Many families have jobs that keep them away from the children and the home. As a result, family assistants are often needed to fill the gap. Family assistants are workers who live in the home of their clients and serve both the functions of a nanny and a maid.
The domestic duties of family assistants can range from cleaning the house to shopping for groceries. Some family assistants also help the family manage activities by keeping an organized calendar. Family assistants who have the aptitude also help children with homework, using flash cards and other memorization tools. Family assistants also are responsible for entertaining the children they watch over and sometimes have to discipline children using methods that are usually discussed with the parents.
Family assistants can work long hours since they sometimes need to watch children for long periods of time. Annie's Nannies website states that family assistants generally work 40 to 50 hours a week. According to Town & Country Resources (T&CR) website, family assistants sometimes need to travel in order to get children to appointments and after-school activities and also carry out other tasks such as dry cleaning.
There are no formal educational requirements to become a family assistant. Family assistants need good interpersonal skills since they will not only be living with their clients but they will also need to be nurturing and stimulating for the children, which will help them develop emotionally and psychologically. According to T&CR, the family assistant must also pay close attention to the children and must be detail-oriented, since they must be able to keep the environment safe and are also responsible for much of the cleaning. Since some children might have arguments, conflict resolution is also a useful skill for a family assistant. Basic knowledge of health and nutrition is needed since the family assistant must take care of the physical health of the children.
The need for child care workers was expected to grow 11 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The need for child care workers will be driven by population growth, though the population growth for children in 2008 was lower than usual.
The BLS reported that family assistants earned a median hourly wage of $9.12 in 2008. The highest 10 percent earned more than $13.98 and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.04.
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