Obsolete/Wanted: Childcare Coordinator

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This page is obsolete and is being preserved mainly for archival purposes.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

This is my third attempt to explain what it is we're looking for. Hopefully I've got it right this time...

Quick Overview

There are two parts to what we need, i.e. childsitting and phone-calling. Ideally, we're looking for someone who can both step in for childsitting much of the time as well as making arrangements to fill times when you can't do the sitting.

We would also very much like to be working with someone who is going to be in the area and available for this sort of thing for more than a few months, so we can get to know you and so we don't have to keep placing new ads all the time – but we also realize that many of the people who are available for this sort of work are likely to be at transitory places in their lives, so we're certainly not going to exclude anyone just because they're only available for a little while.

The phone-calling part requires good communicative ability and regular checking of email (IM or IRC is a plus).

The childsitting part does not require any Special Needs experience (we certainly didn't have any at first!), but you will need to be comfortable dealing with a non-verbal, usually-docile, almost-100%-toilet-trained adult-sized boy.

If you're interested in either part of this, please feel free to contact us.

The Problem

  • We have 3 kids: Benjy, Zander, and Josh.
  • Josh, the oldest, is autistic, which complicates things a bit.
  • Neither of us are very kid-oriented people (Why do we have them, then? Well, it's a long story.); in particular:
    • We both have a strong aversion to making phone calls.
    • We both get easily overwhelmed by all the administrivia involved in raising kids.
    • Managing the day-to-day activities of even the very lowest-maintenance of kids would be challenging for us. Josh's autism complicates things from the very start; Benjamin is officially diagnosed with ADHD, and Zander displays ADD-ish symptoms as well.
    • ...and lots of other things which I should probably expand on somewhere other than here.
  • We have places we want to go. Bringing along 3 kids to some of those places would be difficult enough under normal circumstances, but when one of whom is totally non-verbal and so can't tell you what he wants and you can't tell him what's happening or what to expect, it is simply not practical much of the time. (One major exception being the annual Smith Family Reunion, where roaming kids are the norm and there are other family-adults around to help out.)

This causes a number of problems, especially with regard to arranging things for kids, where it is generally assumed that moms or dads will happily hop on the phone (problem) without a moment's thought and just Arrange Things (problem), and that one or more kids can be packed into the car on a moment's notice (problem).

The Solution

So... after a few years of living with this situation, and after a couple of false starts at trying to solve it, I think this is specifically what we want:

  • To be able to communicate with you by email (IM or IRC would be even better)...
  • ...to let you know about what childcare needs (sitting, transportation, arrangements, etc.) we have coming up.
  • Know that someone else was staying on top of the arrangements.

You could either do the sitting/transportation yourself, or find someone else to do it; the main thing is that I don't want to be the one in charge of keeping track of who has been contacted, and which pieces of a particular set of arrangements have been taken care of.

Some Actual Needs (Projects)

Here are some actual sets of childcare-related arrangements – let's call these things "projects", for short – which we currently need, both as examples of the kind of arrangements I'm talking about and also for anyone who is interested in providing care for these projects specifically.

  • Project #1: California in June: This is the most immediate project we have coming up. I want to take Sandy and my daughter Anna Nikola, who lives in Georgia, to visit the Bay Area for about a week; the kids mainly need ferrying to and from their various schools.
  • Project #2: Getting Josh back in The System:

We've been having a deuce of a time getting Josh back into the special needs care system so he can receive various benefits, such as CAP. If someone could do the calling/contacting to figure out what the heck is going on and what we need to do next... I just can't keep up with it.

2007-05-13 Update: Apparently there are independent local agencies which provide "targeted case management"; so far I have only been able to track down phone numbers for them. Calling around to such places might be one way of getting the ball rolling; I'm not at all clear on how they get paid, but if they are government-funded, then this might be a more cost-effective solution than having our paid Childcare Coordinator do all the legwork... or it might take just as much paid time to track these people down and get them on the ball... or they may have their own fees for doing the same work. In any case, we obviously need more information, and they have things set up so you can pretty much only get it by phone.


We can pay by PayPal, check, or cash, in that order of preference (PayPal is instantaneous and doesn't require meeting or mailing anything). Please feel free to suggest an hourly rate you feel would be reasonable for this work. We will need documentation of all time spent (just a note about what you were doing for each bit of time); payment can be weekly, or right after the completion of significant portions of a project if you prefer.