Bell Family Company

FAQ

FAQs

FOR OUR FAMILIES & PROVIDERS:

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How do I apply?

All Families and Childcare Providers must be referred to Bell Family Co. To request a referral code, click here and fill in the required information.

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How do I refer a Friend (Family or Child Care Provider)?

Ask any current or past member Family of Bell Family to refer you. They need to log onto their profile & click on ‘Refer a Friend’ to submit your name and email. You will get an email shortly afterward with a referral code to enter here! If you do not yet know a member of Bell Family, click here to apply.

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What is the difference between a Sitter and a Nanny?

A Sitter is used for occasional on-demand sitting, date night, daytime fill-ins, weekends, etc. This service is booked on our online platform and paid by the Family via credit card at the end of each appointment. To book an on-demand Sitter, click here.

A Nanny is one person who commits to a set schedule for a consistent duration of time. For this service, the Family pays the Nanny directly at the end of each work week. To start your Nanny placement process, click here.

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What is the difference between full and part-time?

Full-time (FT) - A full-time Nanny in the NYC metro area works between 40-60 hours/week.

Part-time (PT) - A part-time Nanny in the NYC metro area works under 39 hours a week.

Please make sure you know the state domestic worker NY Domestic Worker Bill of Rights regarding overtime pay, workman’s comp, disability, minimum wage and required time off.

FOR OUR FAMILIES ONLY!

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Do you offer a trial to your Nanny and Sitter Services?

Nanny Services: Yes, a Family may trial a Nanny candidate as long as they would like. Trials are booked via our online platform with no obligation to the placement fee. Families are subject to a booking fee for any trial days (fee is included in hourly rate for the trial).

Sitter Services: Yes, we offer a 7-day trial with no obligation to the membership fee. The trial is valid for seven (7) consecutive days from the start of the trial. The Family is still required to pay the Sitter directly for the hourly rate per our website, plus any other costs associated with the appointment (transportation in NYC before a 7:00am start time and after 9:00pm end time, etc.)

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How do I become a member Family?

Nanny Services: Once your application is accepted and the Nanny Placement Agreement is signed with the $550 membership fee paid, you are officially a member Family! Bell Family is ready to initiate your search.

Sitter Services: Once your application is accepted and your seven (7) day trial has expired at Bell Family, you will be asked to become a member Family. The annual (12 months) membership fee is currently $550, which we can charge to your card on file. Just email us, or you can opt to become a member Family at checkout and your card will be charged with your last Sitter appointment.

For a list of membership benefits click here.

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What are your Sitter rates?

Families and Sitters can find our ‘Rate Book’ with market minimums listed upon logging into their profile in the footer of the page.

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Do you guarantee a Sitter for last minute bookings (typically 24 hours or less)?

Bell Family does not guarantee a Sitter, however we are known to successfully book a Sitter for last minute requests (even with a few hours notice). Member Families can email their immediate request to our ON-CALL TEAM here.

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How does payment work to a Nanny or Sitter?

Nanny Services: It is up to the Family to decide what method of payment they want to use to pay their Nanny. Nannies are paid at the end of each work week directly from the Family. Many of our families use GTM Payroll Services for payroll processing, tax compliance, as well as insurance offerings to your Nanny. For trials, Families pay via our online platform the ‘Rate Book’ rates, which are listed in the footer of the page upon logging in.

Sitter Services: At the end of each appointment, the Sitter will LOG-IN to their profile & CHECK OUT. The Sitter will enter their start/end time, and any expenses per the Family's request. Hourly work is paid through the online platform by the Family via credit card or PayPal at the end of each appointment. The Family will review and ACCEPT the charges. The funds will then be transferred from the Family’s account (credit card or PayPal) to the Sitter, and the booking fee goes to Bell Family.

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Where do you place your Providers?

Nanny Services: We place full-time, part-time and temporary Nannies for live-in and live-out in most locations across the U.S.A.

