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Nanny, Pods & Tutors: BBB says do your research before you hire

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(WRIC) — For many students, the classroom this year will include a computer and keyboard. Yet, many parents still have to work.

“What are we going to do? How are we going to do this?” asks parent Heather Alconcel.

Parents across the country are trying to navigate this new normal as COVID-19 concerns keep many schools virtual. Lora Lee O’Bannon wonders what she will do.

“Legally you can’t leave elementary school kids alone at home,” jokes O’Bannon.

As a result, some families for the first time find themselves turning to tutors. Others are opting for nannies. Some are even creating learning pods, a type of educational nanny sharing in the neighborhood. Becca Lusko Toups, a member of a Facebook group called “Pandemic Pods,” says “They’re going to look different from one pod to the next. Some pods are going to be more home schooling pods and bring their kids together in an informal way.”

However, before you hire someone to come to your home or spend hours with your kids at a pod in the neighborhood, do your research, advises the Better Business Bureau.

“I would ask a prospective nanny for references, number one and then I would call the references, at least three,” says Barry N. Moore, President and CEO of the Central Virginia BBB. He also recommends that parents ask about CPR certification or first aid training. Additionally, parents should do a background check in the best interest of their child. But be warned – Moore says needs should be made clear and put it in writing.

“You need to have a written contract that says exactly what the requirements are,” he said.

The contract should clarify appropriate disciplinary measures, who’s responsible for meal prep, cleaning and more.

“What are going to be the study times? You can put all this in a contract,” explains Moore.

The BBB also stresses that parents should include their children in the hiring process at some point. It’s also a good idea to check the laws on payment, taxation and time-off.

Click here to read more tips from the BBB.

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