Tips & Advice
What are the benefits of using a staffing agency for companies?
The benefits of using a staffing agency as a company is that it takes a lot of the burden and expense of searching for qualified candidates away from the company, and places all the recruitment, screening, and testing responsibility onto the agency. It also allows companies to “try out” new employees without fully committing to them--i.e. onboarding with benefits and government tax paperwork. In industries where there’s a lot of turnover, or where needs fluctuate, companies appreciate working with staffing agencies that can fill many spots with qualified part-time talent for as long as the company needs them and no longer. In simple terms, a staffing agency reduces the “cost per hire” and protects companies from having to pay unemployment on employees that weren’t around for very long.
When it comes to using a recruiter-type of specialized agency, the benefit is nearly opposite in that these agencies devote time to finding the best passive candidates (i.e. those who are not looking to switch jobs) and convincing them to move the client company.
What are the benefits of using a staffing agency for job seekers?
The benefits of using a staffing agencies if you’re a job seeker is that the agency gets a commission for placing candidates, so they have incentive to place people in positions. At their best, they actively have people searching for new openings every day, and they also have people working to match the best candidates up with those openings. Even the not-so-great staffing agencies are still doing the “leg work” of combing through opportunities and sending resumes/applications out on behalf of their job-seeker clients. They might be sending through many candidates for the same positions, but it’s still better than nothing.
Another benefit is that if a candidate finds work through a staffing agency, in many cases they’ll receive benefits, or be paid as an employee, instead of being a 1099 contractor as many companies set up their contractors and freelancers these days.
What does a staffing agency do?
A staffing agency matches job candidates up with available positions. Many agencies also actively recruit new candidates for fields where there are many openings, or where there’s high turnover--or, on the flip side, where a job requires a highly specialized and qualified type of candidate. Staffing agencies range from high-volume temp agencies that place many people for short-term openings to very specialized niche agencies (AKA recruiters or headhunters) that only work with a select number of highly desirable candidates and high-paying jobs.
What are some questions to ask a daycare as part of the selection process?
In addition to questions about cost, ask any potential daycare provider about licensing or accreditations and qualifications. Other questions to consider:
- What is the staff-to-child ratio?
- How long have they been in business? (Longevity and stability are highly desirable)
- Can you get references?
- How safe is the center?
- What plans are in place if a child gets sick?
- What (if any) is the curriculum?
- If transportation is necessary to get a child to or from the facility, what is the vehicle arrangement?
- What are the visitation rules?
- Are you closed during holidays?
- What is your cancellation policy if we leave?
- What if my child gets hurt while in your care?
What is a good caregiver-to-child ratio?
Having enough staff may be the most important part of any daycare provider. Having a staff-to-child ratio of 1:3 for infants, 1:6 for toddlers, and 1:9 for preschool-aged children is considered ideal. Generally the rule is, the younger the children the higher the caregiver-to-child ratio. Having more than that can be fine, but less than that is not.
How much does daycare cost?
The typical cost of full-time daycare is around $1,000 a month. That’s the average – you can spend more or less depending on your location, the type of daycare your child is attending, and if it is full or part-time. Also be sure to ask if it’s a year-round daycare. If it’s not, or they are closed for certain holidays, you will need to arrange for additional childcare coverage.
What steps do daycares take to keep children safe?
Daycare safety should start with:
Daycares should maintain a clean and sanitary environment to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses, including confirming with parents that kids are properly immunized, and having parents keep sick kids at home to prevent spreading illnesses. Many daycares also have stringent sign-in and sign-out procedures to make sure they know who is picking up (and dropping off) your child.
- Adequate supervision of the children – having an appropriate staff-to-child ratio (1:3 for infants, 1:6 for toddlers, and 1:9 for preschool-aged children).
- A regular training plan in place for health and safety issues, including pediatric CPR and having first-aid certified staff present at all times, and that procedures are in place for handling medications and dosages carefully and accurately.
- Making sure all poisons, drugs, and medications, as well as all toxic substances are safely removed from children’s reach.
- Ensuring all toys and playground products are safe (and regularly cleaned) and age-appropriate.
What is the difference between a licensed vs. an accredited daycare provider?
Licensed means the daycare program meets the minimum licensing standards that are set forth by the state – and licensing laws vary state-to-state. Accredited means the program meets the standards set forth by national groups like the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) or the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Usually the standards set forth by accreditation are higher than state-licensing regulations.
What is a good age for children to start daycare?
A good age to put your child into daycare can depend on several factors, including the length of maternity leave, your partner’s (if applicable) ability to care for the child, other childcare options available, your financial situation, and the child’s ability to handle separation from parents. Some daycares will take a child as young as 6 weeks. Some people prefer to wait until the child is 1.The reality is it depends on your child and your circumstances, and at what point you want to begin the process of developing social skills, etc. If you are considering daycare within the first 1-2 years, start looking seriously during pregnancy, as some can be very difficult to get into and have long waiting lists.
How should parents select a daycare program?
Your child’s foray into daycare can be a critical step in their development, so selecting the right program is vital.
Are you looking for group daycare or in-home daycare? Is the program licensed or accredited Do you need part time or full time daycare? (Note that daycare is different from preschool, which can begin as early as age 2.) Group daycare is at a state-licensed facility, similar to a school, with kids of varying ages. Home daycare is run out of the caregiver’s own home and the providers are not necessarily licensed or trained. After you’ve decided which way to go, quality, cost, and -- depending on the family, religious affiliations -- are important considerations. Staff-to-child ratio is also important, especially for very young children. Do your research on the history of the daycare (longevity and low staff turnover are good signs). Start with location, cost, and program availability, and then dive into the quality of the daycare program, the qualifications of the staff, program philosophies (discipline, dealing with illnesses, etc.), personnel-to-child ratio, the facility and surrounding environment (including indoor and outdoor play areas), and security. Another area to consider is how your child will be getting to and from the facility. Commute can be a factor, especially if both parents work. If you think this is a lot to tackle, just remember: You still have the teen years to look forward to.