Temporary Nannies Tips

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Where should I apply for temporary nanny jobs?

Casting a Big Nanny Job Net

The quality of the job you get might depend on the quality of the ad placed. For example, if you're out for your daily jog and happen to see a “Temporary Nanny Needed” sign written in Cherry Red crayon and stapled to a tree house, you should be able to figure out that you won't be working for top pay. Magazines or websites dedicated to helping nannies find jobs are a good way to go. You can be relatively certain that you're at least on the right track.

There are lots of places to look for nanny jobs including nanny websites. Don't underestimate the value of local career resource centers either. Not everyone is computer savvy or is interested in posting online “nanny wanted” ads. Staff at local career resource centers or Human Resource centers should be able to help you refine your resume, and point you in the direction of their job board.

If all you can find are jobs for temporary nannies, but you were hoping for something more, expand your horizons by applying for nanny jobs in a variety of places. No matter what kind of job you're looking for, it's always a good idea to get your name out in as many different directions as possible.

How can I avoid Internet nanny scams?

Beware of Nanny Scammers

If you're looking for a temporary nanny job, beware of scams. You should never have to send money to a family for any reason. Likewise, beware if a family offers to send you money for travel expenses (if you've accepted an international position) with any strings attached. The best way to avoid scams is to work through a reputable, full service nanny placement agency. Whether you're looking for a full time, part time, or temporary nanny position, scammers are out there.

Most online nanny placement agencies earn their money through families looking to hire nannies. The family might need a summer nanny, a full time nanny, or even just a weekend nanny. In order for them to acquire access to you (the nanny), they first have to purchase a membership through the agency. Once the fee has been paid, the family then has access to more of your contact information. No money means no commitment, and no commitment means no contact with the nanny.

To check out a company, have a look at the Better Business Bureau's website for any warnings or reports. Make sure the nanny placement website also lists contact information that includes phone numbers and a real mailing address.

Whether you're applying for a temporary nanny job, or looking to hire a temporary nanny, beware of scammers.

Do I need to disclose severe allergies to the nanny placement agency?

Disclosing Severe Allergies Before Accepting Temporary Nanny Positions

These days all you ever hear about is allergies. People are allergic to cat dander, pollen, dust, certain chemicals, perfumes, peanuts, etc. If you're a temporary nanny, and you suffer from severe allergies, make sure to always wear a medical alert bracelet (or necklace) and let every family you work for know before you set foot in the house. In fact, as a temporary nanny with a medical condition like severe allergies, it might be helpful to only work with children or families with similar conditions.

For example, if you're severely allergic to bee stings, working with children who also have the same condition will make your life a lot easier. The family will already have a good understanding of things like Epi-pens, antihistamines, and other medications you might have to use. A family who knows very little about allergies like this might not feel as comfortable having you work as their temporary nanny.

The bottom line is to be very open about your allergies, especially if they could threaten your life. It's okay to specify that you cannot work for families with pets if they're only going to make you sick. Your honesty will be very much appreciated by any and all temporary nanny services involved. After all, their goal is to make good matches between temporary nannies and families. Like you, they want repeat business!

Do I have to let a nanny placement agency or a family know about my medical conditions?

Disclosing Medical Conditions

As a temporary nanny, you have the same rights as anybody else in the workforce. You do not have to put up with abuse, you shouldn't be taken advantage of, and above all else you should be respected for the work you do. While you don't have to disclose things like medications you might be taking, or why you're taking them, in some situations it makes sense.

If you're working with a child care temp agency, be sure to let them know of any potentially serious medical conditions you have. For example, if you have epilepsy that's currently well managed with medications, the agency should know that. In addition, you should give the agency permission to release that kind of information to their clients. No, you really don't have to, and a family cannot discriminate against you for reasons of health, religion, ethnicity, etc. However, if a family has a legitimate concern over the safety of their children in your care, they do have the right to refuse employment in that case. You know whether you're fit to work in somebody's home as a temporary nanny, but you may have to do a little educating on your condition, how it's managed, and how you handle things on a day to day basis to put the family at ease.

