FAQs for Homepairs
FAQs For Homepairs
How do I qualify to be a “Homepair”?
You must be over 18, be legally allowed to work in the US, have medical insurance, at least 1 year of childcare experience and, of course, love to be around kids. A driver’s license isn’t mandatory but most families would expect it! Families are looking for responsible, educated and experienced caregivers for their children.
Be descriptive in your profile, post great pictures and sell – remember you have a lot to offer!
Does it cost anything for me to match?
No – it’s free to register, setup your profile and get booked by families on Homepaired! Families also pay for your background checks and will usually cover your travel costs to the family home.
Do I need to be enrolled in college?
It’s not a requirement, but most homepairs will be current students or recent college graduates. Homepaired is a great option for those who are transitioning after college, taking a gap year or are looking for summer or seasonal work.
How much will I be paid?
Every homepair must earn at least state minimum wage as required by law (between $10 and $13.50 in the NYC metro area), however your rate will mainly depend on your experience and skillset, and what the job entails. When you discuss hourly rate with a family – please take into consideration that free ‘room and board’ in the NYC metro area is a significant cost saving to you and must be in your thoughts (families are certainly thinking about it this way).
To give an indication of how expensive it is to live and make a start in the NYC metro area, consider the average monthly rent for a 1 bedroom apartment.
- NYC / Brooklyn: $3,000 (if you worked on average 40 hrs a week, set aside $17/hr just to cover the rent!)
- Jersey City, NJ: $2,800 (set aside $16/hr)
- Greenwich, CT: $3,000 (set aside $17/hr)
- Westchester County, NY: $2,800 (set aside $16/hr)
Add on the $50 to $100 a week you save on groceries and you realize how much you are saving. Our advice is simple: don’t price yourself out of the opportunity to be living and working in the NYC metro area – as the song goes ‘if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere’…you have a gilded chance to get your foot in the door that so many others find is out of reach.
How do I know I’ve found the right family?
You will get a good sense of fit just by looking at family profiles and comparing to yours – your skills and experience don’t have to perfectly align but the more aspects you do match on, the more likely you will have found a perfect fit.
When you do have a video call with a family – prepare by thinking about all that you have to offer and ask lots of questions (don’t forget to use our interview guides). Get a good sense of who they are, what care they want most for their children, where they live and what a typical day looks like.
How do I connect with a family?
There are two tools you can use to connect with families once you have full access to Homepaired…
“CHAT / VIDEO CALL” – Click to chat or have a video call with a family (just remember that you both have to be logged into Homepaired at the same time to do this ‘live’). Use it to say hi, leave a note, make first introductions, and agree times when you can both be online to chat in person (avoid frustrating games of ‘chat tennis’ over a period of days at all costs).
“CALL / TEXT” – A family can also call or text you ‘cell phone to cell phone’. We don’t give the family your real phone number – only a ‘proxy’ for it – and you won’t see the family’s real phone number when they call either. Right now, only families can initiate these calls with you – but once connected, you can call, text, and leave voice mails with each other just like any other phone conversation without compromising your personal information.
Whatever method you choose (we hope all of them) – please remember to be responsive and courteous at all times, and most importantly to never solicit or share private or personal information per our Terms. We have built these features for your convenience and your safety so you never have to.
If you have any questions or experience difficulties with communication – please don’t hesitate to contact us.
How do families book me?
Once your profile is on the site, families can begin to connect with you using our search and chat / video calling features. The more detail and care you put into your profile – the better chance you will have of being hired (good quality photos are a must!). Be proactive – search for families that you like and ‘favorite’ them – this will send them a notification that you are interested, and prompt them to initiate that first important call with you!
When a family has made a decision – usually after a couple of calls – they will simply click ‘book’ on your profile. This starts our booking process where you will agree start and end dates, have background checks run (which the family will pay for) and, most importantly, design your employment agreement so you are all on the same page from day one.
Where are families commonly located?
For our beta launch, we are focusing first on the NYC and surrounding tri-state area (New Jersey and Connecticut). That being said, you may see a few families in places such as California, Chicago or Miami appearing on our site just through word of mouth!
You will know Manhattan, the Hamptons and Brooklyn – but you may not be familiar with towns such as Montclair, NJ or Greenwich, CT or Westchester County, NY – desirable, leafy suburbs of NYC where families raise children in beautiful homes surrounded by fantastic amenities, schools and restaurants only minutes away from the City – truly the best of both worlds.
Spend time researching any towns you are not familiar with – and remember to ask families what they love about where they live when you speak with them.
