One of the most important tasks in parenthood is finding suitable care for your children. Cayman offers several options in childcare with lots of families opting for a nanny or helper, but finding the right person can be a daunting process. – Clare Thorpe, Early Childhood Education Expert
Will your children be in school? Do you need full or part-time help? What about the school holidays or when your child is sick? Do you need a nanny to help with homework? If your priority is house-care then you will find it easier to find a person to clean the house and babysit occasionally. You may find it more challenging to find someone to be the primary source of education, development and stimulation, who will also help with the cleaning and laundry.
As with any job, the most qualified and experienced candidates will require a higher salary. There is a huge scope of range from an early childhood trained nanny or teacher, to a cleaner with occasional evening babysitting experience. Both a full-time nanny and domestic helper require health insurance, however, the law does not require you to pay the pension of a domestic helper. Remember that the minimum wage for any employee is CI$6 an hour, and extras (living-in, the use of a car) can only account for 25% of their total salary.
If you require help with driving your child to and from school or after school activities, then a nanny that can drive is essential. Consider whether or not the nanny’s car is suitable and safe for your children to be driven around in, or whether you will provide a car for the nanny’s use.
Some positions that require long or late hours are more suitable for a live-in person. If opting for a live-in caregiver, you will be required to provide accommodation with sufficient space. If you are considering bringing a nanny on-Island, it is important to be mindful of the cost of living in Cayman for a single person, and factor that into your salary offer. Many families include a yearly ticket back to their nanny’s home country as part of their contract.
Early childhood care greatly impacts childhood development. If you are hiring a nanny to take care of a young baby or toddler, it is essential to find a candidate with the ability to educate and aid in your child’s development. Does the nanny have experience and qualifications? Do they speak clearly? Are they warm and engaging? Do you feel comfortable and relaxed in their company? Do they have a similar set of values as you? Does their outlook on child rearing and education match with yours? Are they willing to learn through on-Island workshops and training? As CPR certificates expire every three years, do they have an up-to-date one?
The best reference for a nanny is a positive referral from a friend or colleague. However, if you are new to the Islands, take a look on Ecay trade, CayMums or ask an agency (AAA Caregivers, CKC Staffing Agency and Best Home Care). Cayman is a transient place and when families leave the Island, they will often try their best to find their nanny another position. You could also place an advert yourself on Ecay trade or reach out to the CayMums Facebook group saying you are looking for help.
For many families with young children who have moved here from overseas, the lack of family support can make life seem difficult. Your children’s nanny or family helper, if chosen carefully, will become an important person in you and your child’s lives. Finding a person who you feel comfortable with and you can trust to help raise your child is not easy. Be sure to set out a clear idea of your needs prior to interviewing. Using an agency to help in the interim or having a family member join you (respecting Cayman’s immigration rules) while you look, will ensure you hire the best person for your situation, instead of rushing this important decision.
Could you care for a baby, entertain a toddler, clean a house, do the laundry, iron, cook, run errands, do the school run and do homework with your children? Doing all of those things to a high standard is challenging for anyone. Prioritise your requirements and understand the difference between a nanny and a cleaner.
• What kind of activities would you plan for my child?
• What is your approach to potty training?
• At what age would you start reading to my child?
• Can you swim? Can you drive? Are you CPR certified?
• What would you feed an eight month old baby, a five year old, a ten year-old?
• How would you make homemade baby food?
• What would a regular day look like to you if you had a
seven month old versus a five year old to care for?
• For how many hours would you allow a two year old to nap?
• What is your approach to and view on discipline?
• Are you happy to socialise with other nannies?
• How much TV/iPad time would you allow?
• What sort of snacks would you offer my child?
• How many sick days did you take in the last year?
• Why did you leave your last position?
• Are you able to work longer hours with little notice?
• Do you smoke or have any health problems?
• What would you do if my child had a fever or
fell unconscious and you couldn’t get hold of us?
TOP TIP: The Early Childhood Care and Education Unit offers free training sessions for nannies, caregivers and parents of children under five years of age.
Call (345) 244 5724, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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