Back-to-school season is an emotion-filled time, especially when you have younger children. It’s more than just getting everything on your supplies list and a fresh wardrobe. It’s often a massive transition for kids and parents alike. Routines change, environments change, the people you see every day change.
Imagine your boss changing every year, your co-workers, your office space. It’s a lot for anyone to take in. That is why it’s important to put time and energy in figuring out who, in your village, will be there to help from day 1 of the new school year. When so much is changing, it’s important to know that there’s a consistent team.
For a lot of working parents, before and after school care is a big question mark. There are a lot of options to consider but, at the very least, it’s always smart to have a few go-to sitters that can help in a pinch. No parent wants to be hustling to find a last minute sitter when the inevitable arises. According to our recent survey, nearly 70% of working moms say they’ve been pulled away from a work commitment because their family didn’t have child care.
Now is the time to invest in researching, talking to, and building a team of caregivers. Every family’s needs are different. Here’s a few things to consider when plotting out where potential holes in care might be:
- When does their day end? School schedules and programs vary. Take a minute to pull out the calendar and mark all the days you might potentially need help.
- Are there multiple pick-up points? (i.e. siblings are different locations)
- Is there potential for weekly after-school activities? Dance practice, tutoring, etc?
- Does your job require you to have someone on-call? You work unexpectedly long hours, take last minute trips, have an irregular schedule, etc.
Once you have mapped out a clear picture of what your school-year needs will be, you can start reaching out to people who can potentially help.
The easiest way is by posting your needs to the sitter community. CLICK HERE to start that now. Filling in your needs is the best way to set expectations and have the sitters who match your needs come to you.
Once the sitters start reaching out it’s also important to have a clear picture of who will work best for your family. Here are questions to ask yourself:
- How do you like to communicate? (phone, text, email, social, etc.)
- How often do you expect communication?
- Are you ok with screen time happening while in a sitter’s care?
- Will your kids need homework help?
- Do you need them to have access to a car?
- If yes, is a clean driving record important to you?
- Kids are always hungry after school. Are you hoping the sitter will provide food? How in-depth do you need the cooking skills to be?
Once you’ve dreamt up your perfect caregiver, start drafting your interview questions. Here’s a comprehensive list we pulled together to get you started.
When selecting people to join your village, communication and transparency is key. You never want to “wing it”. It takes time to find the right sitter, but there are tools to make it easier.
In short, save yourself the stress by adding “Find a Sitter” to you back-to-school to-do list sooner rather than later.