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Post to the Childcare Newsletter
What goes in the Childcare newsletter?
- Parents looking for & recommending babysitters
- Nanny share connections between parents
- Home-based daycare and childcare centers
- Childcare providers offering care
- Students and teen babysitters offering care
- Babysitting exchanges between parents
Most BPN postings use the term "nanny" to refer to someone who is providing regularly
scheduled weekday care in the child's home,
and "babysitter" to refer to someone who comes to the child's home occasionally,
such on the weekends, especially for a "date night" on Friday or Saturday night.
Weekend babysitters may be high school or college students, or a nanny who is
picking up extra hours on the weekends.
A nanny is someone who is paid to come to your home to
care for your child, usually on a regular schedule.
A live-in nanny lives in your home and cares for your child in
exchange for room, board, and a salary.
A nanny share is an arrangement between two or more families to
share the same nanny. The care takes place at the home of one
of the children, not at the nanny's home. The nanny may
be caring for all the children at the same time, or dividing her time
so that each family has the nanny to themselves for a shorter time.
Nanny shares that take place in the child's home do not need to be licensed.
shares that take place in the home of the person providing care must be licensed as
a home-based childcare facility, and BPN cannot accept postings
without a license number.
See Home-Based Daycare below for more information.
Shares that take place at a site that is not someone's home must be
licensed as a preschool or childcare center, and BPN requires a license
number on these posts. See Childcare Centers and Preschools
for more information.
A daycare is childcare for children from more than one family
that takes place in the home of the childcare provider. It may be called
"family daycare" or "home-based childcare" or "preschool." The State of
name for care in the home of the provider is "Family Child Care Home". This type of childcare
requires the home to be inspected and licensed by the state. BPN does not accept
postings about unlicensed daycares. See About Childcare Licensing for more information.
Home-based "preschools" can be posted to either the Childcare newsletter in the
Daycare section, or to the Schools & Preschools newsletter.
Family daycares may be "small" (up to 8 children) or
"large" (up to 14 children). The number of children under age 2 is
restricted, and adult-to-child ratios are specified according to the number
of children and their ages.
Some daycares accept all ages, from infants to after-school elementary
aged kids. Other daycares focus on specific ages such as toddlers or pre-school aged
A childcare center refers to childcare that does NOT take place in someone's home.
A childcare center may accept all ages, from infants
on up, or it may be a preschool that only accepts 3-5 year olds. The State of
California licenses childcare
centers separately from home-based daycares, and considers any program that
cares for children, including a preschool or after-school program, to be
a "childcare center." Requirements for a childcare center are
more demanding than for home-based daycare,
such as specifying the education level of the adults, space
requirements per child, and the like. (see About Childcare Licensing for more information.)
BPN accepts postings about childcare centers for children under 3 in both the
Childcare and the Schools & Preschools newsletters. For preschools for 3-5 year olds,
post to the Schools & Preschools newsletter.
A babysitting co-op
is an arrangement
among parents who are taking turns caring for each others' children
and NO MONEY IS CHANGING HANDS.
It may be called a "co-op" or
a "babysitting exchange" or a "babysitting swap".
This type of arrangement does not require
a license from the state's Community Care Licensing (CCLD). You can post
co-ops and exchanges to the Announcements
newsletter under "Playgroups" as long as no one is being paid.
However, IF SOMEONE IS BEING PAID, such as a nanny, a teacher, or one
of the parents, then BPN does not consider this to be a babysitting
Use these guidelines to determine where to post:
- If the parent of every child is present the entire time, this is
considered a Playgroup. Playgroups do not need to be licensed
even if someone is being paid, and regardless
of where they take place.
Playgroups can be posted to the
in the "Connections and Playgroups" section.
- If the childcare takes place in one of the children's homes,
and care/supervision is not being provided by someone who lives
this is a Nanny Share, and can be posted to the
newsletter in one of the Nanny Share sections.
Note that the hosting parent should not be supervising children in
this case. Otherwise the home needs to be licensed.
- If the childcare takes place in someone's home,
and an adult who lives there is providing supervision of the children,
this is considered a Family Daycare and
the site must be licensed by CCLD.
Licensed programs can be posted to
either the Childcare newsletter under "daycare"
or to the Schools & Preschools newsletter
as a preschool. BPN doesn't accept postings about in-home childcare that
is not licensed.
- If the childcare takes place at a site that is not someone's home,
and it is not a Playgroup where all parents remain with their children,
then this is considered a Preschool or Childcare Center and
the site must be licensed by CCLD.
