Before and After School Child Care: 6 Practical Solutions

The new school year is around the corner which means it’s time to nail down your before and after school child care. From morning drop-offs to shuttling kids to after school activities, the back to school hustle can leave you juggling a lot of different schedules. Not sure what kind of after school child care is right for you? Have no fear! We have 6 before and after school babysitter and nanny solutions that will help your family get an A+ this school year.

1. The Full-Time Nanny

Full-Time Nanny
Before and After school babysitter

Work full-time? Need a helping hand before and after school? Have a little one in school and one still at home? A full-time nanny may be just what you need to cover all your bases. Nanny-finding sites like UrbanSitter conveniently allow you to search or post a job for this type of “split shift” schedule. 

Pro-tip: Check our blog post for suggested questions to ask when interviewing potential nannies.

2. The Carpool-Driving Sitter

carpool driving sitters

Maybe your mornings start early and you need help getting the kids ready and dropped off on time to school. Or, maybe you can’t leave the office early enough to pick them up. Problem solved! Book a carpool driving sitter.

Pro-tip: Use UrbanSitter’s search filter to find sitters ‘willing to drive kids’ in your car or theirs.

3. The Homework Tutor

sitter tutor
before and after school babysitter

Let’s be real, kids have A LOT of homework these days and sometimes our kids need a little extra help. Find and book a sitter who’s ready to hit the books after school.

Pro-tip: Sites like UrbanSitter make it easy to search for sitters by the grade levels and subjects they teach or tutor.

4. The After-School Sitter

after-school sitter

Soccer practice, music lessons, dance class, or even just a trip to the park can be hard to juggle when you have more than one kid, errands to run, or when your work schedule keeps you late. Have no fear, an after-school sitter can help you feel like you are in more than one place at the same time.

Pro-tip: If you aren’t finding any sitters to cover every day of the week, consider splitting your job into two jobs with a sitter for Monday-Wednesday-Fridays and another for Tuesday-Thursdays.

5. The Last-Minute Sitter

urbansitter app
last minute sitter
before and after school babysitter
after school child care

When the kids have an unexpected day off from school or your usual nanny calls in sick, you’ll need access to a last-minute sitter for backup child care. 

Pro-tip: Download UrbanSitter’s child care-finding app for free for access to last-minute child care. 

6. After School Programs

after school program

Some schools offer after school programs to give parents a few extra hours of child care beyond the school day. If your school doesn’t offer an after school program, many local YMCAs offer affordable school age after school child care.

Found the right before and after school child care solution for you? Now get started on your caregiver search by creating a free account on UrbanSitter.

5 Popular Child Care Options for Summer

kids playing in fountain

Trying to figure out your child care options for summer? Maybe you’re wondering how to plan child care around a summer trip or weekly camps. Let’s review the pros and cons of the top 5 most popular summer child care solutions.

First, there are some general factors to consider:

  • Your schedule – Do you need full-time or part-time coverage and is it for the entire summer or certain weeks?
  • Your budget – How much are you willing to spend on a weekly or monthly basis?

Next, you can start to evaluate the advantages of each of these 5 popular child care options for summer:

  1. Book a summer camp

  2. Summer camps come in all shapes and sizes, from half-day to full-day, completely virtual to sleep-away camps. These can be a great option for kids who want to explore a specific interest (art, dance, robotics, coding, nature, etc.). There are lots of things to consider when choosing a camp including schedules, since many are only 1-3 weeks long and you may need to string together multiple camps to fill the summer.

    Pros: Variety of interests for kids, lots of scheduling options
    Cons: Possible cancellations, strict refund policies, limited openings

  3. Hire a summer nanny or sitter

  4. Hiring a summer nanny or sitter for full-time or part-time child care could be a great solution. A summer nanny cares for your kids in your home according to the schedule and responsibilities you decide on, which may include outings, meal preparation, driving the kids, nap time, bath time and more. While a dedicated caregiver might cost more per hour than other solutions, you only pay for the hours you need and the cost does not double with each additional child as with camps or school. Not sure where to find a summer nanny? Try an online caregiver-finding service such as UrbanSitter.

    Pros: Dedicated caregiver, fits your schedule, no commute
    Cons: Must find/hire candidate yourself, cost depends on how many hours you need

  5. Register for summer school

  6. Many parents want their kids to make up for lost academic time with summer school. If your public school is not offering a summer session, many private schools are open and will accept outside students for the summer session. 

    Pros: Affordable (when offered by public school), prevents “brain drain”
    Cons: Only covers school hours

  7. Form a summer sharecare or co-op

  8. Start a sharecare with a group of families from your neighborhood. Kids benefit from having socialization, while parents share the cost of a caregiver a.k.a. “sharecare” or split caregiving duties a.k.a a “child care co-op.” Form a summer sharecare with your kids’ best friends and hire a summer sitter with camp counselor experience to create your own backyard summer camp.

