When I first moved to Seattle years ago, I was a single mother of one without a solid network of friends. 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 child 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.
I ended up getting only one response to my ad, and it turned out Nanny Becky was an excellent match! I was really lucky that the only person to respond worked out well, but I have no idea what I would have done if it hadn’t.
Years ago I was flying rather blindly when it came to working with a nanny. I had little idea for 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 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 care? Check out these eight tips below to help find the care you need for your family:
1. START NOW!
Time is your friend! I know the school year hasn’t even ended for most families, but the parents who are really on top of things have already begun their search for their next nanny for when school starts back up. 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 at least two months for your nanny search. However, for finding before and after school care, taking advantage of the three months you have before the start of the next school year isn’t a bad idea! 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 college student nannies 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 and counting! Publish a post with your need to the main feed and also to the #npcschoolcare thread in our Facebook community. 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 some also like to browse the posts that parents put up to 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 hourly basis and I love connecting people!
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 a legal requirement. Our Nanny Payroll Service can help you to navigate payroll and track sick time easily. Don’t forget that a slightly higher than average hourly rate can also sweeten the deal! Learn more about pay rates in the Seattle area by clicking here.
5. Consider Offering More Hours
You may only need three hours of care each day between before and after school care. 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. Consider Separate Care Providers
If you need both before and after school care, consider one care provider for before school and another for after school. I know it would be ideal to have just one person covering both shifts, but it likely will increase the chances you will find the coverage you need if you are flexible in this way. (Make sure to mention in your ad if this is an option.)
7. 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 6am, 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.
8. 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 childcare 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 childcare 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, check out this link: http://www.culturalcare.com/skearneyLCC
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 care in our #npcdaytime threads, with our Last Minute Care Text Message Service, or through our Verified Care Provider Service.
If this is your first time hiring a nanny, spend a few minutes and check out our Library. We have a wealth of information there about how to find, hire, and work with a nanny.
Finding quality childcare that fits your needs can be stressful. I wish that Nanny Parent Connection had existed when I needed before school childcare! 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 childcare needs.
P.S. And if you’re a NPC member, don’t forget that my team and I are here to help you! Just shoot me an email and let me know what I can do 🙂