See Parent Co-operative and Parent Participation Preschools for a list of licensed programs reviewed by BPN subscribers.
Preschools can post to the Schools & Preschools newsletter and
childcare centers can post to either the Childcare newsletter
or to the Schools & Preschools newsletter.
BPN requires a license number on these posts.
BPN does not accept
postings about unlicensed daycares or childcare centers. For more information
see About Childcare Licensing in California.
BPN accepts postings from local babysitters, nannies,
and daycares that are seeking clients.
If you live in the SF Bay area, you can subscribe to the BPN
and post to the
Childcare Newsletter under "Childcare Provider Offering Care"
or "Daycare Openings".
If you are a teenager who babysits, and your parent subscribes to
either the Berkeley Parents Network or Parents of Teens, you or your parent can
submit a post to the Childcare newsletter under "Student/Teen Babysitter."
BPN does not
accept postings on behalf of agencies that place babysitters, nannies or au pairs,
per the Policy on Advertising.
Agencies also may not send email to BPN subscribers
who have posted a "nanny wanted" message in the Childcare newsletter,
unless an agency was specifically requested.
If a BPN subscriber asks a question about agencies, such as in the Recommendations
newsletter, it is OK to respond and recommend your own agency, or to give general advice.
I saw a babysitter at the park neglecting her charges - please
post my report.
We sometimes get email from parents who want to report on a babysitter they have
seen neglecting her charges, or behaving in some
other objectionable way. It is BPN's policy not to publish
messages like this in the newsletter, and we cannot accept postings
that seek to contact the parents who hired the babysitter.
If you feel that you have witnessed child abuse or neglect
by a parent or a sitter or anyone else, please report it immediately to Child Protective
Services, or to the local police. This is the very best way to
protect the child.
Here are some phone numbers that might be of assistance:
Child Protective Services(Alameda County): (510)259-1800
Berkeley Police: (510)644-5658
Oakland Police: (510)238-3333
BPN is NOT the right place to report abuse or neglect. Please
instead contact an agency that can protect children in danger.
If what you have
observed is not abuse or neglect, such as a someone
speaking unkindly to a child, or not attending
to them closely enough, then BPN recommends that you offer
to assist, or else say nothing. This is
because: 1) There is a range of
parenting styles. What some of us consider "child-centered attachment parenting" others
consider "over-protective helicopter parenting."
2) No one is perfect. We all lose control sometimes and yell or
speak harshly to children. Or take our attention away from
them long enough for trouble to ensue.
Please assume the best and leave it alone unless you have reason to believe the
child is in danger, in which case you should either offer to
help, or contact an agency that can protect the child.
During the last few years, the Childcare newsletter has been receiving 2-3 times
more postings from childcare providers than from parents who are
seeking childcare. This means that if you are seeking a childcare job,
or your are posting a recommendation of your childcare provider, there is a high likelihood
that no one will respond to your post.
To get the best response to your posting in the Childcare newsletter,
we recommend the following:
- Make sure your heading is specific. See Choosing a heading for your post for hints.
- Be sure to include the neighborhood you are
interested in. Be as specific as you can, such as
"Elmwood" rather than "South Berkeley." If you are offering childcare, it's better
to list specific areas rather than saying "Bay Area" or typing in a long list
- Offering childcare? Provide your first and last name -- using just your first
name or not including your name at all
makes your post seem more unprofessional.
- Don't use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS because it looks
- If English is not your first language, get someone to
read over your message for spelling and grammar errors before you post, or ask
the moderator to do this.
- If you are looking for a nanny share, be clear in your post
about what your requirements are, but keep in mind that the more
flexible you can be about hours and locality, the better response you
- If you are looking for a nanny, be aware that most nannies need
to work full time. If you need fewer than 40 hours a week, be prepared
to arrange a share with other families who can provide the nanny with
- Make sure you are posting to the correct section. Your post may not
if it appears in the wrong section.
- If you are looking for a teenage sitter, please read
Advice about Teen Sitters
and also make sure you post your message to the Parents of Teens newsletter.
- If you have posted
repeatedly without receiving responses, please try using other
resources such as nanny agencies, childcare referral agencies,
and online bulletin boards like Craigslist. Currently, the
supply of nannies and daycares far exceeds the demand, so if
you are not getting responses, this could be a sign that you
need to adjust your requirements or offerings.
- If you still have questions about why your post is not getting
responses, feel free to ask the Childcare moderator (email address is
on the newsletter) or send an email to the BPN administrator.
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