What is a Mother's Helper?

A Mother's Helper is an individual who helps out a parent or family needing extra care with their children while they are home. This role is often held by young girls who are not quite full-fledged babysitting age in order to gain skills and training for future babysitting positions. Because of the varied duties and because an adult is often in the home as well, the role is different than that of a babysitter, nanny or in-home care provider.

 A growing use of a Mother's Helper is for parents who work from home, home-school or have a home-based business. Mother's Helpers are not required to have any specific training or qualifications, but  CPR and first aid training are recommended.

What does a Mother's Helper do?

A Mother's Helper mostly works under some supervision to handle all aspects of child care, errands, easy meal preparation and light house work. You can hire a mother's helper to entertain your children while you finish up important projects that require more concentration than you can achieve while you have a toddler at home. Mother's Helpers can help with household chores or play with your toddlers while you do lessons with your older children. There are many ways that you can tailor your mother's helper to the specific needs of your family. This job is very flexible, may be either part-time or full-time, live in or live out, may include babysitting on occasion (when the helper is in sole charge), and may be an hourly or salaried position.

Where can I Find a Mother's Helper?

The best way to find a mother's helper is by word of mouth and using the connections you have in your community. Ask around at a playgroup, the YMCA, a gym class, or in your book club. Most moms of teens or tweens are eager to help their daughters gain babysitting skills.

Arrange a time to talk with your potential mother's helper and her parents to make sure everyone is in agreement before you hire her.

How do I Train a Mother's Helper?

As the parent it is your responsibility to train a Mother's Helper to help your family in a way that is most useful to you. Give her detailed instructions on how she can help. Many Mother's Helpers are young and may be new to the role so be as specific as possible about your wants, needs and time amount of time tasks with take.

Mother's helper compensation

Compensation will vary, depending on experience and where you live. If you are the first family she has assisted, $3 per hour is a generous rate. As time goes on and your mother's helper reaches legal babysitting age, you will want to raise her rate to at least minimum wage or whatever the going rate is in your community. Find babysitting rates here.

Updated by Jill Ceder

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