Classifying Your Childcare - How to get the Candidates that You Really Want - PART TWO
So you've decided that you want or need some childcare. GREAT! There are a gazillion people that can help you. Unfortunately, being a parent and just an all around human being, there simply aren't enough hours in the day for you to whittle through gazillions of options. Luckily, there are some really easy ways to procure candidates for face to face interviews! I've found that there are 3 great ways to find candidates and they are as follows!
An Agency // I'll be honest, I have never worked for or used an agency. I live in LA and the only people that I know that use an agency are ones that are in the need for "discretion" i.e. people in the entertainment industry. This might be a better option in smaller towns though. Agencies are great if you really don't want to do a lot of the vetting process, if you don't want to pay your childcare provider directly (usually all money is paid to the agency who then cuts the childcare provider a check with some commission taken out), or if you want someone who might have medical experience i.e. a night nurse.
Personal Recommendations // This one makes me laugh a little because parents are SOOOOOOOOO reluctant to give up info on their babysitter/nanny. Good childcare is like a favorite outfit - you're not going to loan it out because you don't want anyone to look better in it than you. I've had some mothers specifically ask me to say I'm not available if other moms from school inquire. This is usually followed by some comment about how "weird" the family is and how I wouldn't want to work for them anyways. It might sound ridiculous but on a very small lever, I understand this. When you have someone that is THE BEST, you don't want someone to snag them first and for most babysitters it's first come, first serve. You could always ask the babysitter or nanny directly but you do run the risk of that persons boss aka your friend getting a little steamed at you. If you DO decide to ask the childcare provider directly, I suggest asking them along the lines of "Do you know of anyone looking for babysitting hours/nanny hours over the weekend/etc?" This way they can respond with either a name or two of someone they know or they can offer up the info that THEY are looking for extra hours and maybe something could be worked out.
A Childcare Website // This is going to be your best bet and the one that I personally tell people to use when they ask. Care.com and Sittercity.com are the two websites that I send people to the most and I have also used and gotten jobs from both. Full disclosure, I haven't used either site in a couple years but after quickly looking over them, they seem incredibly similar and have had some advances that you probably won't be using anyways. These sites boast background checks, easy access to tons of childcare providers, profiles where you can get a vibe and a picture of potential candidates and more. You do have to pay in order to use their site however it's worth it since you'll probably find someone within the month and I personally wouldn't bother with any upgrades.
I'm going to assume that you went the website route and therefore, here is some of the pertinent info that you should be posting on your profile. This could also be some info you might bring up if you reach out via phone in regards to setting up the face to face interview.
- How many children you have and their ages. Be specific if you want someone with newborn experience. Most providers will NOT have this and so, you want to post that in your profile so they either don't waste your time or you can possibly find a nanny that needs more hours.
- If you are looking for someone that speaks a different language.
- Be specific if you are looking for someone that needs to have a valid drivers license, a car big enough for X amount of carseats, and how often they'll be driving your kids around. I'm personally not interested in taking your kids from school, to soccer, to a tutors but I know of people who would love to do that!
- Daily or weekly expectations in regards to housework. A nanny should be expected to do some lite housework so make sure just briefly state that you would want someone to do some baby laundry or make dinner just so a potential candidate knows that you're not really looking for a maid.
- Be honest about the days and hours you need them. If your schedule is sporadic - say that! If you need them to travel with you - note it! The more info you can give the better. I know a ton of childcare providers that work with several families so the more info about scheduling they have, the easier it will be to fit your needs.
- PAY! It's perfectly fine to say x - x depending on experience and qualifications. If you're someone who is ok with hiring a babysitter who is looking to become a nanny - that's great! Their starting pay shouldn't be as high as someone who has been a nanny for the last 10 years. Just be honest about how high you're willing to go. I was in a situation where I went in thinking I would be getting a certain rate only to have the parent lowball me, despite my years of experience. It really just ends up wasting everyone's time and it makes me not want to work for you if I feel like you're misleading.
- Lastly, make sure you put a little bit about your family - are you active? Outdoorsy? Into arts and crafts? Someone who is not that proficient in sports might not be the right fit for your 3 boys who do nothing but eat, drink, and sleep sports!
If you have multiples or pets, you're going to want to mention that in your post! You don't want to waster your time on a candidate that isn't interested in working with twins or triplets or someone that's NOT a dog person.
Candidates are going to start pouring in - I promise! I would give myself one week to let the resumes come and then start going through them and picking your favorite 10. Reach out to your top 5 and see if they can schedule a face to face interview within the week. If none work out, reach out to the second group of 5. That gives you about 2 weeks to conduct interviews and secure childcare. Believe me, you want to jump on this! Schedules fill up fast and it is not hard to find a family that needs an extra set of hands. I'm constantly turing down families and hours because I'm already booked.
Tomorrow, I'll be giving you those all important interview questions! Face to face interviews are the fun part and while they can be a little nerve-wracking, they are also one step closer to getting you the help that you need! Wahoo!
How did you find your childcare provider? Any different ways than the ones I listed?