FAQ

Do I have to speak Spanish to hire a Caring Hands worker?

Not at all! Caring Hands members speak many different levels of English and our Job Developer can help facilitate the initial contact including interview scheduling, instructions for workers and bi-lingual checklists for housecleaning jobs.  Workers may also occasionally bring translators to interviews for mutual assurance that all job requirements are clear.

What are the recommended wages?

Housecleaning:

  • Either one or two workers can complete the first time/deep cleaning at the rate of $90 per worker for the first three hours and $25 every additional hour.  The pay rate for a basic cleaning is $85 per worker for the first three hours with an additional $20/hr for every additional hour. We also offer a $5 discount if you are able to provide all of the supplies that are necessary to complete the job

Childcare:

  • The recommended minimum hourly rate for care of one child starts at $15.00 per hour.  The final wage (which may be higher based on your scheduling needs and expected tasks as well as the provider’s experience) would be negotiated directly with the worker of your choice.

Nanny Share:

  • Although we do not have a family matching service for nanny shares, we can refer childcare providers who are open to share-care!  The recommended minimum hourly rate for two-child childcare shared between two families is $20.00 per hour, with each family contributing $10/hour.

Adult/ Elder Care:

  • Caring Hands recommends a starting minimum wage of $15 per hour with a 3 hour per shift minimum.
Will Caring Hands workers bring their own supplies for housecleaning?

Employers may request that workers provide all of the supplies necessary to complete a house cleaning. If you are able to provide all of the supplies (i.e. non-toxic cleaning liquids, broom, mop, vacuum, rags, sponges), you will receive $5 off the total cost of the cleaning. 

The Job Developer  can also email you a list of recommended items, most of which you may already have including household green cleaning items such as vinegar and baking soda.

Who will I pay, Caring Hands or the worker that is referred?

Employers pay workers directly either by cash or personal check at the end of the shift.  Since Caring Hands is not an employment agency but rather a free referral service for you to find trained workers who are active members of our program, we do not handle any monetary transactions.

What is Mujeres Unidas y Activas and how does it relate to Caring Hands?

Founded in 1990, Mujeres Unidas y Activas is a grassroots organization founded by Latina immigrant women for Latina immigrant women with a dual mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice.

We achieve our mission by:

  • Creating an environment of understanding and confidentiality,
  • Promoting a culture of mutual support for members,
  • Offering trainings in leadership, labor and immigrant rights education and civic participation,
  • Working in diverse alliances on the local, regional, national, and international levels,
  • Organizing campaigns to win immigrant, worker and women’s rights.

 

The members of Mujeres Unidas founded the Caring Hands Workers’ Association in 1994 to provide job skills training in accessible job markets to increase their economic stability.  Caring Hands members meet at MUA’s offices where they can pursue employment in a secure space, share work experiences in a supportive environment and use their experiences to improve working conditions and achieve greater protections for domestic workers on the national and international level.

To learn more about Mujeres Unidas y Activas, please click on the link on our Resources page.

How long has the Caring Hands Workers’ Association been around?

Caring Hands was founded in 1994 by the women of Mujeres Unidas y Activas who wanted employment opportunities to further their financial independence and complement the leadership and “Know Your Rights” trainings MUA already offered.

Where does Caring Hands find workers they refer?

Caring Hands members are Latina Immigrant women from the community who are all members of Mujeres Unidas y Activas, meaning they have regularly attended MUA’s general meetings for a minimum 3 months and are current with their $3 per month membership fee.

MUA members who wish to become members of Caring Hands must:

  • Complete a minimum 6 months active participation in Mujeres Unidas y Activas,
  • Complete MUA’s Leadership for Community Power training,
  • Successfully graduate from Caring Hands’ annual training in either childcare or adult in-home care,
  • Attend bi-monthly Caring Hands Workers’ Association meetings where topics include:
    • continuing education in child development and adult care,
    • adapting to varying needs of children of different age groups,
    • understanding and helping adults cope with different illnesses and ailments,
    • discovering new and stimulating activities to keep children engaged,
    • political, labor and immigrant education and negotiation and professionalism skills.
  • Volunteer their time in activities within MUA,
  • For childcare training graduates: volunteer ten hours in MUA’s in-house childcare for mothers attending weekly general meetings.

Some continuing members of Caring Hands have been active participants in MUA since its founding in 1990 and continue their ongoing education and training with us!