What should I do if the family I'm working for has me working way beyond anything considered a "temporary" nanny job?

The Not-So-Temp Temp Position

So you're excited about starting your career as a temporary nanny and everything seems to be going fine so far. You've met several nice families, taken care of a handful of smart, funny, energetic kids, and you've earned a little money in the process. Nice work! So what happens when the perfect family suddenly becomes not-so-perfect?

Let's say you've been asked to work for two weeks for the family, but then two weeks becomes three weeks, and before you know it you've been showing up faithfully for a whole month? Generally, a family hiring a temporary nanny should be able to tell you with some accuracy how long the temporary nanny position will last. If it's going to extend considerably more than originally planned, the family should renegotiate with you. Technically, you could be picking up other temp nanny jobs from families who may pay a higher salary, so if the family you're working for wants to extend your work term, they should also be prepared to increase your pay.

Communicate openly with the family and talk to them about their nanny requirements. If your goal is to eventually work as a full time (or even a part time) nanny, this might be the opening you've been waiting for. Broach the subject of being hired on a permanent basis. The family may still be in “temporary” mode and may have not even had the time to consider hiring a full time nanny.

Is it reasonable to have a nanny placement agency probe into my past?

The Well Screened Temporary Nanny

The process of being screened for temporary nanny jobs is a little different than someone applying for full time or part time nanny work. In most cases, a person applying for a full time nanny position would not have a detailed screening and background check done by the placement agency. Other than the initial screening of the resume, the placement agency will usually leave it up to the family to conduct the screening, or the family will pay an additional fee to the placement agency for the agency to do the work. However, the agency understands the time-crunch factor when families require last-minute temporary nannies. As a result, the agency will usually spend more time screening the applicant.

As an applicant, you'll be expected to provide the agency with an up-to-date resume, a list of references, a detailed education history, and a completed criminal records check. The agency will conduct an interview with you either over-the-phone or in person to confirm the information you've submitted, and to get a better sense of who you are as a person.

When the agency contacts you to arrange for an interview, be sure to have your references ready if they're not already listed on your resume. Check to be sure the references are current, and that they're aware that they could be contacted regarding upcoming temporary nanny jobs. Because of the nature of the job, don't be surprised to discover the agency wanting to do a little probing into your past.

How flexible do I have to be in order to fill a temporary nanny job?

Flexibility Is Key To Being A Successful Temporary Nanny

If you want to be a temporary nanny or if you're thinking about applying for a temporary nanny job, it's important for you to have a high degree of flexibility. No, that doesn't mean you have to be able to do the splits! It means that if you register your profile with online temporary nanny services, you have to be available when you say you're going to be available, at least as much as possible.

Flexibility also comes in handy in other ways. When a full time nanny or part time nanny register their profiles for jobs, they might pick and choose the age groups of the children they want to work with, where they want to work, and the hours they want to work. As a temporary nanny, you won't really get that luxury. The nature of the position is to be called to action at a moment's notice, and it's a really important service to be able to offer families.

To make the most of your temporary nanny job, be as accommodating as you can be (within reason). Gradually, as you make your way up to more permanent positions, you'll have an opportunity to be a little more choosy. Until then, be ready for just about anything.

What kind of backup plan should I have for emergency childcare needs?

Preparing For The Worst – Having A Backup Plan For Childcare

Temp nanny jobs are designed to give families emergency backup care when it's needed. That doesn't necessarily mean someone will be ready to help you out with only one hour's notice! Still, there are on-call nanny temp agencies who will do what they can to help you out with a same-day request. It's good to know that you can rely on a temporary nanny to bail you out of a tight situation, but it's also a good idea to be prepared ahead of time with a backup plan for childcare. Consider some of these ideas:

  • Make arrangements with a neighbor to watch the kids if necessary.
  • Do you have banked hours at work that you can use if you have to? If you find yourself in a pinch for childcare, you might be able to call on a temporary nanny at the last minute, but you still might not make it into work until the afternoon. Plan for backup vacation time, or save some lieu time to use if you absolutely have to.
  • If the grandparents live nearby, consider asking them to help out with last minute child care if needed.

