Picking the perfect caregiver can be a daunting, laborious task. Caregivers are an important component of your child’s development. Positive childhood experiences can impact your child’s future, which is why these decisions require due diligence. So what steps should you take to ensure that you pick the perfect caregiver for your child? We’ve compiled a list of top ten things to look for when hiring the best of the best for your bundle of joy or your senior parents.
First aid certification
Check whether your caregiver holds a valid First Aid Certification. While there are many levels of CPR certifications, for caregivers, ask to see a CPR C-level certification. First aid certificates are valid for 3 years from the issue date so ensure that the certificate provided is active. This will ensure that your child’s caregiver will have the training necessary to respond to emergency situations that may arise. It is also a good idea to inquire whether their CPR C-level certification covered the child and infant CPR training component required for child caregivers.
Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC)
Requesting a VSC is an important step in vetting a caregiver. A VSC is an enhanced criminal record check. It is necessary when an individual is working with seniors and children. It is also applicable when working with people with disabilities or in circumstances under which individuals are at a greater risk of being harmed by a person with higher authority or trust. In addition to a search within the RCMP National Repository of Criminal Records, it also searches for any sexual offense convictions for which an individual has received a pardon.
Liability and Work Safety and Insurance Board Coverage
Ask for proof of liability insurance and Work Safety Insurance Board Coverage. This is important as you may be held accountable for any injuries sustained by the caregiver or personal support worker. More over without these documents in place, you may also be liable for any damages caused by them.
Training and Experience
Your caregiver will spend a lot of time with your child. Finding someone that is able to foster a positive learning, inclusive, and fun environment is crucial for their development. Look for a caregiver with formal training. Typically an Early Childcare Assistant (ECA) diploma provides training to develop skills and techniques through a classroom and “hands-on” experience. An Early Childhood Educator diploma is a more in-depth qualification which requires the completion of a two to four year college program. While education does provide training, finding someone that has extensive work experience outside of this formal training can be a bonus. On the senior care side, a Personal Support Worker certificate and or extensive experience working with seniors should be required.
The health and safety of your child is important. Ensuring that your caregiver has the proper vaccinations will reduce the risk of them passing on an undiagnosed communicable disease. Child care workers could themselves be exposed to communicable diseases and should have a complete immunization record including Tdap, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Meningococcal, Pertussis, Rubella, and Varicella. Verifying whether a child care worker has received/ will be receiving the annual flu shot is a good idea, especially if working with children less than 60 months of age.
Ask for two references (professional and personal) from a potential care giver. Professional references can include trainers, teachers, and colleagues with whom they have worked with previously. You may want to verify the legitimacy of professional references by asking for work emails or work phone numbers. Follow up with the references and don’t make any decisions until you have.
Set up a time to have a face to face (best case) or online interview on a platform such as Skype with your potential caregiver. Ask them about their experience, whether they smoke, whether they are comfortable with pets (should you have any), any meal prep experience, their ability to be responsive to email, text, and calls. Any scenario type questions that can assess their behavior such as “What would you do if a child is unresponsive” are also important to ask.
When will you need a caregiver? Will you need him/ her to be available on the fly? What is their availability like and are they close enough to your child’s school or your home? Ensuring their schedule matches your needs is important to establish before putting in time and effort into requesting documents. Establish whether they have any planned time off, to confirm whether or not there will be a future scheduling conflict.
When it comes to finding that perfect caregiver, you may want to put your Sherlock Holmes hat on. According to the Jobvites 2014 Social Media Survey, 93% of recruiters will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. Hiring your child’s or senior parent’s caregiver should be no different. Look for any red flags on your potential hire on social media.
Assess your child’s response
Start off with getting your potential caregiver to spend short periods of time, half an hour or so, with your loved one. If you’re looking for a caregiver for your child, assess your child’s response to their new caregiver. Every child is different and can take varying amounts of time to warm up to their caregiver. However, if you see your child excited when they see their caregiver, its a good sign that you’ve made the right choice.
Finding a good caregiver is difficult. And even when you do find someone who you absolutely love, availabilities can be difficult to coordinate. Companies such as BookJane do all the hard work for you. BookJane Caregivers have already passed Steps 1-7 and what’s more, each caregiver comes with real customer reviews that ensure that you can select the best caregiver as rated by people just like you! Touching on point 8, you can look for AND book caregivers within your vicinity and confirm that they are available during your requested time. Locations of caregivers can also be traced 15 minutes prior to their scheduled shift as well as throughout the duration of the shift. Additionally, BookJane also provides assurance when something goes wrong. BookJane has a general liability coverage of up to $5 million and their caregivers are fully covered under the Work Safety Insurance Board. This covers the caregiver for any incidents should they sustain an injury on the job.
Let BookJane take the trouble out of finding caregivers for you!