    Pros: Socialization, shared costs
    Cons: Management of sharecare/co-op rules, not an option if you don’t have space in your home

  9. Plan on a hodgepodge

  10. If you’re a Type A parent, break out your spreadsheet and plan out the ultimate hodgepodge of the child care options at your disposal. For example, pair a series of half-day camps that your kids will love with a summer nanny to handle drop offs, pick ups, and the gap days between camps.

    Pros: The exact schedule and activities you want
    Cons: Lots of planning required, expensive

    Did you find the solution that fits best with your family’s needs? Whatever you decide, we hope it will be your best summer ever.

    Find a summer nanny or sitter now with UrbanSitter’s detailed caregiver search.

5 Tips for Saving Money on Infant Care Near Me

finding infant care near me

As a parent, finding affordable and reliable infant care near you is crucial. Infant care can be one of the biggest expenses for new parents with the median year cost of center-based infant care in the US being $27,220 in 2022 according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Fortunately, there are ways to save money without sacrificing quality. Here are five tips for saving money on infant care near you:

Tip 1: Consider in-home infant care

One way to save money is to consider in-home care instead of a day care, where a caregiver comes to your home to care for your child. In-home infant care may be more economical than daycare center infant care, especially if you have more than one child who requires care. You’ll only be paying for one caregiver’s time rather than multiple daycare center staff.

Another advantage of in-home care is that it can be more personalized to your child’s needs. Your caregiver can tailor their care to your child’s specific routines and preferences, which can help your child feel more comfortable and secure. Additionally, in-home care can help reduce your child’s exposure to illnesses and infections that can spread more easily in group care settings.

With resources like UrbanSitter, you can find experienced and reliable in-home infant care providers in your area. Plus, you can easily book and pay for care right through the app.

Tried, true and trusted infant care

Find affordable care for newborns and infants with UrbanSitter.

Tip 2: Research and compare infant day care providers

Another way to save money is to research and compare infant care providers in your area. Start by asking friends and family for recommendations. Then, research providers online and compare their costs and services.

Be sure to look for providers that are licensed and accredited by reputable organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). Licensing requirements vary by state, but generally, licensed providers meet certain standards for health and safety, while accredited providers have voluntarily undergone a rigorous review process to ensure they meet high standards for quality care. Finally, consider the location of the provider. Finding one that is close to your home or work can help you save money on gas and transportation costs.

Tip 3: Utilize tax credits, state child care assistance and flexible spending accounts

Many working parents are eligible for tax credits and flexible spending accounts for child care expenses. Additionally, certain states offer voucher programs and other child care assistance. These resources can help you save money on infant care near you.

In 2023, the Child and Dependent Care Credit allows parents to claim up to $3,000 in child care expenses for one child or up to $6,000 for two or more children. The amount of the credit varies based on your income level and the number of children in your household. For more information about this credit, visit the IRS website. Select states also offer an additional dependent care tax credit to help parents with the cost of child care. 

Another way to save money on infant care is through Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA). A DCFSA allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible child care expenses, including infant care. In 2023, the maximum annual contribution limit is $5,000 per household or $2,500 if married, filing separately. Talk to your employer’s human resources department to find out if your company offers a DCFSA. You should always consult with a tax professional to ensure that you are taking advantage of all available tax benefits and following IRS guidelines.

infant day care provider

Tip 4: Negotiate prices

Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices with infant care providers. Many providers are willing to work with parents to find a price that works for both parties. When negotiating prices, keep in mind that the cost of infant care can vary widely depending on your location and the specific provider you’re working with.

To negotiate effectively, start by researching the going rates for infant care in your area. This will give you an idea of what to expect and can help you make a reasonable offer. Additionally, consider offering to pay for a longer period of time upfront, such as six months or a year, in exchange for a discounted rate. You could also ask if they offer any discounts for referrals or for siblings enrolled in their program. Just remember, while it’s important to save money on infant care near you, it’s equally important to choose a provider that offers high-quality care for your child.

Tip 5: Create a budget

Creating a budget for infant care expenses is an essential step in saving money on child care. To get started, calculate your total monthly expenses. This includes any costs associated with in-home care or daycare center fees, as well as any additional expenses such as transportation, meals, and supplies.

Once you have a clear picture of your expenses, look for ways to cut costs. For example, you may be able to save money by packing your child’s lunch instead of buying it from the provider or by finding a more affordable provider in your area. 

To make creating a budget easier, you can use a budget template specifically designed for a family. This resource from Nerd Wallet is a free budget worksheet for parents that helps you estimate all of your expenses, so you know exactly how much you can afford to spend on infant care.

