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12-13 Family Health_Layout 1 12/30/14 9:49 AM Page 12

Family Health

Is an in-home child care provider a fit for your family? By Denise Koeth

When it comes to the term “nanny,” there are many misconceptions. While some assume nannies are no more than glorified babysitters, others might think of quaint English women or the magic of Mary Poppins. Though they may have some tricks up their sleeves when it comes to caring for children, many nannies today are trained professionals who are educated on the latest in child development, nutrition and safety. When researching your family’s childcare needs, consider the advantages, costs and practicality of hiring an inhome caregiver to determine if this is something that will fit your lifestyle. Moms’ Perspectives For Mary Bowling and her husband, unconventional work hours required a change from daycare, where their old-

est son had been for 18 months. The Twinsburg couple used The Nanny Connection to find a full-time nanny at that point (their son is now 6), and then again just over a year ago when care was needed for their infant twins. “I’m not originally from the Cleveland area, so I didn’t have a plethora of connections to ask,” she says. “Rather than doing my own research, I wanted to turn to a professional company that has done a lot of the vetting and background checks and could come up with several candidates. “My husband and I are both busy professionals, so it was helpful to have someone else take control. There was no pressure about how long it would take or how many candidates we met with; if for some reason we felt a candidate wasn’t a good fit, they went back and found someone else,”

Bowling adds. Elizabeth Kolkovich, of Fairlawn, used care.com and sittercity.com to find parttime nannies for her son, both in 2013 and again in 2014. “My son was born three months early, and after a relatively scary NICU stay, we were very protective of his weak immune system,” she says. “We felt nervous about sending him to daycare very early, especially because our doctors advised against it. An in-home caregiver seemed exactly the right choice for us at that time.” Kolkovich adds that because of her flexible work schedule, she and her husband were able to pay for only the specific hours they needed, which helped keep costs down. When the couple needed full-time childcare and conducted a third nanny search last summer, they opted for daycare instead. “In response to each ad I posted, I received an almost overwhelming number of applicants, about 40 to 60, and we interviewed multiple candidates. The two nannies we hired were excellent: reliable, kind and good with my son. “My husband and I are transplants to the area, so we had limited resources for finding childcare using word-ofmouth, and these websites' cost is minimal and absolutely worth it. We loved being able to screen our candidates ahead of time by looking at their profiles and corresponding a little with them. It can feel scary to entrust your kid to someone you met online, but we felt better after we ran background checks and checked references.” The Hiring Process For parents seeking in-home care — whether it’s full- or part-time, live-in or

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NortheastOhioParent.com

January 2015

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Northeast Ohio Parent, January 2015  

Family Living At it's Best

Northeast Ohio Parent, January 2015  

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