Monthly Archives: December 2014

Hiring A Summer Babysitter

Ahh summer… lazy days, balmy evenings and plenty of opportunities to catch up with family and friends for dinner, drinks and lots of sunshine. Hiring a summer babysitter can be different than hiring a babysitter for other times of the year. If you’re hiring a summer babysitter to make the most of the holiday season this year, here are some tips to ensure it’s a smoother than smooth process all round.


Plan ahead

Summer can be a busy time, for everyone! If you want a babysitter on a regular or semi-regular basis, discuss your exact needs when you interview. If you’re looking to go on a holiday, or your babysitter is, this needs to be made absolutely clear.


Comparing schedules and booking well in advance is important when it comes to in-demand summer babysitters. If for instance you are hiring a young student (with a hectic social life!) the exact nature or scope of the role should be agreed to beforehand, and put in writing. That way there’s less likelihood of last-minute disappointment when your babysitter heads for greener summer pastures.


Check the action

Kids have a lot of energy at the best of times – in summer, even more so! If you want a babysitter who can do lots of outdoor activities with the children, chat about this at hiring stage. The value of a fit and healthy babysitter with extreme energy levels should never be underestimated!


Think safety

Sun safety and water safety are vital when it comes to kids and summer. Check if your babysitter has a Working with Children check, insurance, training in First Aid, CPR and water safety, and a clear understanding of sun safety, before they head out of the door with your children!


If they say they have qualifications, ask to see the certificates. As with any babysitter or nanny, you should ensure they know the house safety precautions as well (where the first aid kit and list of emergency phone contacts are, for example).


Be practical

As summer might mean you need a babysitter who can take your children around on lots of outings, you obviously need to check if they have a licence and regular access to a car (unless there is plenty to do in walking distance!).


Think about expenditure too. If the babysitter is going to be paying for entrance fees, summer snacks or petrol, they should either be left cash to do so, or reimbursed quickly. Work this out beforehand so there is no ill will.


Ready for a smooth summer? Then it sounds like you’re ready to find your summer babysitter.

Nanny Services : Just What Is Involved ?

Whether you’ve been planning to hire a nanny for a while, or have had a sudden burst of inspiration after yet another blurred week of frantic pickups, rushed meals, and barely-there sleep, there are plenty of reasons why it can be a great idea.


Before you get a little too carried away with fantasies of nanny services meeting all-round life saviours however, it’s essential to know just what nannies do, what they can do if asked ever so nicely, and yep, what really is just a little too far beyond the pale!


So what’s the usual about nanny services ?

A nanny is hired to look after your children, keep them safe and to provide fun and educational activities on a daily basis (and no, that doesn’t mean plonking them in front of the TV for hours on end or chatting to friends on the phone all day!).


It’s fairly standard for nanny services to include childcare and if negotiated beforehand school drop-offs and pick-ups, and for a nanny to take your child or children to appointments or other activities as organised. And nannies will generally prepare meals for your children, and clean up play areas and sometimes ( if agreed beforehand ) bedrooms and bathrooms.


And what’s not ?

Well, if you’re expecting your nanny to also do the grocery shopping, cook family meals every night, and have your house sparkling when you walk in the door, then unfortunately no, that’s not in the standard book of nanny services (as fabulous as that sounds ! ). Some or all of these things can be negotiated with the nanny at the interview stage but expect to pay a higher hourly rate to include these extras.


Are there options ?

Of course. The key when you hire a nanny is to discuss the detail before hiring, and put everything into a contract. This will outline how many children the nanny is going to look after and their ages, include basics such as hours and wages, and provide a full job description of exactly what is included and expected by both parties.


Obviously day-to-day activities will vary to a degree, but so long as they – and you – have a clear idea of what’s usual, than it’s going to be much easier all round. Remember too that your nanny should be reimbursed accordingly.


If there is something you absolutely, positively would like the nanny to do (a load of washing mid-week will change your life!), than yes, it does come down to asking them from day one. And when we say day one, we mean the interview, and not after you’ve hired them.


If you find a nanny who is happy to do non-standard nanny services, then that’s great. However don’t be disappointed, or even surprised, if some will baulk at the idea of grocery shopping, or preparing three-course dinners for the family. Like every other vocation, a nanny is a professional, and in this case, a professional child carer.


A final word about nanny services

Above all, clear communication is vital at all stages of the nanny experience. Treat your nanny with respect, and they are much more likely to return the favour, and become a valuable addition to the family.


Revealed : Who Really Uses A Nanny These Days ?

If your knowledge of nannies is limited to Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, it might be time to re-evaluate. Sure the idea of a nanny might seem to go hand in hand with English-style formality and rather expansive mansions, but in truth, nannies are now an option for anyone who needs childcare.


So just why are nannies so popular?


The childcare dilemma

So you’ve no doubt heard that childcare places are rarer than tantrum-free toddlers. It’s no exaggeration to say that childcare centres are very busy, under-resourced and yes, rather expensive.


For those looking for early childcare, it’s essential to apply while you’re pregnant, and even then it can take well over a year (often several) to be offered a place. Some people have better luck with council-run family day care programs, but these too require early applications – and patience – as carers look after much smaller groups of children.


The cost is another factor that is prohibitive for many. While there is some government support available, it’s mean-tested and capped, so that even with Centrelink assistance, the amount you are paying is likely to be a significant portion of your wage. For a lot of parents in fact, housing costs and childcare are the two biggest outlays.


How a nanny can help

And that’s why many more people are considering a nanny these days. With childcare places so hard to come by, and no guarantee of one even with an early application, a nanny can be a great alternative.


You can hire a nanny as soon as needed and for the exact days and hours you require. You can personally choose a nanny that fits your childcare values, and check references so that you know exactly who is looking after your child. And you have the added convenience, which should never be underestimated, of having childcare at home without the need for excessive travel.


Share and save

Now if you can see the benefit of a nanny, but are deterred by the cost, you might also consider sharing your nanny with others. If you have friends or colleagues who are in need of childcare, there is always the option of hiring a nanny between you and rotating the care between homes.


This option does require some agreement in terms of days and hours, but it’s certainly a great alternative to traditional childcare. And it’s just another reason why nannies are used by more and more parents.