In conclusion, finding affordable infant care near you can be challenging. However, by considering in-home care, researching and comparing providers, utilizing tax credits and flexible spending accounts, negotiating prices, and creating a budget, you can save money on infant care near me. Don’t forget to check out UrbanSitter for trusted in-home providers in your area.

Infant care that fits your budget

Find affordable care for newborns and infants with UrbanSitter.

Babysitter Gift Ideas, Nanny Bonus & More: UrbanSitter’s Guide to Holiday Gifting

Holiday Babysitter gifts, nanny gifts, nanny bonus

Putting together your holiday gift list? Chances are babysitter gifts, nanny gifts and nanny bonus are high up on the list. Around the holidays there are a lot of questions around this, such as “what is a thoughtful gift for my nanny/sitter?” “What handmade gift can my child can give the nanny?” “What does a nanny or sitter actually want as a holiday gift?” “What’s an appropriate nanny bonus or holiday babysitter tip?”

The holidays are the perfect time to show a bit of extra gratitude for all your caregiver does for your family with a thoughtful gift. We have plenty of gift guides (and pinterest board) to help point you in the right direction for a perfect babysitter gift. Plus, UrbanSitter creates a yearly guide on holiday tipping & bonuses.

Gift Guides for the Holidays

We have your gift guides covered from holiday gifts kids can give, handmade gifts from kids, to gifts for the babysitter, nanny gifts and even the ultimate mommy gift guide.

Top Nanny Gifts for the Holidays:

  • 91% of parents surveyed gift their nanny a Christmas bonus or gift.
  • Gifts include gift cards to a favorite retailer or restaurant, spa items or a gift card for spa services, scarves, other handmade items, a framed photo of the kids, candles, gourmet foods such as baked goods or chocolates and fine teas. In addition, kids oftentimes make a gift for the nanny.

Popular Babysitter Gift Ideas for Christmas:

  • Top babysitter Christmas gift ideas include a gift card to Starbucks or iTunes, handmade gift from kids, or baked goods. Other gifts are time off, food, jewelry, tickets, and of course, cash!

Babysitter & Nanny Holiday Gift Guides

Holiday Handmade Gifts from Kids

Other Gift Guides

Need more ideas? Visit our Gifts for Sitters and Nannies Pinterest Board.

Holiday Tipping & Nanny Bonus

Now that we’ve covered gift ideas for babysitters, let’s dive into the nanny bonus! Each year we survey parents to get the scoop on holiday tipping and bonuses. Year after year, the top nanny bonus given by at least 50% of parents is a nanny bonus that equals one week of pay. Most sitters also expect a tip or bonus over the holidays. In addition to tipping or a bonus, parents oftentimes give their nanny or sitter a gift. Keep in mind, 82% of sitters & nannies would prefer cash over a gift as their bonus/tip.

Check out our most recent Holiday Tipping Guide, which includes nanny bonuses and babysitter holiday tip suggestions.

Show Your Appreciation: Babysitter Gift, Thank You Note & Bonus

Giving a small gift, thank you note, and an appropriate cash bonus or tip based on how often and how long a caregiver has worked for you is one fabulous way to show your appreciation. You can even have the kids participate (if age appropriate) and create a handmade gift for the nanny or write a little note.

Ultimately, any sentiment that shows you truly appreciate the work your nanny or sitter does year round to take care of your kids, keep them safe and bring them joy can go a long way in continuing to build a wonderful relationship and make the caregiver feel valued.

The holiday times are the perfect time to book a sitter for a night out to enjoy a holiday party or shop without the kids!

Nanny Interview Questions: A Guide for Parents

nanny interview

Finding the right nanny involves evaluating their skills, experience, values, and parenting philosophy through a comprehensive interview. We’ll walk you through a list of the best nanny interview questions for parents to ask candidates.

Why Conduct a Nanny Interview?

Let’s pause and understand the importance of conducting a nanny interview. Your child’s caregiver will have a significant impact, so it’s vital to assess skills, experience, and personality traits that align with your family.

Preparing your Nanny Interview Questions

Before the interview, prepare by reviewing the nanny’s resume, references, and certifications. Consider your family’s needs and values to tailor your questions.

A Complete Guide to Nanny Interview Questions

Step 1: Get to Know the Candidate

The first set of questions aims to get to know the candidate better, allowing you to gauge their experience, preferences, and overall suitability for the role.

These questions will help you understand the candidate’s level of experience, their comfort with different age groups, and whether they have any relevant skills or knowledge outside of childcare. It’s important to listen not only to their answers but also to the level of enthusiasm and passion they display when discussing their experiences.

Basic questions to ask:

  • How long have you been caring for children?
  • What age groups have you cared for?
  • What is your favorite age to care for, and why?
  • Have you had any previous work or life experiences that have helped you in your role as a nanny?

