There are several similarities between finding daytime and overnight childcare, so you should still follow the normal caregiver hiring steps. However, there are some additional factors you should take into account.
Here are seven tips to help you on your search for overnight childcare:
1. Understand the Different Types of Care
Your requirements in a night nanny are going to depend on what you need during the overnight hours. Parents should consider the age of the child above all else. If you’re going to be away for some or part of the night and need someone to stay in the house with your child, post a job for a night nanny. If you need someone to care for a newborn during the night, then you should consider looking for a newborn care specialist or baby nurse. These professionals are trained in caring for infants — which is very different than caring for a 5-year-old. You will want to look for someone who has at least three years of experience caring for newborns.
2. Determine the Cost
Rates of pay vary depending on where you live. Overnight nannies should receive the same rate as a nanny who works daytime hours, even though the children are asleep. Visit Care.com’s childcare pay calculator to get an idea of what caregivers are earning in your area. If you’re having your daytime nanny stay overnight from time-to-time, you may need to pay them overtime. Check your province’s laws on paying overtime, for instance for BC you can find the details here. The cost of a nanny will also be more expensive than a babysitter.
3. Where Will the Caregiver Sleep?
Does your house have an extra room for a caregiver to sleep in? If they are caring for a newborn, will the nanny sleep in the nursery? If the caregiver is accompanying the family on a trip, will she have her own room, sleep in the room with the children or have an adjoining room? That scenario will likely depend on the age of the kids and the situation. Be very clear and upfront about your sleeping arrangements.
4. Be Specific in Your Job Posting
When you write your job description and post a job on Care.com, be clear about exactly what you need. Do you expect them to stay awake all night or can she sleep while your child sleeps? Be open about the duration of the job from the start to ensure there is no confusion. Do you need an overnight nanny or babysitter for a trip? Because you work nights? To help you with the sleep deprivation of caring for a newborn? Whatever your reasons, let candidates know how long of a commitment you will need from them to be sure that they are willing and available.
5. Ask the Right Questions
When you’re interviewing potential candidates, ask typical questions, but also include ones that are relevant to nighttime care. How should an infant be positioned in a crib? What is a good nighttime routine for the age of your child? What are her favorite stories to read to kids at night? Try posing hypothetical situations to determine what the overnight nanny would do in certain circumstances.
6. Understand Sleep Patterns and Habits
Ask the caregiver about his or her nighttime routine. If you are counting on this person to be there for your child in the nighttime hours, you want to make sure they will awaken at the sound of your child. You aren’t allowed to ask about medications, but a conversation about their nighttime routine will give the parents a very good sense of whether they use sleep medication.
7. Check Their Safety Qualifications
Look for candidates who follow proper safety protocols. Injury prevention training goes beyond just infant/newborn first aid and CPR and should include training in proper bathing techniques, scalding, fire rescue, drowning, etc. Bathing is especially important because bathing is part of a nighttime routine. Be sure to request references and background checks. Make the most of social media to also get a feel about the candidate and their friends.
Whether the sun is shining or the moon is out, your kids need to receive care. Find someone who can make your life a little easier during the night time hours.