Hey, working/student mamas.
I am currently a SAHM to my 3 year 9 month old DS and 16 month old DD. I have stayed home since shortly before DD was born. I worked in banking for 4 years prior to that, but only worked part time after DS was born, and my MIL was his primary (and free) care provider.
We moved last year for DH's career and we are now in an area without family and friends. We have not really left our children at all since moving here, aside from 2 hours here or there, when they stayed with DH's coworker & his wife. I am now considering a major career decision that will have me employed as of December (DS about 4.5 y/o, DD just shy of 2 y/o) full time. Due to the nature of the job, there is absolutely no negotiation for hours, flexibility, etc. My schedule will be set for the first 6 months, 6 am - 4pm. DH works midnights, 10 pm-6 am. These hours make me wonder if it's even possible to find a person to care for our kids, or if we'll really need to hire 2... and possibly a back up as well?
I still have not decided whether or not I'm going to take this path. Although it is something I really, really want to do for me, I'm not sure I can leave my kids so young, when I don't have to. We don't need the money. The bonus to "we don't need the money" is that I would make quite a bit of excess income and we can pay for any kind of care we want for the kids.
Initially, the job was supposed to start in June and my sister had agreed to come and live with us and be their nanny for the first 6 months, to get us through the hard part and give us time to figure the rest out. She isn't going to be available now that the timing has changed. So I have just under 6 months to figure out if I can find someone I can trust to care for my kids in a city where I don't know anyone at all.
How do you find a nanny? DCP? How do you know which is better fitting for your children? I am leaning toward a nanny because of individualized attention and the fact that DH will be home, but sleeping, while the nanny is here, which for some reason makes it feel safer. How do you know if a care provider is trustworthy? If you are on the same page? Trial periods? I honestly just don't know where to begin, and all of my friends are either SAHM's or WOHM's whose family cares for their children while they work.nTIA for any insight you can provide!
Sleepy, running, wife to DH 08/09 - Mama to DS 8/08 & DD 1/11
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb
I was a nanny to a toddler when I was pregnant with and a new mama to my DS and it was the perfect job! I got to indulge all of my baby/kiddo cravings (like looking at little clothes and shoes) and practice parenting skills (like diapering and making healthful meals for picky eaters). Do you know any pregnant ladies in need of work/money? Do you have/go to any LLL meetings in your area?
How long would you need someone to care for your LOs? Could you work out a trade with the SAHMs you know? Friends of mine have a token system for watching each other's kids... each token is half an hour I think.
I had good luck on sittercity.com in my area. I was able to be pretty clear on how we parented and how we wanted our kids cared for. I didn't have a problem finding someone who was cool with a sling, etc. and no tv. I liked that I could see a pic/profile and I appreciated that people had to be reasonable literate to apply/read the site.
I would choose a nanny personally and choose someone who worked from 5 a.m. until whatever time you wanted to. Childcare providers often work more tahn 8 hours and this is legal (and doesn't require overtime) in all fifty states.
We've done sitter city and care.com with great results. My last nanny came off SC and this one is from care. There is a level of trust that you just have to have in order to choose someone off the internet to care for your child! I'd look at the pictures, read reviews, profiles, if I liked what I saw then I would try and set up a meet and greet. I have never done a trial, some sitters might, but ones that are more professional, at least in my experience, you just have to go for it and hope it works. We have had nothing but good experiences. Most people who nanny do it because they love children, not exactly for the amazing pay. Nannies can work more then 8 hours but it may take more then one to fill in your week. Ours just went down to 2 days a week but she had been doing 40 hours in 4 days for us. She works every other Fri-Sun for another family where she does 7am-8pm.
We have gone through a lot of sitters over the years, just due to the nature of my town (transient), and being AP has never been a problem. I am very upfront at the meet and greet about how we like as a family, what my expectations on, and I feel like it has always paid off. Knowing that you have 6 months before could be good or bad. I often line someone new up 2 weeks-a month before. It is rarer that someone is looking for a job for months away, it happens, but just be prepared that often they are available sooner. And we've had it where we have had to hire someone before we really needed care just to keep her, otherwise she would find another job. My current nanny is moving in Sep and it looks like I do have a new nanny lined up already but this has never happened before. She is the nanny of another family I know (and the first person I will ever have hired with a personal connection), and they will no longer need her then.
I've found all of my nannies, temporary and full time on care.com. Our first nanny was with us for 2 and a half years with my first son. She started out on a part time basis because I was working part time from home and then worked for us full time after a year when I went back to work full time. She eventually decided she wanted to go back to school full time and her courses were only offered during the day which didn't work for us.
We went through a couple of nannies that didn't fit our family too well but recently found a great nanny who works great with our family principles. We follow a pretty rigid interview format though, starting with an email interview, followed by a phone interview, then an in person interview and then a 1/2 to 1 day working interview. It know it sounds like a lot, but we found out after the two nannies that didn't fit our family how important a good fit for both nanny and family can be. We make sure to ask additional questions such as, comfort level with cloth diapering, co-sleeping during naps, breastfeeding, baby wearing, etc. I also work from home full time so we make sure the nanny is comfortable with that as well. There are a lot of nannies that really aren't comfortable with a parent being home when they are working, which I can't understand AT ALL.
You may want to try going through a nanny agency. Since this is your first time hiring a nanny, they may be able to better help you evaluate your needs and guide you through the process to ensure you find a caregiver that is qualified and a perfect fit for your family.
- To the poster who said you do not need to pay overtime for more than 40hrs/wk, I'm not sure that is true ... but ultimately, i guess that's between you and your nanny.
- We found our nanny on Sittercity and really like that service. I didn't want to spend up for an agency. Care.com seems like a good option too. The Yahoo moms group for my neighborhood also has lots of childcare talk.
- We switched the kids to daycare once they were about 2 and 4 and were all much happier. Maybe it's just me but I'd take a high quality daycare over a nanny any day. They get so much more activities and social time now. My kids are WAY happier in daycare. Plus, even though we can afford a nanny. We don't want to. I'd rather put that money towards a college fund. Plus, being an employer was emotionally exhausting and I hated having someone in my home all day.
- However, daycare is tough to do with an early schedule. I start work at 5:30 a.m. but my husband has a normal schedule and can drop the kids at daycare and I do pickup. Other parents in my industry (where we all start crazy early) have been able to find someone to come that early. I have a friend whose nanny came at 3a and then essentially slept for several hours until her daughter woke up. It may depend on the labor pool in your community, but if you pay enough, they may appear.
- One option is to pay someone to bridge you leaving and the kids getting to daycare, if it's hard to find someone to work all the hours you and/or hubby will be gone. Won't be cheap but may have some benefits.
Sounds exciting! Enjoy.
Mother of two since 2007 and 2009. Hoping third time's a charm in 2012.
Nannies are entitled to pay for all hours worked. So you cannot pay them the same for 40 hours as 41 hours. You must pay them for the 41st hours rather than just being "flexible." I've known plenty of people who are utterly abusive to staff in this regard, unsually because the staff is undocumented or has no other options.
However, many states have special labor rules for childcare providers and care providers such as home health aids that state that they are *not* entitled to same type of lunch breaks and overtime rules. So, while they need to be paid during all hours they aren' necessarily eligible for a lunch break without care duties because doing so would be impractical. This is in contrast to unpaid break leaves of many hourly employees. And they probably aren't legally eligible for time-and-a-half assuming they are working legally in the first place.