Download a free PDF with the full list of nanny interview questions

Step 2: Assess Training, Education, and Background

Next, ensure that the nanny has received proper training and education, which is crucial for your child’s safety and development.

These questions will help you verify the candidate’s knowledge of essential emergency procedures and their commitment to ongoing professional development. Fluency in other languages can also be a valuable asset, especially if you want your child to be exposed to different cultures or if you have a multilingual household.

  • Are you trained in CPR and first aid?
  • Have you taken any child care courses or certifications? Are you open to further training if necessary?
  • What is your education level?
  • Are you fluent in any languages other than English?

Download a free PDF with the full list of nanny interview questions

Step 3: Evaluate Previous Nanny Positions

Understanding a candidate’s work history and their experiences as a nanny is essential for assessing their compatibility with your family.

Asking about their past experiences will provide insight into their ability to handle various situations and their overall approach to childcare. Pay attention to their problem-solving skills, adaptability, and communication style when listening to their responses.

  • What was your most recent nanny position? If there was a gap, what did you do during that time?
  • Can you describe your typical daily routine with your previous family?
  • What were the best and worst aspects of your previous job?
  • Have you encountered any negative work situations in the past? If so, what did you learn from them?
  • How have you handled difficult situations, such as a crying baby or a child talking back?
  • Have you ever experienced a childcare emergency? If so, how did you handle it?

Download a free PDF with the full list of nanny interview questions

Step 4: Assess Compatibility with Your Family’s Needs

It’s important to ensure that a potential nanny aligns with your family’s unique requirements and circumstances. These questions will help you determine whether the candidate has the necessary experience and flexibility to meet your child’s specific needs. It’s important to communicate openly about any unique requirements your family may have, such as dietary restrictions, cultural practices, or medical conditions.

  • What is your experience with children who have specific needs or conditions, such as allergies or special educational requirements?
  • Have you ever worked with a family for an extended period? What was your experience like?
  • Are you looking for a long-term position, or do you have a specific timeframe in mind for your next role?

Download a free PDF with the full list of nanny interview questions

Step 5: Explore Childcare Style and Approach

Understanding a nanny’s childcare style and approach is crucial to ensure a good fit for your family.

These questions will give you insight into the candidate’s values, approach to discipline, and ability to handle challenging situations. Look for answers that align with your own parenting philosophy and demonstrate empathy, patience, and problem-solving skills.

  • What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?
  • What do you find most challenging?
  • How do you handle difficult situations, such as a child’s tantrums or disagreements with parents?
  • How do you approach discipline? What is the nanny’s role in disciplining a child?

Download a free PDF with the full list of nanny interview questions

Nanny Interview Questions to Avoid

It’s essential to be aware of questions that are legally prohibited or may invade the candidate’s privacy. Avoid asking about the following topics during the interview:

  1. Age
  2. Race or ethnic background
  3. Religion or religious views
  4. Sexual orientation
  5. Marital status or plans for pregnancy
  6. Disability or medical history
  7. Arrest record

As an employer, it is important to adhere to equal employment opportunity guidelines and respect the candidate’s privacy and individual rights.

Additional Interview Considerations

Apart from asking specific questions, there are a few other factors to consider when evaluating a potential nanny:

  1. Interaction with your child: Observe how the candidate interacts with your child during the interview or a playdate. Look for signs of warmth, attentiveness, and engagement.
  2. Communication skills: Assess the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively, both with you and your child. Clear and open communication is vital to ensure a successful working relationship.
  3. Reliability and punctuality: Consider the candidate’s reliability and punctuality during the interview process. Being on time and demonstrating a strong work ethic are important qualities for a nanny.
  4. Trust your instincts: Ultimately, trust your instincts and intuition when evaluating a potential nanny. If something feels off or doesn’t align with your family’s values, it may be a sign to explore other candidates.

Preparing a thorough list of nanny interview questions is crucial to finding the perfect caregiver for your child. By asking the right questions and carefully considering the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and compatibility, you can make an informed decision. Remember to create a comfortable and open environment during the interview to encourage honest and meaningful conversations.

At UrbanSitter, we understand that interviewing and hiring a nanny can be a daunting process. With our extensive trusted caregiver network, you’ll be able to find the best fit for your family in no time! Sign up today and start looking for your ideal nanny.

Related: Conducting Reference Checks

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Your Guide to College Nannies and Sitters

babysitting calculator rate

Curious if college nannies and sitters are the solution to your endless list of child care needs: holiday breaks, after-school care, morning car rides, and a regular Friday date night? There are a plethora of options for child care, so let’s break down the why, where, and how of hiring a college nanny or tutor, so you can decide if they are the right option for you:

Why College Nannies and Sitters?

