找Babysitter or Nanny

我自己沒孩子, 所以從來沒想過找保姆或是Babysitter這檔事, 但是隨著周邊華人朋友接二連三的懷孕生子, 與她們的聚會日漸減少, 但是開始接觸其他有小孩的美國太太的機會變多, 讓我看到東西文化上的差異.

Babysitter
Babysitter 和 Nanny是不一樣的 – Babysitter多半是不固定的, 你需要的時候才請她來家裡看孩子, 通常是沒有受過任何訓練, 例如你家鄰居念高中的女兒, 這一類的費用較低, 每小時在$10-$20之間, 端看有幾個孩子需要看以及是否托付其他責任; Nanny則是一項專業工作, 不論有無受過正規訓練, 他們視看孩子為全職工作, 通常很有經驗, 這一類的費用每小時則在$16-$25左右, 而且需要提供他們保險及假期等福利. 

華人父母捨不得或者不放心請鐘點的Babysitter來家裡看小孩, 所以一旦家裡有了小孩, 不是走到哪都帶著孩子一起, 不然就是都不出門逛街吃飯, 除非家裡有老一輩的或信任的親友可以代看孩子, 因此生了孩子後, 華人夫妻之間的關係以及生活方式則有很大的改變.

反觀我認識的美國夫妻, 多數夫妻雙方皆在工作, 家裡也沒有老一輩的幫忙帶孩子, 但是每次我家有聚會, 都可以看到他們夫妻攜手來參加, 找機會和他們聊, 才知道他們平常有社交活動或是夫妻倆想一起出去吃飯看電影的時候, 就會找算鐘點的Babysitter來家裡看小孩, 好讓他們可以好好享受幾個小時不受小孩打擾的時間; 有的週末, 夫妻輪流在家看孩子, 讓另一半可以出去和同性朋友做活動, 因為他們希望將有小孩的生活對他們原本的生活影響減至最低, 這樣大人開心, 小孩也開心.

我覺得他們的想法不錯, 因為我也希望有更多機會與我那些現在有小孩的老朋友聚聚. 那怎麼找Babysitter? 多半是靠朋友介紹, 不然一些頗具規模的Agencies也是個不錯的方式, 以下列出幾個供你參考:

Mommy Mixer 這個是母親和保姆版的Table for Six. They connects busy families in need of part-time babysitting with high-quality college students. At each hour-long Mixer, moms personally interview a number of candidates and leave with an A+ list of potential babysitters. Many candidates are not only used for babysitting, but also act as family-assistants: running errands, helping with organization, planning and producing birthday parties, etc.

A Nanny Solution (一上網就聽到小孩天真無邪的笑聲, 讓我頓時放鬆, 跟著微笑起來). It specializes in providing families with Full or Part-Time, Live-In or Out Placement, Night Nannies, Permanent, Temporary and On-Call high quality In-Home childcare. All nannies exceed 3 years of nanny experience, minimum of 6 ECE units, DMV driving record, TB test negative, negative drug testing, CPR certification and background screening via Trustline.

International Nanny Association  Established in 1985, the INA is a non-profit, educational association for nannies and those who educate, place, employ, and support professional in-home child care providers.

Stanford Park Nannies  It specializes solely on the delicate placement of in-home childcare providers.

Association of Premier Nanny Agencies The Association of Premier Nanny Agencies, established in 1993, promotes best business practices in all areas of the nanny placement and household staffing industries.

Trustline It is a database of nannies and babysitters that have cleared criminal background checks in California.  It is the only authorized screening program of in-home caregivers in the state with access to fingerprint records at the California Department of Justice and the FBI.

在你面試保姆的時候, 記得問以下十個問題:
1. Tell me about your background and experiences
2. Have you ever had an emergency situation, and if so, how did you handle it?
3. What would you do if an infant in your care was crying for a long time? How would you calm the baby? At what point would you call the parent?
4. How would you get a child to behave if you had trouble getting him or her to listen?
5. Why do you think you are a good fit for our family?
6. Tell me about the safety measures you take when taking children to the park or outings.
7. Tell me about your past employers and why they didn’t work out.
8. What kind of environment do I need to create to ensure you are comfortable and happy?
9. What was your rate and how do you like to be paid?
10. What was your childhood like and, from that, what qualities and experiences can you bring to our family?

如果你臨時有事, 卻找不到鐘點保姆的時候, 灣區有幾個Drop-in hourly centers, 可以暫時解決你的燃眉之急:

Kids Park  提供二歲到十二歲孩童各項活動, 週五和週六開到凌晨, 南灣有二間, 一間在Oakridge Mall對面, 一間在Valley Fair Mall對面.

Country Club Kidz 位在Cupertino, 提供一歲到十歲孩童各項活動, 僅週一至五開放.

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