Friday, 21 August 2015

Special Report: Finding a Quality Caregiver

Image borrowed from Huff Post Parents

Having a new born, a toddler, a pre-schooler, or a child of any age really, comes with some interesting challenges when it comes to your to do list. You want to spend time cuddling, colouring, playing on the floor, and all the fun that goes with, but eventually you’re going to run out of underpants if you don’t get some laundry done. If your chores and errands are building up, or perchance, you have an opportunity to get out and have some kid-free fun, you’re going to need a sitter to ensure your little bundle of awesome is okay while you’re out.

Finding a qualified sitter can be a hard thing. You might not feel comfortable asking your crazy friends, you might not have family in town, and maybe your 13 year old neighbor doesn’t have quite enough experience for you to feel comfortable yet. That’s why the clever ladies at Modern Mommy Events have created an opportunity for the residents of my neck of the woods, Guelph, Ontario. It’s a spin on “speed dating,” that classic way for singles to meet up. Parents can have a quick sit down with highly qualified care givers looking for opportunities. It’s a win-win!

If you’re planning on attending the event, or looking to interview some sitters in your own neighborhood, co-founder Eva Shortt has you covered. Here are some questions about what expectations for parents looking for care:

WIYDB: What if I’m new in town? What’s a good place to start?

Modern Mommy: There are some amazing resources in Guelph! As a new mom myself, I find that people are so helpful with recommendations and reviews on caregivers, babysitters, schools and day-cares you just have to start with a simple Facebook search for these groups. Try searching Facebook for Guelph parenting groups. There are a few really popular ones with active members, such as “Guelph Mommies & Due Mommies.”

WIYDB: What’s the going rate now for sitters? What if I just need a 4 hour in-house help/evening out? What if I need a 9 hour work day?

Modern Mommy: Each caregiver is different. It really depends on who you are asking. If you want a specialized Early Childhood Education caregiver your going rate would be approximately $14 an hour. If you are looking to hire a student for a few hours that are looking to make a little bit of extra money their range is between $8-$12 an hour. 

Keep in mind that the age of your child and the time of day have a huge impact on the overall price of your sitter. 
Daycare for babies under 15 months is a lot more expensive than toddler care. 

WIYDB: What sorts of qualifications should I look for in a caregiver?

Modern Mommy: When you are looking for a caregiver you should have some basic guidelines:

- Does this person have up to date first aid?

- What is there experience with kids- ie. Have they worked with kids before?

- What age range have they worked with?

WIYDB: When should I use a babysitter/ short term caregiver?

Modern Mommy: [Use a] babysitter when you need someone for sporadic occasions like a night out with friends or a spouse, a quick errand.

WIYDB: When should you choose a nanny?

Modern Mommy: If you are not yet ready to send your kids off to daycare or preschool and you need someone to be with your child for the duration of the day it is probably best to use a nanny. There are lots of ways to find nannies! There are companies out there that charge a finders fee for finding nannies, they advertise on different websites or you can also find someone through word of mouth.

WIYDB: I’m nervous leaving my little one. What kinds of information should you provide to your sitter for reference?

Modern Mommy: Your phone number in case of emergencies. Then a list of one or two other trusted people in case you are unreachable. If you are planning on having your caregiver watch your child during the day then you should provide them with a list of activities (ie. nap schedule, meal and snack times). If its for the evening/night provide them with a bedtime routine as well as dinner instructions (if necessary).

WIYDB: If I had I night to myself, I wouldn’t even know where to start! Do you have ideas for a fun girls night or a date with someone special?

Modern Mommy: If you are looking for a fun girl’s night out and want to really let loose dancing or karoke are my favorite activities. If you are looking for something more mellow, dinner and drinks at a restaurant are always fun. Some restaurants also provide girls night out and date menus so you can get some pretty good deals. For the crafty moms: bring out some needles and yarn and have yourself a stitch and bitch night. If you love a particular television show then why not get a bunch of girlfriends together and watch it together especially if it is a trashy (yet super addictive) show like the Bachelor!

There are some great date spots here in Guelph! Rent a canoe and go for ice cream at the Boathouse. Dinner at a restaurant (can you tell I am hungry right now? I've got food on the brain!) Or even a romantic stroll in the Arboretum.

The ladies at Modern Mommy Events have tons cooked up for parents looking to connect and talk to other parents. From relaxing conversation in a friendly atmosphere, to high energy social events, they’ve got you covered. For more information about Modern Mommy Events, and for Caregiver Speed Dating ticket information, contact Eva and Jess here
Parent tickets are $25 or $35 at the door.

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