I was recently speaking to a single mom who was sharing her struggles with finding reliable childcare for her son during the school year. Over the past year, the mother had been dropping her son off at a generous friend’s house.
This arrangement had been working well for them, but it would not be an option for the next year. School wasn’t even out for the current year, but already the mother was stressing out about how she was going to find reliable before and after school child care for her son for the next year.
I was in a similar position back when I moved to Seattle as a single mother of one. I was able to find a home daycare for my son – but it didn’t open until 8 am. I had to be at work at 6:30 am each morning. How was I going to find care for just two hours each day, and find someone reliable and trustworthy?!
I put up several ads seeking a nanny for two hours each morning, hoping to connect with a college student looking for work before their classes started.
All of my ads only drummed up one response – but as luck would have it the person who responded was a diamond in the rough! My son adored Nanny Becky and she was amazing with my son (and is still amazing, by the way – she still watches the kiddos on occasion and is looking for weekend work!) 😍
I knew I could depend on her, which was really important since I was new to the city and had not yet built up any sort of network.
At the time I was flying rather blindly when it came to working with a nanny. I had little idea on how to connect with a nanny who might be looking for a very part time position. I had zero clue of what I should offer to a potential nanny to make two hours of care each day worth his or her time. And, I didn’t know much about what a working relationship with my nanny might look like.
Finding a nanny to provide before and after school child care is the most challenging types of care to find. It’s an uphill battle from the start that involves:
- Connecting with someone who has availability with their schedule to provide care when you need it for a short duration of time in the morning… and then again in the afternoon.
- Finding someone in close enough proximity to your home where this makes sense for their schedule (for example a nanny likely won’t commute for 30 minutes one way to work only for a two hour chunk of time). However, if the position is before or after their own classes or another job, this might make sense for them.
- Offering compensation to your nanny that makes the position worthwhile. A nanny isn’t going to turn down a position offering more hours or a higher wage for something very part-time, unless it matches up with her own schedule well/is convenient for her, and compensates her adequately.
So, how do you find a nanny for before and after school child care? Check out these seven tips to help find the care you need for your family:
1. START NOW!
Time is your friend! I know the school year just ended, but the parents who are really on top of things have already begun their search. It can take a little longer to connect with just the right person to work a few hours each day or to do a split shift. I normally recommend allowing two months for your nanny search, and as of this week we are just over two months away from the beginning of the next school year. Start your search early and, if using Nanny Parent Connection for your search, post often! If you don’t find someone right away, don’t panic! Some students might not have their fall school schedules until later on in the summer. Remember, NPC members can also ask me for help with your search!
Talk to EVERYBODY about your search for a nanny. Chances are that someone knows someone. Seriously. Your barista, your dental hygienist, your co-workers, that parent you’re always bumping into at the park. Someone has a friend, a neighbor, a son or daughter, or a friend of a friend who knows someone looking for just such as position. But you will never make this connection unless you talk about it!
3. MORE networking!
Nanny Parent Connection is a great place for networking with over 20,000 members! Make a post with your need to the main feed and also to the #npcschoolcare thread. Another option might be to connect with another family (possibly someone from your child’s school in a perfect world?!) in the #npcnannyshare thread. Don’t assume that if you can’t find a post from a nanny who fits your needs that they are not out there. Nannies will often post their availability, but they also like to browse the parent posts and choose who they would like to contact. Bump your post (comment to move it to the top of the feed again) periodically to keep it in front of everyone. Ask me for help with creating an ad that will get attention or if I know of anyone who may be a good fit for the position. I have both nannies and families reach out to me on a regular basis and I connect dozens of members each week!
4. Compensation Package
Part time nannies aren’t the easiest to find. Consider a compensation package instead of just an hourly wage for your nanny. Even part time nannies are now looking for positions that provide them with guaranteed hours, mileage reimbursement, and paid time off. Sick pay accrued at one hour per forty hours worked is now the law in Washington State, as of January 2018. Our Nanny Payroll Service can help you to navigate payroll and track sick time easily.
5. Consider Offering More Hours
You may only need three hours of before and after school child care each day. But could your family use some extra help around the house with organization, folding laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, or walking the dog? Think about if your family could offer a nanny some extra hours by having her help with some household management duties. Make sure to list these duties in the contract with her and discuss and agree upon any new duties that she will take on.
6. Job Perks
Get creative! Do you need your nanny to arrive at an early hour, like 6 am – or even earlier? Consider offering incentives like a monthly Starbucks stipend, allow her to eat breakfast at your house each day, or if she’s a student let her do some studying while the kids are still sleeping. When Nanny Becky arrived at my home at 6 am, I would allow her to nap on the couch or study until she needed to get my son up – I was just so appreciative of her willingness to be there for me at such an early hour that I let her know she could use that time how she liked. Perhaps your home is on the bus line. You could potentially attract a nanny by providing a bus pass for the position.
7. Consider an Au Pair
An au pair can be an affordable option if you’re open to hosting and have the space to do so. Au pairs can work up to 45 hours per week. If you don’t really require child care for all of those hours, think about how you can have help with meal prep or built in date nights with some of those extra hours! Bonus: never be without care for those between semester days off school, early release days, days kids are sick, or school break week days again! Need someone to shuttle the kiddos around to activities? You’re covered there, too.
More about working with an au pair from NPC member, local mom and au pair consultant Shannon Kearney Lessard:
“As busy parents, it’s important to find child care that works for your schedule, budget and lifestyle. Cultural Care Au Pair’s childcare and cultural exchange program offers your family flexible, live-in childcare with an international perspective. Your au pair lives with you as a member of your family, and your children benefit from personalized attention and consistent care in the comfort of your own home. All Cultural Care au pairs are between the ages of 18 and 26, proficient in conversational English, and have documented childcare experience.” For more information about au pairs, click here.
Hooray, I found a nanny!! Now what?
Now that you found your nanny, don’t forget to run a background check, have an agreed-upon contract, and get set up with a payroll service. Does your nanny need some time off? Find child care in our #npcdaytime threads or with our Last Minute Care Text Message Service.
Finding quality childcare that fits your needs can be stressful. I wish that Nanny Parent Connection had existed when I needed before school child care! I hope that the tips I have provided above reduce some of that stress and help you to connect with some great nannies to help you cover your before and after school child care needs. Don’t forget to message me if you need any help! 😊