JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The decision to let a stranger into Melissa McMillan’s home did not come without some serious thought.
“My husband and I, we wanted to make sure whoever came into our house was practicing social distancing, wasn’t going out to big, large parties,” said McMillan, a mother of a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old.
Like every parent, she was faced with the decision of whether or not to send her children back to school or have them learn from home.
“My husband working full time, myself working full time — the issue that we both grappled with was what if we sent our kids to school, and school closes, and then we have to be full-time parents and full-time workers,” McMillan said.
To try and keep some consistency in her children’s education, McMillan turned to a nanny agency for help.
“A lot of people are looking for someone who can come in and help them facilitate the day-to-day school work to make sure the children are able to stay on par,” said Sharyn Edmiston, owner of JaxNanny.
Edmiston said the demand for nannies is up 50%, and on average, it takes a few weeks for a family to find a match.
“You need to start looking if you’re needing someone,” Edmiston said.
There are different routes people can take to find that extra help.
Through the JaxNanny placement service, you can expect to pay roughly $15 to $20 an hour for a nanny, although it could be more depending on a family’s needs
While there is a fee attached to JaxNanny’s services, families get what they pay for.
“We do a complete criminal check, driver’s license — everything to make sure the person we’re looking at is the person that we’re screening,” Edmiston said.
The other route is using an online service like Care.com.
Edmiston said, if you do that, make sure to do your homework on that potential person. And more than anything, Edmiston said, be transparent and consistent with expectations.
“If there’s full disclosure on both ends, your chance of success is very good,” Edmiston said. “If you sugarcoat it and try to make it what you think they want to hear, you’re, ultimately, going to end up, probably, with a problem.”
That means you should prepare for those awkward conversations like asking the nanny to wear a mask while inside the home.
“It’s a tough time right now to understand people’s comfort level with that and making sure they are ready to take on the responsibility of nannying during a pandemic,” McMillan said.
During the 9 a.m. hour of “The Morning Show” on Tuesday, Edmiston answered questions about how potential nannies are vetted, services they can offer and the questions that families should be asking of any potential child care worker.