Caring Hands Employer and Worker Spotlight: Caricia and Malena
Why did you choose Caring Hands as your worker source?
My parents were immigrants and my grandmother was a domestic worker. It was hard for her to find work, and so I want to support other immigrant women.
What has the experience been like?
Awesome! The staff was so helpful with referral process and supportive for me to learn how to be a good employer. I have been impressed with Malena’s skill level in terms of formal training and that she has so many years of experience, CPR and also general experience with babies. I almost felt she has more experience with childcare than me!
How has hiring a Caring Hands worker helped you?
My partner and I work full time. That wouldn’t be possible without Malena. She is flexible with her schedule and doing little extra things around the house like doing the dishes, etc. or light house chores like cooking. Having quality childcare is a make or break issue for women with careers and I never have to worry about my daughter’s well-being. Malena is super timely which helps with my daily routine. She is very reliable which allows me to work all day.
What are some of the qualities you were most looking for in a childcare provider?
I was mostly looking for someone with a lot of experience, not necessarily formal but someone who had been raising children for a while. Someone a little older with a different cultural background. I wanted our nanny to have some formal training like child safety, using a car seat, CPR, etc. and a flexible schedule was important for me to be able to work. I wanted someone whose own family responsibility was regular enough so they could be present. I also wanted someone Spanish speaking and affordable. I try to walk the line between being a good employer and being able to do it at all in terms of the cost.
Do you think that the Caring Hands program offers any particular advantages for employers as far as the referral process or the quality of worker?
Absolutely! The referral process was awesome. They referred three women to us, all were awesome. We would have been lucky to have any of them. The interviewing process was made so easy. I didn’t have to wade through resumes. Caring Hands did the sifting for us. They helped us through the contract process and the templates were so helpful. This was the first time I did this and I appreciated the support. So many employers just don’t know how to do it well. It is important to have standards and an agreement. I was able to set up a trial period with the workers and grateful for the help in those formal discussions.
Caring Hands members are currently involved in the campaign for passage of a Domestic Worker bill or rights which would guarantee among other things, meal and rest breaks and paid vacation, what is your opinion on its passage or changes it might mean for domestic workers in the future?
Although I don’t know all the details, standards of practice are really important to any kind of employment. Domestic jobs are the most common in the world and they are often considered the gray market. Workers can have their rights run over intentionally because they are vulnerable or unintentionally because employers just don’t know. It would be wonderful for both employers and workers to have a standard of practice and know that you are helping everyone work with dignity. Employers want and need to know what those expectations are.
Would you recommend this program to other parents looking for a childcare provider?
Yes! A networking service is so important. I’m surprised it’s not more well-known.