Hi Care.com members! As you know, we are here to help make hiring a babysitter or nanny easy. The last thing you want to do is another project that might take you away from your kids (or new baby!). Here are the 7 most frequently asked childcare questions our Care.com Member Care team receives. I hope that by answering them upfront, you will find your match faster – and get back to your family.
1. How much do I pay a sitter / nanny?
The going rate might take a bit of research from your friends and family in your town. Ask what they pay per hour. Then gauge what figure fits your budget. Keep in mind that rates are often dependant on tasks you will need her to do, experience she has, and number of kids in your family.
Another way to determine base pay rate is to review the rates that sitters and nannies are listing on Care.com. Look at their qualifications and experience, and get a feel for what price-point the qualities you want in a sitter or nanny will cost.
Employment laws in your province may require you to pay a minimum wage and overtime rates. For more help determining a pay rate, click here.
2. How do taxes work?
In many provinces in Canada, you are required to register nannies as domestic employees and comply with employment laws covering pay, pension and insurance contributions, benefits, taxes, and minimum standards of employment.
To pay taxes and meet other requirements, you will need to set up your nanny as an employee with Revenue Canada. Apply for a business number with Revenue Canada and list your nanny as your employee. Once you have done this, you can calculate how much to deduct each pay period from your nanny’s gross pay for taxes, CPP and employment insurance using the Revenue Canada payroll calculator. You will receive a remittance form every month from Revenue Canada to pay this amount. In January of each year you will need to submit a T4 form online so that your nanny can pay her taxes.
Taking on the responsibilities of an employer can be daunting, but help is available. For more information and guidance, you should contact your accountant, provincial Ministry of Labour or Revenue Canada.
Tip: It is also helpful to note in your Care.com post that the salary you are providing is after-tax. This alleviates the confusion of what the take-home pay will be.
3. What are some questions I can ask during the interview?
When planning your interview, it’s important to consider the skills, level of experience, responsibilities, and personality traits that are important for your family.
You can use our list of traits to consider and example interview questions as a reference. For more ideas, ask experienced friends what was most important to them in selecting a nanny or babysitter, who worked out (or didn’t work out), and if they have any suggestions for interview questions that will help you decide on a candidate.
4. What are some other duties I can ask my nanny or babysitter to do?
A caregiver’s responsibilities will depend on when and for how long they take care of your children, and on each family’s individual situation and needs. Additional responsibilities can equal more pay and may require extra compensation like gas money.
Extra responsibilities can include:
• Cooking meals for the kids (more than just making chicken nuggets or warming mac and cheese)
• Light housekeeping
• Transportation to and from school, and to after-school activities
• Helping with homework
• Making snacks
• Organizing crafts and activities with learning advantages
• Planning playdates with other children/Hosting other children for play dates
• Preparing dinner for parents
• Running errands (done while kids are in school or at an activity)
When writing a job description, make sure you clearly describe the duties and responsibilities for the position. This way, everything you are looking for is clear and done upfront.
5. How can I keep my family safe?
It’s important to always put safety first. While our dedicated safety team reviews profiles for suspicious and inappropriate content and investigates job posts, profiles and messages that are flagged by our members as objectionable, the best safety precautions are the ones you take. Ultimately, all hiring decisions are up to you.
Please visit our safety centre for a step-by-step guide to keeping your family safe at every stage of the hiring process. We’ve gathered safety tips and tools to help you select and communicate with candidates on Care.com, interview, check references and make a hiring decision, and continue to monitor your caregiver while they are employed by you.
6. What is the difference between a nanny and a babysitter?
Generally, babysitters care for children for a few short hours, either for a specific occasion or on a regular schedule. Their main tasks are watching the kids, playing with them and maybe putting them to bed. Babysitters are usually hired on an hourly basis.
A nanny is someone who is fully invested in a child’s development and well-being. Generally, a nanny will care for children full-time or part-time while both parents work. If you need someone to care for your children just a few hours a week, but you want a caregiver who will be more involved than a typical babysitter, a part-time nanny is usually the answer.
Learn more about creating a job post for a babysitter versus a part-time nanny >>
7. Do I need a nanny contract?
A nanny contract or work agreement is the best way to avoid disruptions in your employee-employer relationship. It clarifies the expectations and compensation, between you and your nanny. This agreement can help make your nanny feel secure, respected and valued (which helps you keep her as part of your family longer)! Employment laws in many provinces in Canada also require you to have a written employment agreement in place.
A well-written nanny contract will protect both parties and be as comprehensive and clear as possible. It should cover work hours and schedule, responsibilities, hourly rate of pay, frequency of pay, benefits and leave, health insurance, pension payments, rules for the use of transportation, possible reasons for termination, notice and severance time periods. You can also create a page about parenting philosophies and how you want her to handle certain situations (like discipline).