Building a Partnership with Your Caregiver

Congratulations You've completed the difficult task of finding someone you feel good about to care for your children. You're paving the way for a productive ongoing relationship between your new caregiver and your family. But no matter how good you feel about your choice, minor conflicts are inevitable in a relationship as intimate and important as the one you will develop with your caregiver. Communication, fairness, respect, flexibility, and cooperation are key ingredients for keeping even...

When do you want your caregiver to start

Allow yourself plenty of time to find a caregiver. The recruiting, screening, and interviewing process can take several weeks, whether you're looking on your own or working with an agency. On the other hand, a caregiver who is available to work when you first start looking may not be able to wait for several weeks until you need her. If you find someone you feel is right, be prepared to hire her earlier than you expected. You might even appreciate the extra time this gives you, your children,...

YesNoHaving someone live in your home

O O I can afford 250 to 600 per week for full-time child care. O O I have an extra bedroom for the caregiver. O O I feel comfortable sharing my home and my private time with my caregiver. I feel comfortable sharing the following, or can make arrangements for my caregiver to have her own If you have any questions about whether in-home child care is the best choice for you, this guide will provide an overview of the entire process of locating, selecting, and working with a caregiver. If you have...

Treat your caregiver with respect

Your caregiver is entrusted with your most vulnerable family members - your children. You'll want to show her how important her role is to you. Introduce her to your friends and family. (Ask her first how she would like to be introduced babysitter nanny by her first name as Ms., Mrs., or Miss ) Give your caregiver and your children the room to develop a caring relationship. Listen to what she has to say about them. Never undermine her authority in front of them. If you find you can't treat your...

Starting Off on the Right Foot

In addition to fulfilling your legal obligations as an employer, your ability to manage your caregiver is an important ingredient in the success of your arrangement. Consider the following points Prepare house rules in advance, particularly in the case of live-in caregivers. In some cases, you may want to include house rules in your work agreement. Don't hire a caregiver without a written work agreement. After the two of you have both agreed on job responsibilities, hours, salary, benefits,...

Plan for regular communication

Busy schedules will often squeeze out opportunities to talk with your caregiver, so don't leave them to chance. You may want your caregiver to keep a written journal of your children's day. Or you might try using a wipe-off memo board or the memo function on your answering machine, if you have one, to leave messages for each other. Try to schedule a time to get together every month, perhaps over coffee, so you and your caregiver can assess how your arrangement is working. Use the occasion to...

Other rules to consider

Below are some other issues that might be addressed in your set of house rules. If you have rules about television viewing, let your caregiver know how much is acceptable for the children - and her - to watch when she is on duty. If you have a VCR or subscribe to cable TV, let her know your policy on these. Tell your caregiver how you feel about her making or receiving personal phone calls on the job. Do you mind if her family or friends call her at your home Until what hours If personal calls...

Keep appropriate boundaries

Although over time your relationship with your caregiver could develop into a friendship, remember that your roles in relation to each other are primarily professional. She may not want to hear about certain aspects of your personal life, and you may prefer not to be her confidante, either. You will have to work out a level of relationship that is comfortable for both of you, but the best relationship will probably balance warmth and caring with professional distance. In the final analysis,...

Important Tips to Keep in Mind

Families tell us that finding the right in-home caregiver often involves a long search, usually six to eight weeks but sometimes longer. It is a process that will probably be repeated several times before your children outgrow the need for care. Do everything you can to ensure a good match between your family and the care-giver you choose. From the start there are a number of ways to improve your chances of having your choice work out well.

Helping your new caregiver get started

If you possibly can, stay at home with your caregiver during her first few days on the job. If you are asking a previous provider to orient your new caregiver, plan to have them spend anywhere from three or four days to one week together. Take the new caregiver around your neighborhood, go to the park, introduce her to your neighbors. Be sure to show her where the closest medical facility is for emergency purposes. The time you are able to spend together with your new caregiver will give you a...

Defining job responsibilities

Now is the time to make up your list of all the tasks that you want your caregiver to perform. Think about the typical day you envision for your children in the care of the person you hire. What do you want them to do together Play Read Go on outings Work on projects Be clear about whether you are looking for someone solely to take care of your children or someone who will do child care and housekeeping, too. If housekeeping is a priority for your family, do you mean light housekeeping tasks...

Before your caregiver begins

If your caregiver is from another area, collect maps of your town or city showing surrounding areas and public transportation routes. Your local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor's Bureau may be able to provide a new resident packet that contains brochures and maps of the local area, information about interesting places to visit, and, if you request it, information about religious organizations and local recreation areas. This information will be very useful for a caregiver who is relocating to...

Nanny training schools

There are approximately 30 nanny training programs currently operating in the United States. Some programs provide training and placement while others only provide training. Some programs are privately owned a larger number are affiliated with community colleges. Some may have waiting lists you'll want to get on. Some private nanny schools seek local families to serve as host families while students are in training or serving internships. You may be able to secure a caregiver by volunteering to...

Telephone Reference Check

How long have you known the applicant _ 2. In what capacity do you know the applicant (friend, neighbor, employer, etc.) 3. Is the applicant currently taking care of your child _ 4. If yes, how long has the applicant been doing so _ 5. Has the applicant taken care of your child in the past _ 6. If yes, what were the approximate starting and ending dates _ 7. If the applicant has cared for your child, was is this work steady or occasional 8. On average, how many hours per week did the applicant...

House rules for caregivers

Every family has its own stated or unstated rules and no one knows the rules of your household better than you do. When you have a caregiver, particularly one who lives with you, you may have to spell out some rules you have always taken for granted. Don't assume anything. If you expect a certain behavior, be clear about what it is. It's better to err on the side of being too specific, rather than too vague. Discuss house rules before your caregiver starts to work, even on a trial basis. Some...

Common Terms

In this guide the words in-home caregiver or in-home provider are used to describe any person who cares for children in your home. As you search for in-home child care, you'll probably hear a variety of other terms as well. Many are used interchangeably - one family's nanny is another family's babysitter. The definitions below are based on those used by the International Nanny Association for some of the most common terms. It's useful to understand the distinctions, especially if you decide to...