Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing Live-in Childcare

by | Sep 11, 2019 | Australia, Top Tips

You want quality care that stimulates, nurtures and supports your children and gives you peace of mind. It’s what every parent wants for their children – the absolute best they can find. And you need someone that will help your child reach their therapy or developmental goals. Below are the most important questions to ask yourself when considering your care options.

QUESTION #1: What is your weekly budget for care?

Cost is a big factor in the search. The amount families must spend for quality care varies widely depending on their location, hours needed, and a caregiver’s duties, experience, education and special skills or training. Our first recommendation is to review your income, any expenses and any support you receive (e.g. NDIS funding) and calculate a figure that feels comfortable to invest. That’s right – it’s helpful to consider childcare an investment rather than an expense; after all, the right care will provide peace of mind, the ability for you to continue your career, early education and therapy support for your kids. 

QUESTION #2: How much flexibility do you want?

Are your care needs relatively consistent from week to week or is your schedule more unpredictable? This is an important question to ask because some childcare options, like hiring a care professional, accommodate unpredictable schedules better than others. Live-in carers can even provide overnight care and care in the evenings and on weekends just as long as they don’t exceed their 40-hour/week, 10-hour/day limit and your requests are reasonable. 

QUESTION #3: How soon do you need at-home care?

The time it takes for a care professional to arrive to your home will depend on the availability of candidates and your family’s specific needs. In most cases, care professionals from overseas can travel to your home as soon as eight to ten weeks after you register with an agency. 

QUESTION #4: Would live-in care be an acceptable option for your family?

While there are some families who welcome the idea of live-in help, a lot of parents will immediately say “no” to this question, opting instead for a live-out solution. The benefit of a live-out situation is that at the end of the day, you and your family have all the time alone you need and you don’t have to worry about another person’s feelings, habits and behaviour.

However, if you are tempted to overlook in-home care, ask yourself why you would veto a live-in care professional or carer. 

  • Is it because of lack of privacy?
    • Most care professionals spend most of their free time with friends.
  • Is it because you think it will be “weird” to have a stranger living in your home? 
    • After a short adjustment period, most families consider their live-in carers to be more like extended family members.
  • You may also want to take into account the many advantages that come with live-in care—more flexibility and convenience; another adult in the home; and the ability to carefully choose your ideal provider.

QUESTION #5: How willing are you to invest time into an employer/caregiver relationship?

This is an important point to consider, because if the answer is “not very”, a care professional will not be the right option for you. Maintaining a good working relationship with a care professional requires regular communication and negotiation, and showing that you care about them is an essential part of the deal. Legislation requires care professionals (or au pairs as they used to be known) to be employed in Australia with all the relevant contracts in place and correct wages, taxes and super payments to be made. Care professionals require even more of a time investment because they need help adjusting to a new culture as well. 

While choosing a care provider can be difficult, at Apex Professional Exchange we provide trained professionals to support your children in all their needs: therapy, living, educational. So why not check out the care professionals who are currently looking for their ideal host family.