Sitter Services: In addition to full-time, part-time and temporary care, we also place on-demand Sitters in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester County, Southern Connecticut, parts of Long Island and The Hamptons. We have small groups of on-demand Sitters available in Los Angeles, CA and Dallas, TX.

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How long does the placement process take?

It depends on the complexity of your request. If you are looking for an on-demand Sitter, that could take only minutes, hours, a few days, or more for us to place . If you are looking for a full time, long term Nanny, that takes on average between 3-5 weeks. However, we move as fast as the family does. If a Family needs a Nanny placed next week, we can do that too, in most cases

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Can Bell Family provide Sitters for vacations?

Absolutely! Have one of Bell Family's super TravelSitters accompany your family for a long weekend at the beach, spring break, during summer vacation, or during holiday travel. To book a TravelSitter, click here

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Is there a cancellation fee if I need to cancel my Childcare Provider’s interview, trial or Sitter booking?

Interview or Trial: To cancel an interview or trial, reply-all to your confirmation email (with both your BFC team member and the Childcare Provider on that email) as soon as you are aware or contact us .

Sitter bookings: Yes, there is a cancellation fee of $10 for cancellations made at any point prior to 24 hours before that appointment’s start time. There is a cancellation fee of $50 for changes or cancellations within 24 hours of an appointment start time. To cancel a Sitter appointment, please log-into your profile, go to your profile page and scroll to below the calendar to JOBS THIS WEEK OR MONTH. Find your appointment and then click CANCEL and you will be directed to pay the fee online. Please email us if your cancellation is less than 24 hours.

For more information on our cancellation policy, please read our terms.

*Only exception to the cancellation charge is in the event of extreme weather where both the Sitter and family decide to mutually cancel. **Cancellations or delays involved with travel will be taken care of on a case by case basis.

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Can I schedule an on-demand Sitter appointment directly with the Sitter?

No, you must schedule and confirm directly with Bell Family and pay through the BFC platform. You may only confirm a scheduled location, date and/or time, or any other details regarding a confirmed appointment directly with a Sitter.

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What if my child is sick?

Nanny Services: The Family shall alert their Nanny directly of the sickness so that she is aware.

Sitter Services: We understand your lil’ one needs care when sick, but we also don't want to put your Sitter in harm's way. Please email our ON-CALL TEAM here as well as the confirmed Sitter to notify both parties of the sickness to make sure the Sitter is comfortable with the illness. If your child's sickness seems controlled, we request you provide detailed instruction for the Sitter to follow while you are away. We advise you and the Sitter to stay in contact while you are away for updates. If the Sitter is not comfortable with the illness, Bell Family will work to help you find another Sitter.

*Note that during the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is especially important to be in contact with your Sitter/Nanny about any sickness and to discuss any testing/quarantining that may be needed or desired.

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Is it possible to work with the same Sitters every time I have a new request?

Sitter Services: Yes! Each family builds a rotation or group of commonly used Childcare Providers over time. Each time you submit a request, it first goes directly to your rotation of Sitters and then if they are not available, it goes out to the next best-matched Sitters.

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Do you have to be a member Family to be connected with Nannies and Sitters?

Yes, all Families must become a member of Bell Family prior to reviewing Nanny and Sitter profiles. If you are a guest family in need of a one-off Sitter booking, we offer non-member rates in NYC. Email our ON-CALL TEAM here for more information.

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How long does your matching process take?

Nanny Services: Once you’ve completed your Family application, signed the agreement and paid the membership fee, we can start your Nanny search immediately. We develop your job conditions based on the phone consultation that we have with your Family and begin sourcing right away. On average we send 3-5 candidates prior to hire.

Sitter Services: For one off on-demand jobs, it takes a few minutes, few hours or few days depending on your request to introduce a candidate available for the job.

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Can I interview a Childcare Provider prior to a Nanny hire or Sitter booking?

Yes, always. After you review the candidate’s profile and would like to proceed, we offer a number of ways to get to know the candidate better:

  1. Virtual Phone, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facetime interview
  2. In-person interview (under 1 hour)
  3. Meet & greet between the Sitter or Nanny and the family (meet & greets are paid hourly)
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Do you offer Nanny Trials?