Who pays for my travel?
The family usually covers your travel costs to and from your residence – the details and logistics of how that will work (as every situation is different) will be in the employment agreement your family has drafted.
If you are invited on a family vacation or getaway, the family has to cover all of your travel costs such as flights, accommodation and food.
What about safety?
All persons over the age of 18 in a family’s household will need to have background checks – these are run during the booking process after you accept a booking. The family should share these results with you – so make sure you see them before you commit to signing your agreement (Homepaired does not see or is privy to any background check reports ordered).
Homes also need to pass a quick ‘home check’ which we do either in person or virtually through a video call walkthrough – this ensures that the home is as described, including the guest room where you will be staying. Don’t forget to use our video calling feature when you connect with families to not only ask lots of questions and get to know them better, but to also get a quick tour of the house and your room also.
How are my hours tracked?
The family will ultimately decide on the system they would like followed to record hours worked. That said, we will soon offer a simple and effective time tracking feature on our website that allows families to schedule hours, for you to log actual hours worked and the kids activities performed. This tracker then automatically calculates your weekly paycheck which the family can pay online with one click.
Whatever system you end up using, you and the family will be solely responsible for scheduling and recording hours – disputes can be avoided easily just by reviewing regularly and planning often – having an open line of communication and building trust with one another is key.
What does a typical day look like?
Your day involves anything to do with the children – their care, nurturement and happiness is your priority and why you were hired. The family is responsible for your schedule but most of the time you will be following a routine that is already in place – e.g. wake up, meals, playtime, transportation, homework help, laundry, tidy up etc.
That is not to say every day will be the same – families want live-in childcare because of the flexibility it offers for date nights, or snow days, or when a child falls sick. Also, as the familiarity and relationship between you, the family and the children grows – you will also see an organic change to the ‘routine’ and leverage the time you spend with the children more to your skills and talents, or suggesting activities and play dates with the family as you grow your network with other families and homepairs in the neigborhood.
The scope of your childcare duties will be set out in your employment agreement, along with any ‘House Rules’ and courtesies to respect as a guest living in the family home.
Will I have free time and make friends?
Absolutely! Caring for a family’s children is the top priority but enjoying your local area and nearby cities like New York is important as well. Be sure to discuss your weekly schedule and their expectations so you have agreed when you want time-off. Remember that you will have already agreed on number of paid vacation and sick days, and expectations on holidays when you design your agreement – you will know this before you arrive.
Families want you to be happy and will encourage you to make new friends. Your happiness is important to us too which is why we provide you with an instant ‘social network’ to every homepair that is hired using our chat and video calling feature. Use it at your leisure to say hi and arrange meetups, trips to the city and play dates. With the occasional social event that we organize thrown in – it wont take long for you to feel part of a community.
And don’t forget to use our referral program – not only can it earn you cash, signing up and having friends with you on this journey multiplies the fun!
Do I have a curfew?
As an adult, families won’t usually impose a curfew – however any common sense restrictions they would like you to follow will be noted when you design your agreement.
The key here is common sense. Always have your cell phone on you and be reachable. If you are needed in the morning, endeavor to come back at a reasonable time so you won’t be tired the next day. As a guest in the house – it’s courteous and expected to let the family know when you expect to be back so they don’t worry about you, or to give a heads up if you plan on missing dinner.
What about mealtimes?
You are not expected to cook meals for the entire family but offering do so occasionally might be appreciated! As for meal etiquette – think of yourself as a guest or relative and setting the table and helping to clear is a polite gesture.
Can I do this with a friend?
Yes – in fact with our referral program, we actively encourage you to do just that (you can earn up to $100 for every referral you make)! This is an exciting opportunity to experience with a friend – all of the towns our families are from are close to NYC.
You will also make lots of new friends when you arrive – when you are hired we give you full access to every homepair that is in placement using our instant messaging and video calling feature – an instant social network at your fingertips to say hi, hangout and co-plan play dates.
Do I have to pay taxes?
Yes, you are considered a household employee in the eyes of the IRS and will get a W-2 from the family (your household employer) every year in January which you will use to calculate any income taxes.
The wages you earn every week will be liable to a 7.65% Social Security and Medicare tax withholding (the family effectively collects this and pays the IRS on your behalf as your employer). This is a good thing as it means you have access – like any other employee – to all the benefits that social safety net provides, including claiming unemployment. Plus this verifiable income helps build your credit history when you apply for a loan or credit card.
What if I have questions?
We are available to answer any questions you have at email@example.com. One of our team will respond to you within a few hours.