  • Child care experience. College nannies have usually had experience babysitting for family and friends or as summer camp counselors and neighborhood babysitters. They may even have had CPR training, especially if they worked as a junior lifeguard. Many jobs available to younger individuals over the summer (i.e., camp counselor, lifeguard), allow them to acquire skills vital to babysitting.
  • Similar holiday schedules. Many kids have weeks off for Thanksgiving and Christmas when many parents still need to work. A plus for hiring college students is that they usually have the same dates off from school, allowing them the flexibility and availability to watch your kids during busy holiday periods.
  • Exploring interests. College sitters have energy and are closer in age to your kid while still possessing more maturity and cognitive thinking than a high school student. If you are lucky, you can find a student with similar passions to your kid, like ballet or painting. Not only that, but their academic studies can help them teach your child about new subjects– suddenly, your kid wants to study stars like their babysitter, who is taking an astronomy course.
  • Tutoring. If you’re looking for a tutor for your child, a college tutor will have already taken the course and still be fresh on the subject. Often, you can find a college student majoring in a similar subject to what you need to be taught to your child so the tutor will have a more in-depth understanding.
  • Flexibility. College nanny schedules can be much more flexible than other sitters. Many college students have either morning or evening classes and days where they may have no classes. This is the perfect time to accommodate helping your family.
  • Convenience. Depending on where the college is located, the nanny may be located close to your home, making transportation easy. Or if they have a car, that works out as they will be able just as easily to commute to your home and might be able to pick up your kids like an after-school sitter.
  • Affordable rates. College nannies tend to charge more competitive rates than other childcare providers, which can be helpful as care for your child can be costly. Can you believe the average cost of a babysitter in New York is $23.40/hour?! It’s crazy these days.
  • Built-in backup sitters. College sitters often have a great backup option if scheduling conflicts arise. Given how much time they spend with other college students, it’s easy for them to coordinate a trustworthy sitter-friend to cover for them. This is perfect because it means you won’t need to cancel those movie plans because your college sitter got the flu!

How to Find College Nannies and Tutors?

The next step is finding a trustworthy, interesting college nanny or tutor that fits your criteria to welcome them into your home. 

  • Take a look at UrbanSitter’s college nannies and sitters assorted by college name so you can find one in your area.
  • Check local college job boards for that college to post your own notice or find requests for childcare opportunities. 
  • Join local Facebook or Google groups affiliated with that college as well, where sitters may post looking for babysitting or tutoring opportunities. 
  • Not only that, but you can post a job on UrbanSitter or browse through UrbanSitter sitters, refining for the ones attending colleges near you. 

How to Seal the Deal

Thankfully you are at the final step. You have done your research, and college nannies and tutors are perfect for your family. How do you get them to take a job with your family?

  • Offer a fare rate equivalent to the average rate in your area, which you can access the data for on this UrbanSitter page for 2022 here. You must make sure you establish a relationship built on respect and understanding, which starts with salary. You want to make sure you let your sitter or tutor know you value their work. 
  • Offer help with transportation at night if your sitter or tutor doesn’t have a car so they feel safe staying late when you have a night out with your partner.
  • Offer flexible hours and work together on the schedule, so everyone feels comfortable about the hours and workload.
  • Allow the college sitter to do homework when the kids go to bed. Remember, they are still students and are juggling a lot with school, so understanding is always appreciated.
  • For tutoring, offering a virtual option over Zoom might seem more convenient for college students so they don’t have to spend time commuting. 

Now you’ve done it! You’re a pro at finding college nannies and sitters. No more researching a trillion different babysitter and tutoring sites. You are now ready to have a college sitter or tutor to support your family–the perfect one who fits all your criteria. Huzzah! Enjoy your stress-free childcare situation with your college nanny or sitter, and finally, try that new Italian restaurant with your partner! 

Sign up for a free account to find college nannies and sitters on UrbanSitter today.

Back To School Transitions Tips for Parents During COVID-19

anxious child

Contributed by our friends at Brightline

When you became a parent, you probably didn’t envision 18 months hunkered down at home with your whole family (or that spending some extra time hiding out in the bathroom would be keeping you sane). And we’re guessing you didn’t picture that you’d feel so weird about finally sending your kid or teen back to the classroom after that year and a half. Excited to be going back to the new “normal?” Yes. Confused about what that looks like? Also, yes. Worried about how your kid might handle it? Triple yes.

Raising kids can have its challenging days (don’t you love trying to convince a tired kid to…go to sleep?), but parenting your way through a global pandemic? It’s been like a chaos-filled Groundhog Day, but in real life. Nobody should have to navigate this uncharted territory alone. Whether you’re wondering if constant tantrums are “normal,” or you want to figure out if your kid might have anxiety or ADHD, it might be time to enlist a bit more support.