How are background checks of Caring Hands referrals handled?
Caring Hands recognizes both your important role as an Employer and the crucial role domestic workers play in supporting your ability to provide for your family while entrusting your children, relatives or home to reliable “Caring Hands”.  Since Caring Hands is not an employment agency but rather makes referrals, not recommendations, to our highly trained members, background checks are NOT run through our office.  Caring Hands regularly reviews member performance and employer feedback and so we only refer responsible members, active in the various programs of Mujeres Unidas y Activas, including several who have been participants for many years.

We encourage employers to:

  • list requirements in the job announcements we make to members,
  • interview several candidates,
  • check referrals,
  • feel free to request any other type of clearances from the applicant you would like to hire that satisfies your needs and are acceptable under labor laws.

 

Please also review our DISCLAIMER as follows:

Caring Hands does not guarantee any of the workers referred resulting from the job announcement made by Caring Hands will necessarily be placed with the Employer or that a referral will be found among eligible job applicants. Caring Hands is not responsible for ensuring that an Employer ends up with a suitable worker/caregiver. If this process does not result in an Employer hiring a worker, the Employer will not be given a full or partial refund of any kind. The final determination of a worker’s suitability and hiring decision will be made solely by the Employer. The parties agree and acknowledge that any potential worker hired will be an employee of the employer. Caring Hands will not be party to any employment agreement or contract between the Employer and worker.  It is understood and agreed by both parties that Caring Hands will not perform any criminal background checks or driving record searches.  This stated, the Employer assumes all liability associated with the hiring decision and expressly removes any and all liability from Caring Hands. The Employer understands and agrees that Caring Hands cannot be responsible for any issues that may arise once the employment relationship begins between the chosen worker and the Employer. The Employer waives the right to make any claim against Caring Hands, its directors, officers, board members, employees or agents arising from or related to the job performance, acts or omissions of the worker including but not limited to, acts of negligence or criminal conduct.

I want to be a fair and conscientious employer, where can I find support?

Caring Hands Workers’ Association works with Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers’ Network, a national network of employers of nannies, housecleaners and home attendants working for dignified and respectful working conditions that benefit the employer and worker alike.  Hand in Hand also provides resources for important questions which arise for domestic worker employers and provides workshops and meeting spaces for employers to network.  For more information about Hand in Hand or meeting dates (held in San Francisco and the East Bay) contact Lindsay Imai Hong at lindsay@domesticemployers.org or 510-590-8253.

Join the growing community of conscientious employers by taking the Fair Care Pledge. By taking the pledge, you are making a commitment to yourself and your community to be a fair employer. Take the pledge today! Click here to learn more.

Can I hire someone to care for my child as well as cook for my family and do housecleaning?

It is possible although we encourage you to adhere to some basic guidelines.  For example, for the recommended minimum hourly wage of $15 per hour for one person’s care, job duties include the following tasks as they directly relate to the person for whom care is provided:

  • accompaniment/ supervision,
  • cleaning of child/adult’s room or spaces used in the home,
  • laundry for the individual,
  • preparation of child/ adult’s meals and washing prep and eating utensils.

 

If additional tasks are requested, such as deep whole house cleaning, cooking or laundry for the whole family, pet care or running general errands (i.e. dry cleaning pick up, shopping for whole family, household work etc.) it is best to negotiate a fair wage, higher than $15 per hour, recognizing this extra labor prior to the start of employment.  Clear communication, expectations and just wages are essential for a strong and healthy employer/ employee relationship and Caring Hands would be happy to facilitate communication and assist with wage recommendations as well as a sample contract which delineates expected tasks.  (Please see our Resources page for a link to the contract.)

Can Caring Hands provide help with income tax questions?

Since Caring Hands is not an employment agency, we are not set up to handle payroll or tax questions but we can recommend contacting Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers’ Network (see our Resources Page for a link), a tax professional or the IRS website.

Why should I choose Caring Hands instead of another cleaning, childcare or homecare business?

At Caring Hands, we are non-profit and neither charge for services nor keep any part of the wages workers earn.  The minimum recommended rates are based on the principle that wages should be affordable but fair to workers, valuing their important role in giving you peace of mind while your home and loved ones receive compassionate and loving care.

Most employment agencies are for-profit businesses who sometimes charge you three or four times the wages they actually pay their workers.  Although some of those charges cover minimal worker benefits the majority is agency profit including estimating, consulting and case management fees.

Caring Hands workers are women we know and work with every day who have  a long and loyal history with Mujeres Unidas y Activas.  They are women we count on to uphold our reputation as a local non-profit whose mission promotes community betterment while giving a voice to immigrant women and domestic workers in the Bay Area and the Nation.  We not only provide assistance and a safe environment to workers but also aim to support fair and just employers looking to improve their communities through their power to raise standards in this industry.