship time to develop, but have tools in place to promote communication between the family and nanny early and often. This could be as simple as keeping a notebook of special notes and activities for the day. Meet regularly with your nanny during the summer to review performance and to ensure all expectations are clear and being met by both sides.
If the process seems a bit overwhelming and time consuming, consider hiring a professional agency to assist and guide you. College Nannies & Tutors offers many options to allow children to have a carefree yet enriching summer. Fun, sun-filled days at the pool, an outing to the zoo, or a relaxing day hanging out with friends will help your children to have a great summer. Knowing that a qualified, responsible role model is caring for them when you are not there will help make your summer more relaxed as well – at least when it comes to your children!
College Nannies & Tutors – Kansas City is located in Overland Park, Kansas and provides full-time, part-time, short-term, summer, after school, and/or occasional use nanny and manny (male nannies) services for families throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. Families choose to work with College Nannies & Tutors because of its unique child developmental approach and its ability to provide strong and suitable role models for children. For more information, please contact College Nannies and Tutors at 913-754-3633 or visit our website at www.collegenannies.com.
By Amy Branton
College Nannies & Tutors – Overland Park