Updated: Aug 3
The hunt for part-time care is on for parents with the school year about to be back in session. It's no secret that we are still in the middle of a childcare crisis and that parents are having an increasingly more difficult time finding reliable and affordable childcare. However, part-time care is even more difficult to find than full-time care. In our weekly chats with my childcare partner in crime, Marquis of Nanny Village Agency states often, "Some nanny agencies will only work with families offering 25+ hours a week for part-time care since that's what nannies want right now. This leaves many parents struggling to figure out what to do for those after or before school hours." I completely agree, so here are the five tips that I'm giving parents in my coaching sessions who are struggling with finding part-time childcare:
1. Start Your Search as Soon As Possible.
If you are starting to look for back-to-school care, I suggest starting in July. This gives you time to run a trial and ensure you have the right fit for your family during the school year. If you looking to enter a daycare situation, you may have to get on waitlists even earlier. The longer you wait to start the search, the more you will see that there are many other families in the same boat you are trying to search for. An early start will give you a better chance of finding more candidates or programs available.
2. Morning Hours are Premium Hours
We find a lot of parents looking for someone to come in to get the kids off to school. Know that these early hours are considered "premium hours" and will come at a higher hourly rate. We can all agree that getting up in the morning is not easy. So if you would like someone to come consistently and reliably, the pay will have to be higher on top of mileage and gas reimbursement.
3. What Hours Can You Guarantee Each Week?
Nannies work on guaranteed hours in their contract regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time. This means they are paid weekly even if you don't need them. So consider this when figuring out how many hours you need each day or week and how much you can budget towards childcare. Since most nannies are looking at full-time or part-time at max hours (20-30), the more hours you can guarantee, the better. This same thing applies to daycares right now as well. Most will have a minimum of days or hours a child has to attend to be accepted into the program.
4. Compensation Package
Just like any job, the better the compensation package, the more applicants you will have for the job. Unfortunately for parents, it's a nanny's market right now. There are not enough nannies and caregivers to meet parents' childcare demands. Nannies are looking for families who understand nanny standards and provide appropriate compensation for the job. If you can offer more than 20+ hours a week, you can also see if a local nanny agency is offering services for part-time care, and they can help assist you in your search.
5. Cover All Your Bases
So many new mommy and nanny groups have popped up over the last couple of years on Facebook. I have a bunch that I love, so feel free to ask for recommendations! It's a good idea to post your job listing to a bunch of places and the usual spots, Care.com, Sittercity.com, or the Nextdoor App. You can post every other week until you get the candidates you want or the feedback you need. Regardless of where you find your next nanny, make sure you run background checks and call references. There are a lot of agencies like Nanny Village Agency that offer these services a la carte for parents.
If you are still confused and need help, don't panic. You can schedule a 30-minute free childcare consult with me at your convenience. I'm here to help parents navigate their childcare journey in any way I can.