8 top tips for stress-free childcare
With the school holidays fast approaching, Mel Yershon, founder of The Perfect Childcare Company, shares her top tips on taking the stress out of childcare.
All working parents will know too well that the career/children juggle is real, and during the summer holidays (aka ‘peak juggle’) it can be even harder to keep all those balls in the air. Enter The Perfect Childcare Company… Mel Yershon founded her business to relieve some of the pressure on mums and dads by matchmaking families with nannies in their area (they cover Herts, Cambs and Essex) who meet all their needs, for full-time, part-time or short-term care. Here are her tips on how to make childcare work for you, so you can breeeeaaathe…
- Plan, plan, plan. We all know time is precious (and seems to go even faster when kids are in the picture), but make sure you allow plenty of time to search for a carer who can meet both your needs and those of the children.
- Look for someone who shares your child’s hobbies and interests, whether that’s music, art or sports for example. A well-matched child carer will keep the children happy and fully engaged, as well as enhancing their life experiences. You don’t want them sitting in front of th TV or playing on the iPad all summer!
- Plan a financial budget to cover holiday activities. Discuss this with your child carer to make sure they maximise it by planning a good mix of ticketed days out and free activities (like picnics, nature walks, baking or going to the park or beach). Be up front about what you expect them to spend on extras like drinks, snacks and meals when out and about, and say if you want them to keep the receipts, to avoid any misunderstandings.
- Budget for mileage too as you’ll usually be expected to reimburse these. Ask your childcarer to be mindful of this when planning activities which are further afield. Or you could set a mileage limit per week.
- If your child carer is self-employed you might want to ask them to sign a document to confirm that they are responsible for registering with HMRC and paying their own tax and National Insurance.
- If you choose to employ your child carer, there are organisations, like NannyTax who can assist with employment contracts, payroll, notice periods and holiday entitlement. Both you and your child carer need to agree the terms of the contract of employment and sign and keep a copy each. It’s also a good idea to draw up a job description to manage expectations.
- Communication is key. Set regular times for catch ups with your child carer to check they are happy and nip any niggles in the bud. Remember to give positive feedback where appropriate, highlighting things that the children have particularly enjoyed – this will make them feel valued and help retain their support.
- Make sure you know if your child carer has any holidays planned, particularly during school holidays, so that you can have a back-up plan in place.