Not sure exactly where to start? Here are a few key back to school transitions tips for parents during this weird and challenging time.

5 Tips To Navigate Back to School Transitions

1. Talk to your child’s teacher

Wondering about your kids’ behavior, but you’re not sure what steps to take? Your child’s teacher — who observes them in close proximity every day and probably has years of experience with kids and behavior — can be a great resource. If the teacher notices your kid’s been struggling to focus or is having a hard time making friends, they might recommend resources at the school, or habits you can try at home as a family. And if your kid is struggling at school, but not at home, you can offer up your expert suggestions to help the teacher.

The more you work together, the more your kid will thrive at home and in the classroom!

2. Establish dependable routines

Consistency is the key to stability and enlisting more child care support, like a reliable morning or after school nanny—to pack up backpacks and lunches, then help with pickups and homework—could make a world of difference for a child struggling with the newfound busyness of their life. Not sure what kind of school year child care solutions are out there? Check out Before and After School Child Care: 6 Practical Solutions.

3. Consult your family doctor

Another great support to add to your team is your kid or teen’s doctor. Along with ruling out medical concerns that could be contributing to your kid’s behavior, pediatricians are trained broadly in kids’ health, so they can help you pinpoint potential issues and whether extra support (or evaluation) could be useful for you. And since your family doctor knows other professionals and your child, they can provide personal suggestions about which behavioral or mental health experts your kid would gel with (and send through a referral, if needed).

4. Try behavioral health coaching

If you’ve tried all the things to help your kid with tantrums or your teen with self-confidence, a behavioral health coach who specializes in parenting and family issues can work with you to identify growth areas and, more importantly, goals and ways to meet them.

While therapists tend to focus on the “why” behind the “what,” coaches hone in on the present and future — helping you reframe struggles and find and implement practical opportunities to get where you want to be. Coaching is grounded in evidence-based methods for kids and teens, then applied to work for everyday challenges and situations that might not meet a clinical level of need. So if your elementary school kid is struggling with worries or your high schooler just can’t seem to stay on top of homework, a coach can help you figure out the right tools — and how to use them to help your family grow.

“Coaching is a way to reframe your goals and push you or your child to the next level,” says Charlene Montgomery, MS, a behavioral health coach at Brightline. “Together, we’ll identify where you want to be, and give you the tools to help you get there.”

Coaching is a great way to set goals, so you and your family can thrive. Consider a behavioral health coach an investment in your family’s well-being — the cheerleader you need to power through this tough season.

Want to learn more about coaching? Check out 5 coaching programs that will help you tackle back-to-school.

5. Consider therapy

If things just aren’t getting better, or you think your child may need a greater level of care, it might be time to think about looping in a therapist — someone who is specially trained in identifying and treating behavioral health issues.

When you’re worried about how your child is doing — maybe they’re really stressed or feeling down lately, or maybe you think they might have ADHD, or tough behavior is really wearing you down — it can be seriously tough on everyone in the family. And asking for help can feel like a big (and scary) step. The first thing to know? “All of these things are totally normal, especially during a time of transition and uncertainty,” says Angel Herrera, LMFT, a Brightline behavioral therapist. “We all experience stress in one way or another, and it’s OK to need help sometimes.”

There are tons of therapists out there, and it can be hard to figure out where to start. In your search aim for a licensed behavioral health clinician who can diagnose and treat behavioral health conditions in kids and teens. You may also want to partner with a therapist who has experience in your child’s specific struggle, whether that’s anxiety, depression, or ADHD.

For kids, it can be especially helpful to work with a therapist who takes a positive approach. Strengths-based therapists will help your kid or teen to grow coping skills out of what they’re already amazing at, which can infuse the whole process with confidence and motivation.

Coaching or Therapy?

Need help figuring out what type of support is best for your family? Reach out to Brightline for a free, 15-minute consultation or download the Brightline Connect app for videos, articles, tips and resources, and more to help you through it all. 

Taking the Next Step

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by next steps, take a deep breath and remind yourself you’re absolutely not alone — and there are plenty more resources to build into your support system.

It can be difficult to take the first step and ask for help, but an incredibly important one. “I feel like the more parents are involved in their child’s treatment, the better results we see,” says Herrera. Remember: you’re not alone, and help is available. You got this!

Additional Online Resources for Children’s Mental Health

Babysitter Job Description: Sitter Responsibilities and Chores

Take a poll of the parents you know, and you’ll realize that babysitter job descriptions vary greatly (child care responsibilities, chores for sitter, driving duties, etc.) just as much as compensation varies from family to family. One friend might expect to come home to a clean house with toys put away and the laundry done. Another friend may be horrified at the thought of their babysitter folding their clothing. Neither approach is wrong. With any manager-report relationship, it’s important to have an idea of what’s on your babysitter job description to set clear expectations of the responsibilities and chores for your sitter up-front.