These are really just a few ideas to get you thinking about your back up plan. Remember, temporary child care doesn't always have to come from a professional nanny placement agency, it can come straight from your own neighborhood.

What's a good way to get a temporary nanny up to speed when I'm in a rush?

Getting A Temporary Nanny Up To Speed Quickly

Under normal circumstances you'd take a great deal of care in hiring a temporary nanny to watch over your kids. Sometimes, however, there's no time to think. A good quality, professional nanny temp agency will help alleviate some of your concerns by doing a pre-screening of the nannies they hire. This is especially true if the agency is specifically geared to place temporary nannies. While it's always best to be able to give some notice, the nanny temp agency will understand if an emergency comes up and you need immediate, same-day child care.

In a rushed situation, you may have very little time to get your temporary nanny up to speed on everything she should know. For that reason, it's a good idea to have something created in case you ever need it. Don't wait until you're stressed and late for work to try and hash out a plan with a temporary nanny. Create a one-page information sheet and keep it somewhere handy. That way, if you ever need to hire a temporary nanny, you can refer to the sheet, quickly going over important points and leaving the rest for her to read over. Leave a list of emergency contact numbers, any dietary restrictions your child may have, allergies, medications, if you have pets in the home, a minimum of duties you expect to be carried out, and any additional special instructions.

How can I guarantee that I'll find more work as a temporary nanny?

How To Get Call Backs As A Temporary Nanny

One of the most important skills a temporary nanny can have is the ability to think ahead, be pro-active, and present a skilled, professional resume. If your goal is to work as a temporary nanny, consider putting together a professional temporary nanny “kit” of vital information you may need to present to a new family. Let's face it, as a temporary nanny, you're going to be called upon to work for families that you don't know, and who don't know you. If you're working through a temporary nanny placement agency, the agency will probably screen you to make sure you are who you say you are, and that you have no criminal background. Still, if you're being called on to work for a family out of the blue, you'll look like a real pro if you have the following information, or “kit” ready to take with you:

  • Have two pieces of identification on you when you go to the home.
  • Bring a form (make it brief, the family probably won't have a lot of time to fill out forms) asking for three emergency contact numbers, any allergies the kids might have, and any instructions you need to know to handle any medical emergencies that might come up.
  • Your business card. Create your own unique business card that families can refer to if they need temporary child care anytime in the future.
  • Leave a copy of your resume with references behind before you go.

These are just a few things that will show the family that you're a professional and that you're serious about working. The next time they need the services of a temporary nanny…they may just call you!

What do I do if there are no temp child care services in my area?

Finding A Temporary Nanny In A Rural Area

If you live in a small town, away from major metropolitan centers, it might not be that easy to find last minute temporary nannies. Sure there are all kinds of temporary nanny job postings on the Internet, but do they cater to your residential area?

If you know that temporary nanny services are scarce in your area, plan ahead of time so that you know what to do and who to call when you find yourself suddenly in need of a temporary nanny. Do you know another parent who could pitch in at the last minute? Is there a student in your area that would step in if needed? You don't have to go through a formal child care temp agency to get the help you need. In fact, if there are no formal temp child care services close by, you could always place an ad locally. Meet some people in your area who might be interested in helping out and make sure to ask about their last-minute availability. After all, the nature of a temporary nanny job is the ability to respond to last minute requests!

What's the best way to break into the nanny business?

Breaking In To The Nanny Business As A Temporary Nanny

If you're in college or university, maybe even in high school, becoming a temporary nanny is a good way to break into the business. Instead of jumping in with both feet, ready to commit instantly to a full time nanny position, why not consider being an on-call temporary nanny? Temporary nannies serve a valuable resource for stressed parents needing last minute child care services. Even the best made plans can fall apart, and a parent will remember how helpful and accommodating you were! The trick is to be ready for anything at anytime. If you're serious about eventually working your way into a full time or part time nanny position, it's important to realize that you might have to make a few sacrifices. It's possible that your own plans might have to be cancelled at the last minute in order to accommodate someone who needs temp child care.

