Reviewing your caregivers performance

A caregiver's job is basically unsupervised, so it's especially important to make time to communicate your approval and expectations. Be sure to schedule regular performance and salary reviews, and remember to include the terms and approximate dates of these reviews in your work agreement. If you and your caregiver have been having regular informal monthly meetings, there should be no surprises at review time. Think of the review as an opportunity for you to talk with your caregiver about her accomplishments, challenges, and goals for the future. This is also a good time for your caregiver to honestly discuss with you how she thinks the job is going.

It's a good idea to schedule your first review after three months. This is usually just a time to share feedback, with no adjustment in salary. At this time you may want to make some changes in your caregiver's schedule, or add or subtract a few duties or job responsibilities. Be sure to document any revisions from your original work agreement in writing.

At the end of six months, you might want to conduct your second review. Evaluate your caregiver's performance, and set clear, realistic objectives together. These objectives should be as specific as possible. (For example, "John is learning to read. Please work with him on vocabulary words for four afternoons each week during the summer.") If there's anything about your caregiver's performance that you don't like, talk about the changes you would like to see in a positive way that will guide your caregiver's development. There may or may not be a salary adjustment or bonus at this time.

The review at the end of the first year is important, especially if your caregiver agrees to stay a second year. This is the customary time to make any significant changes in your caregiver's job description and pay. Most caregivers will expect a salary increase after one year. A typical raise is generally between five and ten percent.

Some of the points you might want to discuss with the caregiver as you assess her performance could include:

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