Know your priorities.

The main task of any caregiver is to supervise your children and keep them safe. While there’s no set protocol for caregivers to follow, you can expect a babysitter to follow your directions. The “normal” responsibilities of child care include making meals, changing diapers, diffusing arguments between siblings, engaging with children in conversation, entertaining them with games and crafts, putting them to bed, and so on.

You can always ask your sitter if they are willing to do extra chores if there is time. Do keep in mind that chores aren’t in the standard babysitter job description. Asking a sitter to do extra should go hand-in-hand with extra compensation, or at the very least, abundant verbal appreciation.

Identify what you want and keep it reasonable.

Have you gone through your chore list and identified the tasks that are babysitter-appropriate? Do you dislike feeding the fish or dusting the bookshelves? These small tasks are the perfect type of tasks for a babysitter to take on. Expecting a babysitter to grocery shop with the kids in tow might be unrealistic depending on their experience. However, asking a sitter to scrub your bathrooms is taking advantage of them (unless you’re paying extra and the sitter seems open to it). Having the sitter take the garbage and recycling out after the kids are asleep might cross a simple to-do off your list while asking minimal effort on the sitter’s end. If you expect your sitter to do larger chores, for example washing a week’s worth of dishes you’ve left in the sink — be sure to compensate the sitter.

If you’ve hired an after-school babysitter, refer to this list of specific after-school responsibilities.

Expect simple tidying.

While there are no strict rules on tidying up — although most sitters do, as a matter of common courtesy — it’s not unfair to expect that your sitter will clean up any messes made while on the clock or that involve the kids. Let’s face it, some parts of childcare are messy! Meal preparation, giving baths, playing with toys, feeding young children, even potty training can leave behind a small trail of destruction. It would be nice if you came home to a house that was at least as clean as when you left it.

If a sitter continually leaves your home looking like a tornado passed through, it’s time to have a discussion. You can approach it by saying, “We’re really trying to get the kids to be more conscious about their messes. Before bedtime, will you make sure everyone is involved in putting away toys, clearing the table, and so on?” If your family has a clean-up game or song that gets everyone motivated, share it with your sitter.

babysitter job description, babysitter chores, sitter chores, sitter responsibilities

Assess your sitter’s abilities.

If you have a young, inexperienced babysitter watching the kids while you run a few quick errands, it may be all the sitter can handle to keep the kids entertained and out of harm’s way. Don’t hand her extra tasks that could take away time from her main objective. If you’ll be gone several hours and have a caregiver who’s comfortable with your kids and your routines, the caregiver is most likely able to juggle vacuuming or folding laundry at the same time.

Does your sitter have any special qualifications that would help her better tackle your extra requests? If you have a sitter who knows nothing about foreign languages, you probably shouldn’t task the sitter with overseeing your child’s French homework. Now, if your sitter lifeguards during the summer, asking the sitter to take the kids swimming at the neighborhood pool might be the perfect request!

It’s also reasonable to ask a capable sitter to make sure the children carry out their chores. If it’s your daughter’s job to set the table or your son’s job to walk the dog, let the babysitter know. Give your sitter the authority and tools to see that they’re done. Make it clear to the kids that the babysitter is in charge. And that there will be consequences if they don’t take care of their responsibilities.

Communicate expectations clearly.

Many sitter chores fall into a gray area that you may consider inclusive of childcare. However, they may not be on the radar screen of your sitter. Before you hire a sitter be sure to discuss any duties outside of “hanging out at the house”. Some of these babysitter responsibilities may include:

  • Taking/driving the children to and from activities such as music lessons, karate, dance, etc.
  • Changing diapers and helping with potty training
  • Supervising play dates with other children
  • Helping with homework
  • Meal (or bottle) preparation and feeding
  • Following the bedtime routine (changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, reading books, etc.)
  • Actively entertaining children, not just relaxing in front of TV/movies
  • Doing light housework
  • Making sure the children do their chores (such as picking up their toys)

If any of these activities are in your babysitter job description, let them know before you offer the position. This way the sitter has a clear set of expectations and can decide if the babysitting job is the right fit.

As you consider the glorious possibility of never taking out the garbage or coming home to a dirty playroom again, remember, clear communication of everyone’s responsibilities will keep you and your babysitter on the same page.

Looking for a sitter? Join UrbanSitter to browse profiles, sort by pay rate, and book jobs online.

What is a Nanny?

nanny child care

What is a nanny? And what are nanny responsibilities? Ask any parents you know and the list of responsibilities may differ. Starting with the basics, a nanny is someone you hire who specializes in child care and provides personalized care for your children in your home.