A temporary nanny gets to meet a wide variety of people and can quickly get an excellent reputation as the one to call for last-minute help. This all adds up in terms of how your resume looks and what your future jobs could look like. It's okay to stipulate ahead of time the specific days when you know you won't be available. That's just being professional! The important thing is to be available when you say you'll be available.

What will I do if I need a temporary nanny?

Being Prepared For Emergency Childcare Services

Let's face it: the time is going to come when you're going to need emergency child care services. There are lots of situations that are completely out of your control. You might have a business trip you can't cancel and your child is suddenly not feeling well and can't go to school. In that case, you might need a temporary nanny to fill in the gap until the other parent or guardian can be home at the end of the day. Whatever the situation, it's important to know what to do and where to go.

Child care temp agencies are a great way to help fill the gaps when you need them. Life is so busy it's often hard to find the time to second guess what could possibly go wrong in terms of child care services. Still, it's a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality. If quality child care is a priority for you, contact one of the many temporary nanny services available and register your name with them. You may never need them, but if you do, at least you'll be on file.

Temporary nannies are available for last minute notification and can be relied on to help out when you need it the most.

Is it okay to hire a temporary nanny to see if hiring a nanny on a more permanent basis is something I really want to do?

Trying Out a Temporary Nanny Service

Hiring a temporary nanny is a good way to test the waters. If you've been toying with the idea of hiring a nanny, but just aren't ready to dive into hiring someone full time, this might be the way to go. It's important to be honest about the position right from the start. From the time you post your “temporary nanny job” want ad to the time you interview someone for the position, make sure you're honest about it. Don't promise your temporary nanny eventual full time employment if you're not 100% sure you can follow through. You can, however, suggest that there is the possibility of further employment and maybe work it into a nanny contract.

It's not unrealistic for a temporary nanny to expect some commitment, so be prepared to offer a guaranteed schedule. Maybe you'll hire the temporary nanny for one month, or maybe for three. Again, write it up in the nanny contract and talk to the temporary nanny before either of you sign the document.

At the end of the negotiated work commitment, you have a decision to make. Be honest with the nanny. If you can't afford to hire a nanny on a more permanent basis, tell her. If you think you might be interested in hiring within a six month to one year time frame, tell her! You can't expect your temporary nanny to stay a temporary nanny while you sit on the fence of indecision. To buy yourself a little more time, it's okay to negotiate another contract whether it's for another month or more.

How can I supplement my temporary nanny income?

Temporary Nannies who Teach

As a temporary nanny, you might be looking for ways to supplement your income. Sure being a temporary nanny is your thing, but why not package up all of those years' experience and take it over to the local college or university. Training coordinators and staff at colleges are always on the lookout for new faces to teach continuing education courses.

Teaching a continuing education course usually involves about two to three hours of your time, once or twice a week, for a short period of time. As a temporary nanny, think about all of the experiences you've had and what you've learned from those experiences. The last time a toddler crammed three Flintstone vitamins up his nose taught you at least three different lessons:

1) Keep all medications, including vitamins, out of the reach of children.

2) Kids will shove anything they can up their noses.

3) The emergency department doesn't feel that Flintstone vitamins are top priority in the triage protocol.

How does this relate to teaching continuing education courses? Well, you've got enough knowledge right there to teach a course in basic child safety and/or how to handle a stuffed vitamin emergency.

Create a resume of past teaching and/or earning experiences and take it over to the local college. Tell them you're interested in teaching a night course and see what happens. It might be the perfect way to earn more money while continuing to work as a temporary nanny.

What do I do for child care on days when me and my partner both have shift work during the same hours?

Weekend Nannies

A lot of people do shift work. Nurses, paramedics, police officers, security guards, doctors, fire fighters, etc, all work hours that fall outside of the nine-to-five mould. It's especially hard for single parents, or in a home where both parents or caregivers end up working the same shifts but still have kids at home to care for.

