Click Here to Print Child Care in Your Home Checklist
Click Here to Print Interviewing In-Home Caregivers
In-home care is care that is provided in your home by a caregiver whom you hire -- usually a nanny or au pair, or in some cases a "mother's helper." In-home care is not for everyone. It is usually expensive, hard to find, and does not provide an emergency back-up situation. Caregivers may or may not have training in child development. In addition, you may not feel comfortable becoming an employer, providing supervision, and being responsible for taxes associated with the employment of a caregiver.
While in-home care does offer a great deal of flexibility, one drawback is that your child may miss out on peer interaction. You can address this problem by setting up play dates and playgroups for your child.
Finding the right in-home caregiver takes time and patience. You need to evaluate the caregiver's qualifications, check references, and meet with a candidate several times. Most of all, you need to feel comfortable with the person and feel that he or she is committed to providing the best care for your child. Trust your instincts. You and your family must work with the person you hire. No matter how high a recommendation from someone else, your own screening and interview is your best security. Once you've chosen your in-home caregiver, it's a good idea to draw up a contract that outlines the legal responsibilities of your child care arrangement.
An au pair lives with a family for one year, providing limited child care and sometimes light household help in exchange for room and board, a stipend, and the opportunity to experience life in another community or country. It is a specialized arrangement that requires you to consider not merely your child care needs, but your entire family’s living arrangements. With foreign au pairs, there are strict regulations about how much time they can spend on child care, and other requirements for families, such as the payment of one college course per year. Agencies that make placements of au pairs do provide some training, but it is important to note that many au pairs have little child development training.
Post an Advertisement in Your Local Newspaper
You may locate a nanny or in-home caregiver on your own, through ads in the Help Wanted section of local or college newspapers such as the Pennysaver or Yankee Trader. The best times to place ads are on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. More people are inclined to read the classified ads over the weekend. If you advertise in a major papers, like Newsday or The New York Times, be prepared for a large response. Limiting the time in which people may call you is a good idea. You may also want to consider using a post office box instead of your phone number.
Ask Friends or Associates
Often other parents can refer you to someone that they have used before or friends of their in-home caregiver.
Local Colleges and Universities
This is especially good if you are looking for part-time care. Students' class schedules are usually flexible. Often students are looking to do child care in exchange for room and board. Temporary full-time summer care is also an option for students. Below are some of the local colleges and universities that have career services.
SUNY Stony Brook
You must include an email or fax number so that they can send you a release form.
Phone: 631-654-5300 ext. 3976
SUNY Old Westbury
St Joseph’s College, Patchogue
Counseling & Career Services
The most frequently used method of locating baby-sitters is word-of-mouth from relatives and friends. Talk to everyone you know about who they use for sitters. Ask parents at PTA meetings, Little League ball games, dance or karate class, birthday parties and other children’s activities. Although some parents are reluctant to share the names of their favorite sitters for fear of making them less available for their own family, most will share any “extra” names that they have. If this is the case, make sure to ask if they have ever actually used these sitters and how they like them.
Since most baby-sitters are teenagers, it is a good idea to start your search where teenagers are:
Sample Newspaper Ads:
- Call the Junior and Senior High School Guidance Offices. They often have job placement services.
- Contact the local churches, synagogues, scout troops, 4-H Clubs, Y’s, Youth Organizations and fire departments. Many of these organizations offer baby-sitting classes and keep of list of interested teens.
- Put up notices at local supermarkets, libraries and local community colleges.
- Advertise in the Help Wanted section of your local paper. The Pennysaver and Yankee Trader are good sources. Be sure to include the age(s) of your children and the neighborhood in which you live.
- Call your local Senior Citizens Center and see if you can post a notice on their bulletin board.
- Check with local hospitals and nursing schools. Many times student nurses baby-sit during their off-hours.
- Advertise on bulletin boards or in newspapers at local colleges.
Child Care: Mature woman needed in Commack home, 2 children, full time.
Call (xxx) xxx-xxxx after 6 PM.
Child Care: Earn extra income – Care for kindergarten child before/after
school, your home, Smithtown Elementary School area. Call (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Child Care: Experience and references a must, 25 hours/week, my Kings
Park home, 3 children, salary negotiable. Call (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Caregiver: Enthusiastic and responsive individual needed to plan and supervise activities for two boys ages 7 and 3, from 8 AM-6PM. Must have transportation, references, call (xxx) xxx-xxxx between 6 and 9 PM only.
Caregiver wanted for our cheerful 7 month old daughter, daily 7 AM-6:30 PM, live in/out, experience with infants preferred, excellent references a must, competitive salary. Send resume to P.O. Box 289.
Model Contract for Household Employment
Name of employee_________________________________________________
Name of employer_________________________________________________
Weekly salary______________________ Overtime rate_________________
Employee Responsibilities: ________________________________________
Number of weeks required for employee to give notice of termination: _________
Sick Days____________________ Vacation ______________________
Holidays ____________________ Social Security # _______________
Unemployment Compensation ________ Workers’ Compensation __________
Number of weeks required for employer to give notice of termination: _________
Employee’s signature ___________________________ Date ___/___/___
Print Name ___________________________________
Employer’s signature ___________________________ Date ___/___/___
Print Name ___________________________________