AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As we approach another hectic back-to-school season, many parents are facing an additional stressor this fall — the return to the office and hybrid work — that is forcing them to adjust their childcare arrangements. of children. Care.com analyzed hiring trends for last year’s back-to-school season to identify key dates and trends that could help families streamline and better navigate the hiring process.
“The return to in-person jobs and reconfigured hybrid schedules will cause major disruptions in parents’ current childcare plans,” said Maressa Brown, senior editor, Care.com. “Families may need to interview and hire multiple caregivers to fill gaps in their weekly schedules, which makes planning and flexibility essential this year. We know parents across the country are facing the same challenge and are looking for guidance to get ahead of the demand.
Trends and key dates
August 2021 was the peak month on Care.com for the majority (65%) of families looking for back-to-school child care, with August 23 being the most popular day to post jobs for back to school. Back-to-school carers have outpaced demand in 2021 with more postings of their profiles on August 9 than any other day of the month.
On average, in the United States last year, parents posted their back-to-school jobs about 22 days before the expected start date. Because the school year resumes at different times in different parts of the country, key dates for back-to-school custody searches varied. In 2021, the most popular dates to post back-to-school jobs by region were: August 1/Midwest; August 10/West and South; and August 23/northeast.*
Parents want homework/curriculum support and will pay more for it
From 2019 to 2021, Care.com found that back to school also led to a spike in interest in homework or curriculum help. More than a third (34%) of parents looking for back-to-school child care specified those duties last year, with those job postings increasing in August and September. Care.com is already seeing a similar trend emerging this month.
And, despite the high cost of care, parents are willing to pay even more for extra help with homework. In 2021, on average, parents offered to pay 2% more/hour for these services, or an average of $18.02/h compared to $17.66/h.
Optimize the search for back-to-school assistance
In addition to noting key dates related to finding back-to-school support, families can streamline the process by following these steps:
- Determine your fall work schedule: Take a close look at your weekly schedule to identify exactly when you will need care throughout the week. Understanding your care gaps will help you determine if you will need a nanny, after-school help, babysitter, or a combination of caregivers.
- Determine your budget: Different types of care cost different amounts. Find out what you can afford and find the rates in your area by going to this calculator.
- Identify your needs: Before you start your search, know exactly what skills you would like your caregiver to have and what responsibilities they will take on. Many babysitters and nannies may be willing to negotiate “add-ons” to their role. Examples may include tutoring, walking the dog, meal prep, laundry, or running errands for an additional fee.
- Start your search for care as soon as possible: Starting your care seeking as early as possible means you will have the widest choice of caregivers to choose from before demand soars.
- Interview/trial for several candidates: Schedule time to interview and “try out” with a few different nanny and babysitter candidates. This will help ensure that they are a good match for your children, and if you need more of a regular sitter to fit into your schedule, this is a good way to line them up.
- Pay your sitter/nanny legally: Start the relationship off on the right foot by legally compensating your caregiver. Considering the cost of care, you will very quickly hit the $2,400 annual IRS threshold forcing you to pay your housekeeper on the books. By doing so, you’ll be able to access tax credits to offset childcare costs if you’re otherwise eligible and access money from your flexible spending accounts, if you have them and the costs are included.
- Have a backup plan: Create a back-to-school backup plan for what you will do if the unexpected happens, like your child gets sick or your scheduled babysitter becomes unavailable. Many employers now offer backup childcare for these reasons, so start by checking with your human resources department to see if there is help available that you weren’t aware of.
Families can find more resources for hiring their back-to-school babysitter or nanny on Care.com’s Care Guides and check out the current rates for babysitters in their area on its Babysitting Calculator.
*US regions are designated as follows: Midwest (SD, NE, ND, MO, MN, KS, IA, WI, OH, MI, IN, IL), Northeast (VT, RI, NH, ME, MA, CT, PA), NY, NJ), South (TX, OK, LA, AR, WV, VA, SC, NC, MD, GA, FL, DE, DC, TN, MS, KY, AL) and West (WA, OR , HI , CA, AK, WY, UT, NV, NM, MT, ID, CO, AZ)
Available in more than 20 countries, Care.com is the world’s leading platform for finding and managing high-quality family care. Care.com is designed to meet the changing needs of today’s families and caregivers, offering everything from household tax and payroll services and personalized benefits covering the care needs of working families, to innovating new ways for caregivers to get paid and obtain professional benefits. . Since 2007, families have relied on Care.com’s industry-leading products, from child and senior care to pet care and home care. Care.com is an IAC company (NASDAQ: IAC)