People who've done shift work for a while probably have their schedules down to a science, making it easy to get the grandmother to look after the kids on the days (or nights) when the caregiver is working. The problem with shift work, however, is that it isn't always predictable. As hard-wired as your schedule may be, someone is bound to get sick or go on vacation. All of a sudden you and your partner find yourself both working the same shifts. Unless you're interested in leaving little 4-year-old Johnny home alone for the first time (sooooo not recommended), it might be time to call in a temporary nanny.

A temporary nanny or “weekend nanny” can be called in with little notice. If you've hired a temporary nanny before, you might have the luxury of calling her directly and asking her to come back. On the other hand, you may have to go back to the nanny placement agency and accept the services of a different nanny. Before you even need a temporary nanny, check out nanny placement agencies to make sure that at least basic background checks are completed. Families who need temporary nannies don't have time to wait a few months for the checks to come back. However, if you're sure that the company is legitimate and does background checks in a timely manner, you should feel confident that you're on the right track.

How do I go about finding a temporary nanny?

Temporary Nannies for Temporary Setbacks

Life circumstances are unpredictable and sometimes the unthinkable happens. One day you're a happy family and the next, everything changes. If you're in the unexpected position of being a single parent, there's help. You'd think that when tragedy hits, everything else could go on hold for a while, until you're ready to pick up the torch. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. The laundry piles up. The family needs to eat. Bills need to be paid. Life doesn't wait.

When a crisis hits, the emotional rollercoaster is draining. There could be days when you feel as if you're just keeping your head above water. Until you get used to a new way of living, it might be a good idea to call in a temporary nanny. Temporary nannies are a short-term solution to help get you back on your feet. Not sure where to start? Do an Internet search using keywords like “temporary nanny” to find nanny websites. Online nanny placement agencies will help you find the perfect person for the job. Generally, registration involves answering some questions about yourself and posting it to the site. You won't get much for free, but if you pay the membership price (different packages for different services) you'll have more access to the complete profiles of temporary nannies. Instead of giving you immediate access to the temporary nannies personal information, nanny websites usually filter questions and interview requests to a generic email account that the nannies can use to screen potential employers.

What benefit do temporary nannies have to busy families?

Temporary Nannies Who Save The Day

A temporary nanny is not Cinderella. She's not going to turn a pumpkin into a coach or mice into horses. When the clock strikes midnight, she won't flee the scene. No…she's not the girl working as a temporary nanny in a castle who gets to be princess for a night. She is, however, a lifesaver. In a pinch, she can be called to save the day. When the regular full time nanny calls in sick or has a horrible lawn chair accident, the temporary nanny steps in and takes over with ease.

Temporary nannies are either people looking to supplement their income, are trying to break into the industry through occasional work experience opportunities, or are retired nannies interested in keeping a proverbial foot in the door.

For busy families who don't have a lot of flexibility in their jobs, it's important to have a roster of reliable temporary nannies on hand. While the temporary nanny will do what she can to make it in on a moment's notice, there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that prevent it from happening. However, if the family has a few temporary nannies that can be called on in a pinch, it makes life a lot easier and a lot lessj stressful when the unexpected occurs.

Do students of Early Childhood Studies require work placements to graduate?

Student Work Placements as Temporary Nannies

Students in training for work with children might be required to complete weeks of on-the-job training before qualifying for graduation. That could include a stint working as a temporary nanny. Families who live near colleges and universities can visit the campus registrar to submit their names as work hosts. That means they're willing to hire a student as a temporary nanny with the understanding that the student will be paid less than qualified graduate, but also understanding that the student now has the skills to do the job.

Families who approach schools with an interest in hiring temporary nannies should be aware that they may be subject to scrutiny. Generally, it's the student's responsibility to find their own work placements, but the school is still liable should anything happen to the student. For that reason, they may want conduct at least a minimal background check on the host family before approving the job placement.

Hiring a student as a temporary nanny also carries some responsibility. For example, the family will be required to keep notes on the student including details of their work habits, tardiness, skills, care, etc. The family will probably be required to complete an evaluation and submit it to the school at the end of the work placement. The evaluation and feedback the family gives directly impacts the student's chances for success. A terrible work placement as a temporary nanny could even mean the difference between graduating or not graduating.

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Candi Wingate