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 – but also role models that offer more beside the ‘basics’.

Your personality, talents and interests are just as important to a family than your experience – create a great profile where that all shines ( and post great pictures) – remember you are unique and have a lot to offer!

Does it cost anything for me to become a homepair?

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 all of your travel costs to and from the family home.

Do I need to be enrolled in college?

No – most homepairs will be current students or recent college graduates but it’s not a requirement. 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 (between $10 and $13.50 in the NYC metro area), how much more above that will depend on your experience, talents and the job itself.

When you discuss hourly rates with families – please remember that free ‘room and board’ in the NYC metro area is a significant saving where rent alone accounts for on average $17/hour of your paycheck.  Foregoing grocery shopping saves you another $50 and $100 a week.  To give you an idea of how expensive the cost of living is here, 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)

(source: rentcafé.com)

Our advice is simple:  do the math and don’t price yourself out of the best opportunity to be living and working in the NYC metro area, and all that opportunity that comes with it.  Frank said it best… ‘if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere‘…it’s up to you!

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.

“CALL / TEXT” – A family can also initiate a ‘cell phone to cell phone’ conversation with you.  We don’t give the family your actual phone number – only a ‘proxy’ for it – and you won’t see the family’s real phone number either when they call.  From there, it’s just like any other phone call – a great way to connect instantly and securely without needing to be logged onto Homepaired.

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.

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, and you will receive a notification to ‘accept’. From there – the family will run background checks and draft the agreement for you to review and sign.

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 to get a quick tour of the house and your room.

 

How are my hours tracked?

The family will ultimately decide on the system they would like followed to record hours worked.  There are lots of different mobile apps around that are great for keeping track of weekly hours, overtime, leave and even taxes (Nanny Pay Advisor is one of our favorites).  That said, keep in mind that we will soon be offering our own solution sometime in Fall 2019.

Whatever system you end up using, you and the family are solely responsible for scheduling, logging and reviewing hours worked – disputes can be easily avoided simply by getting into the routine of doing this every week.

What does a typical day look like?

The scope of your childcare duties will be in your agreement – but typically ‘your day’ involves anything to do with the children – their care, nurturement and happiness is your priority. 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 (as well as your friend network and knowledge of the town)- you will also see an organic change to the ‘routine’ as your confidence starts to take hold and you start to make suggestions for activities yourself.

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 so you can arrange meetups, trips to the city and share play dates.  With the occasional social event we organize thrown in – it wont take long for you to feel part of a community.  We are also always only a phone call away!

Don’t forget to also use our referral program – not only can it earn you cash, signing up with a friend makes it double the fun!

Do I have a curfew?

Families won’t usually impose a curfew – however any ‘house rules’ they would like followed will be in your agreement.

Key here is common sense and communication.  Always have your cell phone on you and be reachable.  If you are needed early in the morning, come back at a reasonable time so you won’t be tired the next day.  And always let the family know your plans, when you will be back and who you are with so they don’t worry.

What about meal times?

You are not expected to cook meals for the family but offering do so every now and again might be appreciated and a fun way to bond! Likewise you are not obliged to have dinner with the family every night – always communicate if you will skip dinner so the family doesn’t over prepare.

As for meal time etiquette – think of yourself as a guest or relative in someone’s home – pitching in to help set the table or load the dishwasher is always appreciated (and somewhat expected)!

Can I do this with a friend?

Yes – our referral program encourages you to do just that (you can earn up to $100 for every referral you make)!  This is an exciting opportunity to share a new experience with a friend – you will likely only be a few minutes away from each other, possibly in the same town.

You will also make lots of new friends when you arrive – when you are hired we give you full access to every homepair – an instant social network to say hi, hangout and co-plan play dates.

Do I have to pay taxes?

Yes, but it’s not as bad as you think.  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 family will also likely withhold 7.65% Social Security and Medicare tax from your weekly paycheck – which is a very good thing.  This gives you access – like any other employee – to all the benefits that social safety net provides, including claiming unemployment and providing a verifiable income that helps build your credit history – important if you want to apply for a loan or a credit card.

What if I have questions?

We are available to answer any questions you have at info@homepaired.com. One of our team will respond to you within a few hours.