Mother's Helpers

A child and a few adults playing under a tree

What is a Mother’s Helper Job

When you’re hiring childcare for your home, it means you have a range of childcare providers to choose from. If you expect to be home most of the time and just need a pair of helping hands, find someone who needs a mother’s helper job. A mother’s helper job entails someone who helps with childcare duties while at least one parent is typically at home. Although the parent is usually in charge, mother’s helpers may take care of the children for brief periods and act as a family assistant. Mother’s helpers may be live-in or live-out. They may also help with household duties. Mother’s helpers may have little experience or several years of experience.

Filing the Right Status for Mother’s Helpers

Once you’ve hired a mother’s helper, make sure you file her taxes appropriately. Mothers helpers are typically employees and not independent contractors. Mother’s helpers usually fall under the employee category because they work out of your home under hours that you’ve agreed upon. In addition, the work that mother’s helpers perform is dictated by you as the employer, putting her under the employee status.

The penalties for failing to comply with the government’s standards for filing can be great. The IRS slaps a $500 penalty tax on top of the interest you owe. There are also civil penalties that can amount to anywhere from 20 percent to 75 percent of the unpaid taxes.

How to Figure Out How Much to Pay a Mother’s Helper

Undoubtedly, a mother’s helper can provide a valuable service to a family by providing a level of relief and assistance to a parent. When trying to figure out how much to pay a mother’s helper, consider that mother’s helpers often get less than their nanny counterparts, given the same years of experience. This is because a nanny is typically in charge of the care of the children in the family while a mother’s helper assists a parent who is at home.

The 2006 International Nanny Association Salary Survey showed that the bottom 20 percent of nannies surveyed earned $10 per hour. Wages always vary based on factors like geographical location, supply and demand and the skills and experience of the mother’s helper. One way to get an idea of how much to pay is to find the going rate in your area for mother’s helpers by checking with other parents in your neighborhood or joining a local online parent’s board.

Where Do You Look To Find A Mother’s Helper?

If you just need an extra pair of hands and not someone to be in charge of looking after your little one, a mother’s helper can be the ideal solution. Not sure where to find a mother’s helper? Here are some places to find a mother’s helper.

  1. In your neighborhood: A mother’s helper can be a pre-teen or teenage girl that you know in your own neighborhood. Since you’ll be in charge, hiring a more mature professional isn’t absolutely necessary.
  2. Online database: Using an online database of childcare providers, such as Nanny Lane, helps you sort through numerous candidates with a range of experiences. You can even find a mother’s helper in your area.
  3. Agencies: Some nanny agencies and agencies for household help have a roster of candidates who are mother’s helpers. You’ll likely pay a hefty fee, but the candidates do come prescreened.
  4. Advertisements: You can submit your own advertisement to find a mother’s helper. Try your local papers, an ad at a nearby college or an online site.

Questions to Ask Mother’s Helpers in an Interview

When you’re interviewing mother’s helpers, keep in mind that you’ll be spending a lot of time with this person and potentially leaving your children in her care. During the hiring process, make sure you conduct a thorough interview with all of the mother’s helpers you speak with. Here are some basic questions to cover at the interview that will help you eliminate candidates that aren’t a good fit for your family.

  • Ask why a candidate has decided to seek work as a mother’s helper.
  • Ask why a candidate has decided to leave her previous position.
  • Ask a candidate to describe her role as a mother’s helper in the previous household where she worked.
  • Ask a candidate to describe what would be her ideal role in the household.
  • Find out what a candidate’s career goals are for the future.

How To Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Mother’s Helper

Maintaining a good relationship with your mother’s helper starts right from the hiring process. When you’re hiring a mother’s helper, be clear about the job requirements and your expectations. And hire someone who you think clearly meets those job requirements and expectations. Once you’ve hired a mother’s helper, make sure you create a contract that outlines her job duties and makes a copy for her and yourself.

In order to form a good working relationship after the hiring process, maintain an open level of communication with your mother’s helper. Spend a few minutes during the day or each week to have a conversation about your childcare and household needs. It’s always important to address any issues or concerns at the onset, rather than waiting for them to become unmanageable.

Share this article
Someone that you know might find this helpful.

Start your journey towards finding your perfect nanny

Please choose your location.