Everything You Need to Know about After-School Nannies & Babysitters
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Everything You Need to Know about After-School Nannies & Babysitters

by Martha Scully

Do you and your spouse work longer hours than your children’s school or daycare covers? How do you fill that childcare gap? Perhaps you need someone to pick up the kids, drive them to activities, prepare dinner and/or help them with homework? A before or after-school nanny could be the right solution for you.

But finding a nanny that can work regularly for only a few hours a day, can be challenging so we’ve asked CanadianNanny.ca founder and child care expert, Martha Scully, to share her best advice on how to find, hire and keep an after-school nanny or babysitter.


How to Find Before and After-School Childcare

Start Looking Early

Finding the best care for your children takes time and networking. Before and after school care is the most difficult care to find. As soon as you know you need child care. Start looking.

Look Everywhere

Post nanny job on CanadianNanny.ca Post in your neighbourhood. Use social media. Reach out to friends and family. Connect with neighbours that already have a nanny.

Related: Find Nannies & Babysitters Offering Part-Time or After-School Services

Nanny Share

Many parents use a nanny share for after school care. Nanny sharing can work a few different ways. Here are 2 examples:

  1. Some families, only need their nanny until early afternoon, and therefore a nanny may look for a second job to fill her time.
  2. Someone in your neighbourhood is looking to share their nanny. This helps by splitting the cost of the nanny, in addition, it provides their child with a playmate.

More information about nanny sharing: Nanny Sharing in Canada

Be Prepared to Pay More

Parents that need after school care should be prepared to pay a higher hourly rate. Usually, this type of care starts at $15/hour. If you are looking for someone to help with homework or drive your children to activities, it may cost more. Asking other parents in your neighbour can be helpful.

For information on paying your nanny, please contact our Payroll support staff at: hello@heartpayroll.com

Be Flexible

Parents need to be flexible with their requirements. Finding someone that wants to work a few hours a day, can cook, clean, and help the children with homework is very difficult. Parents need to prioritize the important tasks. Rebecca T, a parent from Toronto told us that her most important goal was to find an after school babysitter that could help her 10-year-old with her math homework. She really didn’t care about any of the household chores. We see other parents that are looking for nannies to simply be a present adult and to drive school age children to activities. When interviewing, ensure that the nanny has the qualifications and education that you may need.

Have a Back-up

Nothing can be more stressful than having your nanny or babysitter call in sick and you are stuck without someone to pick up your children from school. Have a friend, a stay at home mom or another nanny in your neighbourhood planned in advance, to help with these emergencies.


Hiring an After-School Nanny

Never Hire a Full-time Nanny for a Part-time Job

If you meet someone who interested in your position but is actually looking for a full-time job, be VERY cautious in hiring her. There is a good chance that she is still looking for the full-time nanny job, and will leave you once one becomes available.

Phone and Personally interview

Doing a quick phone interview at an agreed upon time can be helpful in determining if you want to actually do an in person interview. In person, interviews should always be with little distraction. Allowing the nanny to ask questions at the end of the interview can be helpful in determining her interest in the job.

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References

Try to have the nanny provide references related to the caregiving jobs that the nanny has done in the past. You want to determine her interest in children, her reliability, and her overall ability to provide a safe environment for your children

Related: How to Check Nanny References

Complete a Background Check

Some parents skip this step because it is only part time care and the children are older. But it is still very important to conduct thorough background checks. Additionally, if the nanny is driving your children from place to place it is recommended to complete a Driver’s abstract.

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Have a Trial Day

We always recommend having a day before school starts. During this trail day the nanny can spend the full day with your children so you can observe them in action, and they can get to get to know you and your children. This will help you determine if they are the right choice for family and help ease the first real day alone with the kids. Walk them through the typical after school routine. Show them all of the different areas of the home and provide a loose schedule of when and what the children usually eat.

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Tips Once You’ve Hired an After-School Nanny

Make a Lists for the Nanny and Your Children

If you have specific tasks you want the nanny or children to do, have a list available. Many parents find it valuable to have rewards put in place for their children, once assigned lists on completed.

Set Limitations on Phones, Tablets and Other Devices for your Children and Nanny

This is especially important for older school age children. Many parents set up charging stations within their homes. Once a child has completed important tasks and homework, they are allowed limited time on their devices. Clear rules and expectations are important for your nanny and your children. Nannies should not be on their devices while they are caring for children. Like many employers, this should be stated in her nanny contract. Of course, she should be allowed to send or receive calls briefly, or in case of an emergency.

Check in with the Nanny and Children Regularly

After school care is very difficult to find. Making sure your nanny is enjoying her job is key to the success of keeping her. Take her issues and concerns seriously, and work together with her on solving conflicts. On the other side of things be sure to ask your children questions regularly about their day. This includes details on their time with the after school caregiver. Provide the nanny with any constructive feedback that your children have about her care.


Conclusion

Finding the best before and after school care is important for you and your family. Allow yourself the time and resources to make your child care search easier.

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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.