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First of all, we have a baby now! And there’s a fairly big age gap between my second and third babies, which means I’ve been out of the game for a while in needing regular childcare. Since I’ve had both kids in full time school, for three years now, I’ve had those six hours or so during the day to schedule meetings and appointments. Now that I have a new baby, I no longer have that built-in time. We are facing yet another summer of modified camp, due to the pandemic, and while I work at home, I cannot attend to all of the children’s needs. That’s why I think that finding a mother’s helper is what’s perfect for us now. Plus, as more people are vaccinated and COVID-19 rates go down, more places are opening up, I will start to want to go on date nights again on weekends. No matter the reason, great childcare is super important to us. I had heard of Care.com, of course, but now that I’m actively using it, it eases a huge parenting burden. I’m really impressed with the process, and the services from Care.com we’re now using.
How to Find Great Childcare with Care.com:
And I promise I’m not here to tell you all the things you can find online anyway, but I do think the important things are worth mentioning. Like how Care.com was founded 15 years ago. Why is 15 years significant? Well, that gives the company a lot of time to know the needs of families, and to change with them. Also, their website is so easy to navigate, and it’s easy to find lots of caregivers in your area. Women disproportionately shoulder caregiving responsibilities, so when women have support in place, our economy grows. This is all super important, and even more so in a pandemic. My kids missed a YEAR of in-person schooling, as well as quality childcare. That time with babysitters, nannies, etc. is crucial to their development. I think Care.com is more helpful than ever in providing women the support they need.
Ok, now it’s time to pay attention! Your first step is to create a Care.com profile and create and post a job listing. Pro tip: Be really specific about that job description, hours needed, and what you’re looking for in a caregiver. If you don’t feel like you can do that enough in the questions during the process, use the bigger space under “Job Description” to be as detailed as possible. You can even use that space to describe what your life is like, and how they can contribute. This will really help with your responses. So many job listings are more vague so this will help you find applicants.
The next step is to set up your interviews, depending on how many you are interested in meeting. And this will vary by location and number of applicants, but it’s an important step. Meet over Facetime, Zoom, or in a public place at first, and then maybe have them go to your home during a second interview. The Care.com blog has tips on questions to ask during interviews. Pro tip: Don’t overbook yourself. I am planning to interview one caregiver per day, with my husband home as well, so that the details don’t blur together in our minds. Everyone gets our full attention.
Next, make sure you ask for references and really check them! And lastly, notify the candidates you do not choose. I think it’s a polite thing to do! Pro tip: Make sure you thank them for their time and interest in caregiving for your family. It’s the kind thing to do, and it’s possible you may want to hire them down the line. Maybe you can make a call list for caregivers. And it’s really important to close your job posting on Care.com. I posted my job there a week ago, and there’s a regular flow of applicants and interest. I’ll want to tell them if the position has been filled.
Another thing I love about Care.com is that as you’re going through the process of signing up, posting a job, reading your messages, etc., they have a blog that offers a lot of advice on selecting caregivers, writing interview questions, figuring out rates, etc. They have plenty of advice and tips that help the hiring process. For example, the age-old question of what to pay a babysitter can be difficult to answer. Care.com has this babysitting rates tool which is so helpful! You can also see sample nanny contracts, and all sorts of articles about parenting in a pandemic, parenting health issues, housekeeping, and more.
Other Reasons to Use Care.com:
- There is a wide range of childcare, and Care.com helps you find the right person for your schedule, budget, and family, and that can be part-time or full-time, before or after school, etc.
Use Care.com to find tutors or remote school helpers.
You can even find a one-time sitter!
Senior in-home care; caregivers can help with a variety of domestic needs.
You can use Care.com to find pet care as well.