Finding and Planning for Childcare in Alexandria

A first step in your search for the right care for your child or children is to consider your and their needs. Do you need full-time childcare while you are at work, do you work part-time so only need care on certain days each week or do you just need after-school care for a couple of hours in the afternoon? Other considerations when looking for childcare in Alexandria are the number of children needing care, their ages (newborn, infant, pre-school, and/or school age), and what kind of budget you can afford. It is also important to consider what kind of experience you want your child or children to have, for example individually focused care vs group play, early-learning experience vs simply babysitting.
Next, is understanding what options are available and matching them to the care needs above. One way to divide the many childcare possibilities is into whether you want your child or chidren to receive care from a paid caregiver in your own home or whether you prefer they travel to another location that provides childcare.

Some of the most popular in-home childcare options available to you are:

  • Mother's helper
  • Babysitter
  • Nanny
  • Au Pair
  • Independent Child Care Provider

Out-of-home childcare options include:

  • Nanny Share
  • Daycare Center
  • In-Home Daycare

Alexandria In-home childcare options

Mother's (parents) helper. The best way to find a Mother’s Helper will be word of mouth. Asking your neighbors, friends, and co-workers if they know someone will likely yield the best results. If you are new to your city, call your local community center and inquire about babysitter courses and see if you can provide your information for the next class or previous graduates.
Babysitter. Word of mouth will be helpful to find a babysitter, as well as calling your community center about babysitting courses. Joining a city-specific Facebook group can also be beneficial to make connections with people who are looking for babysitting positions. You can even post a flyer at your local grocery store or library. If you are taking a chance on someone who is not a referral from a trusted source, you may want to consider running a background check on your potential care provider.
Nanny. There are Nanny placement services that you can use to find the right fit for your family. Typically, they operate on a subscription or placement fee model. You would pay a membership fee or an agreed-upon amount of money for the agency to find you a Nanny. Make sure the agency is handling their background check, credential verification and collecting their references.
Au Pair. Au Pairs live with you in your home. Many companies specialize in finding an Au Pair that is right for your family. Usually, there is a placement fee for this service. Setting your expectations up front will be very important to ensure you are getting the right match for you. Ensure the agency has provided you with all the information you will need to make sure you understand all the costs associated with employing an Au Pair in your home.
Independent Child Care Provider. A service like OndeCare can be used for future planning or even last-minute childcare-emergency. All OndeCare Care Professionals have been background checked and vetted and have profiles with biographies and videos for your review. A long-term job can be posted looking for an in-home provider to come daily or a job can be posted only as you need someone. Having a service like OndeCare that is care on demand can give great peace of mind that you can find backup if you need it or help you find the perfect fit for your family long-term. OndeCare takes care of the taxes for your care provider which can alleviate some of the stress surrounding hiring an in-home care provider.

Out-of-home childcare

Nanny Share. A Nanny share is when two or more families share the same nanny. The nanny might care for the children in one of the children's homes or rotate through all of them. If the shared care takes place in your home, then consider talking to your insurance agent about your responsibilities regarding having someone else’s children being cared for by a third party under your roof. Sometimes an umbrella insurance policy is recommended just to be on the safe side. It is also important that there is a shared understanding between all parties on how the shared care will be delivered. Some aspects to consider are:

  • What hours do you need childcare for?
  • What is an appropriate age to discipline and what do you feel is a correct way to administer this?
  • How do you feel about screen time?
  • If you’re considering a nanny share, discuss the rate of pay, Holidays, time off, etc.
  • How do you want to handle sickness? If one child is sick do we skip a day or bring them together anyways?
  • How will differing religious and cultural beliefs be handled/respected?
  • Who will provide the food for the children when they aren’t at their home?

Daycare Center. There are probably dozens of options available to you in your community for daycare centers. Start with a list of them and start making calls! You will want to know who has a waitlist and how long it is. Once you have established your options (likely your list will have dwindled significantly) schedule tours. When you visit it will be important to have a list of questions with you:

  • Does the center provide lunch or do we pack?
  • Does the center provide diapers and wipes or do we send them?
  • What type of training and CEU’s are required of their employees?
  • How much outside time do the children get?
  • How do they handle discipline and varying ages?
  • What are the policies and procedures surrounding sick children?
  • How do they track milestones and developmental stages?
In-Home Daycares. You need to do your research first and foremost. Does your state require a license for in-home providers? If there are stipulations make sure you understand them before looking at your options. Sometimes they are allowed a certain number of children in the home before they require a license. Once you understand the rules, word of mouth will be your best friend! Ask everyone you can think of if they know of an in-home provider. You can also check care websites, Facebook groups and even try calling local preschools to see if they know of any. Have your list of questions ready when you tour.

Questions and Considerations when Choosing a Child Care Provider in Alexandria

No matter which in-home childcare option you choose, it will be important to consider the following:

  • Has this provider or providers been background checked?
  • Has their credentials or education been verified?
  • Does this provider have professional references, and can you talk to them or see what they have to say about them or the company?
  • Can you use my Dependant Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) to pay for their services?
  • What are your responsibilities when it comes to taxes for your care provider?
  • What if something happens while your child is in the care of the provider? Do they have an insurance policy? Do I need to take out my own?
  • What back-up options do you have/need?


In-Home Child Caregivers Serving Alexandria, Virginia

In-home caregiver avatar Amanda Registered Nurse (RN)
Amanda
Available in
Alexandria
Registered Nurse (RN)
Child Care Services
  • homework help
  • light housekeeping
  • meal preparation
  • virtual learning assistance
  • + 6 more
COVID-19 vaccinated
BACKGROUND CHECKED
OndeCare
In-home caregiver avatar Cassandra Teacher
Cassandra
Available in
Alexandria
Teacher
Child Care Services
  • homework help
  • errands/excursions
  • house cleaning
  • laundry
  • + 11 more
Pet friendly
BACKGROUND CHECKED
OndeCare
In-home caregiver avatar Pamela Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)
Pamela
Available in
Alexandria
Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)
Child Care Services
  • + 3 more
COVID-19 vaccinated
BACKGROUND CHECKED
OndeCare
In-home caregiver avatar Bethelehem Teacher
Bethelehem
Available in
Alexandria
Teacher
Child Care Services
  • pet care
  • laundry
  • homework help
  • socialization/entertainment
  • + 7 more
COVID-19 vaccinated
BACKGROUND CHECKED
OndeCare
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Alexandria In-home Childcare from OndeCare

On-demand, in-home childcare in Alexandria. Safe, reliable and when you need it.

  • Select from a short list of qualified, professional in-home Childcare providers in Alexandria.
  • All OndeCare Heroes are thoroughly pre-screened, background checked and reference checked care professionals.
  • You have full control of schedule, services provided and what you pay.
  • Arrange care in under a day.
  • Get 24/7 concierge support and automated backup if needed.
  • No up-front or subscription fees. Only pay when care is fulfilled.