Prep & Etiquette Tips for a Childcare Interview

We know prepping for a childcare interview, or any interview, can be a stressful time. To help ease the nerves, it’s a good idea to do some pre-work to ensure you put yourself in the best possible position to get the job. Here are some interview preparation tips along with etiquette best practices to get you started in the right direction.

Sitter Prep for First Appointment:

1. Check in with the family via email or text as soon as you get the confirmation email to say hello and that you’re looking forward to meeting them.

2. During this exchange, make sure you have the right start/end times confirmed between both of you and the right address.

3. SHOW UP ON TIME! On time is 5 minutes early so that the family does not begin to worry if you’ll be late. Use a GPS device to get directions ahead of time, to know your commute, plan ahead if weather is supposed to be bad, the subways are slow, etc.

4. Make sure to take your shoes off and wash your hands immediately. Discuss with the family if wearing a mask is required in the home and any other Covid protocol that is needed.

5. Rates are set at a market minimum. If you are not comfortable with the market minimum please contact [email protected], as all jobs are processed with these rates. Any sitter that proceeds with a booking confirms they are comfortable with the rates set forth below.

Sitter Checkout Process:

NEW! How To Check Out Video

1. When you get the BFC checkout notification email, click on the blue highlighted link that says “CHECK OUT”.

2. This link takes you to the BFC login page. Login.

3. Go to the upper right hand corner and click on > Sitter Profile > View Profile.

4. You will be on your main calendar page. Scroll to the bottom to see your list of appointments that are ready with checkout links. Be sure to click on the correct appointment you just completed. This will take you to the page where you enter your hours, expenses, etc. 

  • Make sure to double check that the dates are correct for start/end time (i.e., If you work past midnight, make sure the dates are correct as 12:30pm will be the NEXT day).

  • Make sure you add the correct number of children and the times you worked with them. If you cared for a different amount of children for different hours, make sure you break down your checkout. Sometimes the family is okay with you checking out for the total amount of children they have, regardless of exactly when you were with them.

  • Petcare: ONLY click this box if you are specifically asked to care for the family’s pet. This does not mean playing with the pet around the home that naturally lives there, but actual pet care duties such as dog walking, or feeding cats/dogs, etc. Many families ask for these services without remembering the fee exists. If asked to do petcare, please remind the family that there is an additional $20 charge so they are not surprised at checkout.

  • Add Misc. Expenses that were known and preapproved by the family. If the family said they would reimburse you for buying the child snacks or they offer to order you dinner and would like it put on the checkout, add this as an expense. If you have multiple expenses, you can continue to click “add” to create a list of expenses.  If the family said to add a tip, you can also add that amount to your Misc. section. If you worked less than 1 hour, add $5 to Misc. for a short appointment.

  • Add Transportation: Cab/Uber/Lyft/Car Service fare home up to $20 shall be added for appointments that begin before 7 a.m. or end after 9 p.m. Keep a photo of your receipt if the family requests to save it. Occasionally, a family will offer to order you a car service on their private account/credit card, which is also acceptable at which point you would not charge them separately for transportation. 

5. Once done, you will receive an email that lets you know you’ve successfully checked out.

6. Setup PayPal and make sure your account is verified. If your account is verified it will say “Your profile is at 100%.” If your account is not verified that means your account is missing information. You will not be able to receive funds from a vendor (the family) until your profile is 100% complete.

7. The family will pay you via PayPal within 3 business days per our terms. If they are late, they receive a reminder email to complete and all checkouts are typically complete within 48 hours. If a delay persists, you may contact us at [email protected]

What Is FSA and How Can It Be Used for Childcare?

Did you know you can get reimbursed for your BFC membership and the BFC nanny placement fees under your FSA (Sometimes called a Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP))?

Ask your employer if they offer FSA. If they do, ask for the form to fill in. Email the completed form to BFC and we will sign, attach a letter and invoice with the amount. Then you will need to submit the completed paperwork back to your employer. That’s it!

