Many families are initially interested in having a live-in caregiver because of convenience and slightly greater flexibility. Although you will need to arrange specific, limited hours and duties for your live-in caregiver, the very fact that she does live in your home may make her more available for emergency child care (when you unexpectedly have to work late, for example) or occasional additional
The basics care (perhaps on a Saturday night). Parents who frequently need care for late or overnight hours may benefit from live-in care. Of course, families negotiate in advance how they will reimburse the caregiver for such extras.
In some cases, finances may dictate hiring a live-in caregiver. Live-in caregivers generally receive a lower salary because they are also receiving room and board. However, in many parts of the country, live-in and live-out care is equally expensive. Live-out caregivers might also be very difficult to find in rural and suburban areas where public transportation is unavailable.
It's worth thinking carefully, however, before making a commitment to employ live-in help. Are you prepared to have another person living in your home? Do you have room to accommodate another adult? (A private room is essential and a private bath is preferred.) Will your family - and the caregiver - be able to have the privacy that you will all need? When the caregiver is off duty, will she be welcome in your kitchen and den and other areas in your home? Will you be bothered if she doesn't have plans for her weekends off and stays at your home? Will you mind if she has friends over? Will it bother you if she stays out late at night? Do you want a caregiver who will be essentially another member of your family - sharing meals, attending family outings, asking for advice, and so on?
Put together a description of the job.
Consider the qualifications of your ideal caregiver.
Decide on salary and benefits.
Do you need full-time or part-time help?
How many days and hours will you actually need a caregiver? Will your schedule be consistent, or will it change from day to day or week to week? Will you need help evenings and weekends, too? Keep in mind that full-time caregivers usually work 40 to 60 hours a week; if you find your child care requirements exceed this range, consider hiring a second caregiver or exploring a combination of child care options. Otherwise you run the risk of burning-out your caregiver and losing her.
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