How to: Find a Summer Nanny

posted in: Challenges, Childcare | 0

Today, we’re exciting to feature a guest post from Helen Adeosun, founder of SitterCycle – a site that helps nannies earn the kinds of certifications that moms want to see on their childcare providers’ resumes. Helen has been a teacher and has years of experience nannying, and so knows how important it is that the people taking care of our kids be skilled, vetted, and certified. SitterCycle classes ensure that more nannies have what it takes to be more like a second mom than just another babysitter.

As March ends, I’m getting ready for another type of madness – the summer care madness. Starting with spring break I often get asked by anxious parents to suggest places for high quality care options, specifically a part time or full time nanny or even summer camps for their little ones. The “summer madness” as I like to call, builds and gets crazier as we get closer to the summer months and parents scramble posting flyers, ads on care.com, and blasts on craigslist hopeful for the right nanny.

Whether it’s been your taxes, planning vacations, working long hours, let’s face it you’re busy. However, waiting to get your care plans together can only make you sweat the summer even more.
Here are our tips for avoiding the summer madness when it comes to preparing for your summer nanny:

Make a list of qualities that you need in your nanny
The best example of the nanny list is the one that Jane and Michael come up with. But warts aside, what do you need in your summer nanny?
  • This is a great opportunity to get input from your kids and your partner.
  • What days and times do you need nannies to work? What times do you need?
  • What prior experience and education would you like for your nannies to have?
  • Do you prefer a nanny that is highly structured or do you need flexibility?

After you make your list of qualities prioritize the top 3 and leave room to make a decision based on your nannies’ fit with children and recommendations from previous employers.

Start saving for your care needs and consider using your flex spending account

If you don’t plan ahead, the cost of care can catch parents off guard.  A nanny in the Boston area on average (and of course a great nanny) may be $600-$800 a week. Are you ready? If so this is an opportunity to weigh your options. Would you consider a summer nanny share with another family or possibly a part time nanny.  Don’t forget that summer activities and transportation are also additional costs. We recommend that you set aside a weekly stipend for activities on a prepaid card/debit card.If you can spend one Saturday morning planning and saving in April by June you’ll be set!

Get familiar with labor laws and compliance for having a nanny
Since nannies are considered household employees, there are special implications. Your nanny should file as an employee and NOT as a 1099 contractor, and there are services that can help you keep track of the payroll information and payment including 4NannyTaxes.com and GTM.com. Help yourself be creating a work agreement with your nanny about hours, times, and the ground rules that you can agree upon to make things go smoother.

Start posting and interviewing
It is never too early to start posting and seeking care! Now that you know what you want you’re even better to start posting for that great summer nanny fit.  The more detailed that you are the more able you’ll be able to screen your options. On Care.com or Sittercity there are prompts that will help you think through your options. If you have never written a post for nannies, checkout what other parents have written.
We’ll have follow up posts on what to ask and look for in the interview from a nanny.
Find a Backup
Things happen, and you don’t want to have to scramble. Whether it’s a grandparent, an on call nanny, or a neighbor, know what you will do if a nanny gets sick or has an emergency. Most importantly, remind and backups that they are your backups and provide an emergency sheet that helps them get ready in a pinch.

Hopefully these tips help you breathe a little easier, go out and find that great nanny! Happy searching!

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