What is a FSA?

Some U.S. employers offer their employees a flexible spending account (FSA) or sometimes known as a Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP). This is an employer-sponsored plan that allows you to set aside a portion of your income on a pre-tax basis and then use that money to pay for eligible, employment-related dependent care expenses incurred for a qualifying individual. 

What is the advantage of participating in a dependent care FSA?

Your contributions to these accounts are tax-free, saving you money on federal, state income taxes and Social Security taxes. These FSAs can help you save money on healthcare and dependent care expenses such as childcare.

*Ask your employer how much they will reimburse towards your FSA before you begin. Ask if there is a use it or lose it policy. Many FSA expire by the end of the year, even more reason to use those funds now towards childcare! BFC does not guarantee reimbursements, all reimbursements are determined by an employer.

Dependent Care FSA Information

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted & FULLY VACCINATED on-demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!

7 Household Employment Trends to Watch for 2022

In a recent article published by GTM Payroll & HR, they uncover what household employers can expect this year when it comes to employing someone to work in your home (e.g., nanny, housekeeper, in-home senior caregiver).

1. Tight nanny job market: The demand for in-home childcare is unprecedented and does not seem to be slowing down. Nanny placement agencies say in-home caregivers are in extremely high demand calling the job market “highly competitive.” Others say they are experiencing a shortage of candidates with nannies seeing their rates increasing by $2 to $4/hour.

For families, this means not only offering a competitive rate but also presenting themselves as desirable employers. In our recent survey of nannies, working for a trustworthy/ethical family and the personality of the family were more important to them than the rate of pay.

2. Popularity of nanny shares: In a nanny share, two or more families hire a caregiver who will look after all the children in one of the family’s homes. It can help families save on the cost of in-home childcare and provide similar socialization benefits as a daycare for your children, while your nanny can make a little more than their usual rate for a single family.

3. Rising minimum wage rates: Half of U.S. states are boosting their minimum wage rates at some point in 2022. It is important for household employers to check the rate that applies to them as their nanny’s hourly pay could quickly become a wage violation. Paying below minimum wage and not accounting for overtime hours are two of the easiest ways families fall out of compliance with nanny tax laws.

4. Following paid sick and family leave laws: In some states, it can just be a set amount of paid leave you need to offer your employee. In other locations, like New York; Connecticut; Washington D.C.; and Massachusetts among others, payroll contributions to state-run paid leave programs are required from employers and/or employees.

Check with your state’s labor agency to see what paid leave requirements you may have as a household employer.

5. Filing your 2021 taxes: A couple of things may be a little different this tax season if you provided paid sick or family leave for pandemic-related reasons through the American Rescue Plan. In 2021, offering paid leave was voluntary but employers can still take the same dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Also, waiting for COVID-19 test results, obtaining a vaccine, and recovering from the effects of vaccination were added as qualified reasons.

On your employee’s W-2, you will need to indicate the amount of paid leave in box 14. Then on Schedule H, you will reconcile the paid leave provided as well as your employer tax credits.

6. Contribution limits adjusted for 2022: Several contribution limits were updated for the 2022 tax year including:

  1. Dependent Care FSAs return to $5,000 for married filing jointly and $2,500 each for married filing separately
  2. QSEHRA: $5,400 for individuals and $11,050 for family coverage
  3. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): $3,500 for individuals and $7,100 for families
  4. Retirement Plan: Up to $20,500 in employee contributions to a 401(k) and $14,000 into a SIMPLE 401(k)
  5. Qualified Transportation Benefits: $280 for community and $280 for parking
  6. Student Loans: Employers can provide up to $5,250 tax-free toward a worker’s student loans

7. Another increase to the nanny tax threshold: The employment coverage threshold for household employees gets another small boost to $2,400 in 2022. If a domestic worker meets or exceeds that threshold, Social Security and Medicare taxes must be paid by the family and the employee.

Click here to read the full article from GTM.

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted & FULLY VACCINATED on-demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!