Now that we know what a nanny is, let’s get into more details. The child care provider is most frequently a woman between the ages of 20-60. Most families hire a nanny for full-time work and have consistent hours, working 40-50 hours per week. Other common options are a part-time caregiver or a nanny share. The caretaker may live with the family or may live in their own home. Often they will have specialized skills, additional training and certifications. For most families both parties will sign a contract stating what the expectations are for the job, to make sure everyone is in agreement on what the responsibilities are.

The best nannies love children and have a genuine interest in their happiness and development. In addition, they play a bigger part in the children’s lives — the longer period of time they work for the family, the more involved they become in the development of the child and being a part of the child growing up.

What is a nanny responsible for?

First off, the nanny’s main responsibility is providing excellent child care and looking after the well-being of your child. Secondly, they are to follow through on responsibilities you’ve outlined in the contract or verbally. In general, the child care provider is responsible for anything involving the children. They may do other tasks like housework and food preparation as well, however you’ll want to ensure you discuss this in the beginning and include in the contract to avoid potential future issues. For instance, some caretakers do not mind doing extra laundry in addition to the child’s, or letting the dog out, but others may not want to do this. It’s important to discuss these tasks and gain an understanding of whether the nanny you are considering is open to certain tasks. Here are some common job responsibilities to get you started.

Common nanny responsibilities

  • Care for the child
  • Do minor household chores
  • Take the child to/from school or other activities, such as music lessons or soccer.
  • Change diapers and help with potty training
  • Meal (or bottle) preparation and feeding
  • Plan & prepare meals
  • Organize activities and supervising play dates
  • Keep them safe
  • Organize the toys
  • Wash the child’s laundry
  • Other responsibilities as discussed with the parent

Qualities to look for

  • Reliable
  • Trustworthy
  • Actively listens
  • Loves children
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Patient
  • First aid skills

What are the main benefits of a nanny?

  • Personalized attention for your child: One-on-one attention and schedules are created around your child’s nap and mealtimes.
  • Flexibility: They may be able to come early or stay late.
  • Develops a strong bond with your child: The longer they are employed by you, the more a part of the family they become.

What are limitations?

  • Social Interaction: If they do not take the child out much or set up playdates, the child may not have a lot of interactions with other children.
  • Cost: The hourly rate is more than a babysitter.
  • Childhood Development: May not be trained in early childhood development.

How much does a nanny cost?

The average hourly rate is $19.31. Keep in mind there are other nanny costs to take into consideration, such as taxes, paid leave, insurance, etc…

What other types of child care options are there?

In addition to a nanny, there are many child care options available: babysitter, au pair, mother’s helper, etc.. Read the articles below for more details on your options.

Choosing Between a Nanny, Daycare, and Au Pair

Which Babysitter is Right for My Family?

What is an Au Pair?

Nanny vs Daycare – The Pros and Cons

Nanny vs Babysitter – The Pros and Cons

Need help searching for a nanny? Search for part and full-time nannies at UrbanSitter

How to Find the Best Babysitter for You and Your Kids



Leaving your children in the care of a stranger is understandably nerve-racking. In addition to being concerned about your children’s welfare, you may feel stressed about how well the personalities of your children and your babysitter will pair. As you prepare to find a babysitter to rely on regularly, utilize these strategic tips.

Identify Your Service Needs

Before you schedule interviews for a new babysitter, you need to prepare a job description that perfectly outlines your expectations. If this will be a recurring job, you should specify work hours. You also need to outline how many children will be cared for, how many meals and snacks need to be prepared if children need to be taken to school or extracurricular activities and more. Some people look for a nanny who will also complete light household chores. Understand that the rate that you offer should increase as you add more requirements or expectations to the job description.

Use a Screening Service

You could post an online classified ad to spread the word about your job description, but this creates a profound need to carefully screen each candidate. To do so, you will need to conduct a thorough background check, review references, and complete other essential steps. If you are looking for an easier way to identify trustworthy, qualified individuals, it makes sense to use a service provider that will connect you with several vetted professionals.

Conduct In-Home Interviews

When you have a few vetted professionals in mind, you can conduct in-person interviews. While some professionals may look great on paper, they may not seem as impressive in person for various reasons. These interviews may be conducted in your home so that your children can meet each person. This provides you with an excellent opportunity to view the interaction between the babysitter and your children. Part of your interview process may include observation of them playing and communicating.

Schedule a Few Short Sessions

You understandably want to commit to a specific individual, but you should not commit prematurely. Personality conflicts and other issues may arise when you leave your children in the person’s care for a lengthy period of time. Head out of the house for an hour or two for the first few sessions. After each session, speak with the babysitter and your children individually to get feedback. Some issues that you become aware of may easily be addressed, but others may be deal-breakers.

As you prepare to find a babysitter, you should have an open mind as well as a firm set of standards. Utilize babysitter or nanny services to streamline the process.