Yes, you can schedule a paid trial with your Nanny candidate(s) for a few hours, days or weeks. The Family shall pay the Nanny for her working hours through our Agency’s online platform upon completion of each trial day. Email us for market minimum trial rates. For trial engagements conducted with non-local candidates, the Family is also responsible for covering all accommodations, travel and food for the non-local candidate.

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What kind of screenings do the Nannies and Sitters go through?

Our extensive screening process includes a face-to-face interview with a member of our recruitment team, a resume review, a national background check including criminal and sex offender records, government ID checks, 3 reference checks, social media checks, Covid-19 Vaccination Checks, and each candidate is consistently reviewed upon parent feedback and offered the opportunity for on-going child educational training and CPR.

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How do you conduct your social media checks?

We perform social media checks after our interview with the candidate by spending time scanning google and social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, TikToc and LinkedIn to make sure they have profiles that are acceptable to our standards. If we come across any activity that is not appropriate, we will not proceed with accepting this Childcare Provider.

*Please note that some candidates may have social media accounts in association with their business such as acting, modeling, photography, etc. In those events where an account seems very visible, we ask families to understand the nature of these business accounts and to be more flexible with their content.

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How many references do you contact? And how do you contact them?

We always attempt to get the most recent references to list first on the Childcare Provider’s profile. However, that is not always possible; some families move away, some are private and do not want to provide a reference, some are going through personal family situations and are not able to give a reference at that time, etc. In those cases, we move on to the next year/employer, etc. If a Childcare Provider does not have 3 childcare references, we permit them to give us 1 character reference, which is someone that has known them for at least 1 year and is not family. If a Childcare Provider only has 2 references total, we will accept these two on a case by case basis. References are checked by our in-house, 15-year vetting veteran who was also a public school educator for 30 years and a mother of 5 girls. For consistent Nanny work, she verifies references via phone call at which time she discusses the Nanny’s work ethic, personality, verifies employment, etc. For on-demand Sitter work, she will email the references to complete our reference forms. If a given reference is only available via email, she will contact them to complete and submit our reference form. If a candidate originally joined our Agency as an on-demand Sitter and later applied to be a consistent Nanny, that candidate will have emailed references only in addition to a long standing reputation at our company. In this situation, our Agency can re-attempt to contact these references with a call at the request of the Family.

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Does Bell Family provide Sitters for parties and events?

We sure do! We have placed Sitters for private parties, corporate events and Kid Zones for some of the largest travel, entertainment, sports, and media companies.

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Is the Family responsible for a Nanny or Sitter’s transportation expenses?

Nanny Services: The transportation policy shall be agreed upon between Family and Nanny and detailed in the offer contract.

Sitter Services NYC: In NYC (5 boroughs ) Yes, cab fare is required for appointments before a 7:00am start time or after a 9:00pm end time, up to $20.00. The Sitter will add the amount to her checkout. If a NYC based Sitter is required to take train/plane/bus or another mode of transportation outside of NYC for an appointment, round/trip fare is required.

In all other Sitter Service booking areas (except Dallas), families provide gas fare up to $20 for appointments before a 7:00am start time or after a 9:00pm end time.

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Am I expected to reimburse my Nanny or Sitter for meals?

Nanny Services: The food policy shall be agreed upon between Family and Nanny and detailed in the offer contract.

Sitter Services: While it is not required for you to reimburse Sitters for daytime or evening meals during a regular appointment, it is always welcomed and appreciated. On vacation, travel or overnight appointments, Families will be required to provide food or cover the cost for all meals.

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Do you provide Pet-Care services?

Yes, we offer Pet-Care services as part of a Sitter appointment or separate only for the pet. As part of a Sitter appointment, simply indicate your Pet-Care needs when you click 'BOOK A SITTER' and the Sitter will add the additional $20 charge per pet. Be sure to provide all instructions in the notes section of your appointment request. For a separate pet only booking; email here with your request.

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Do you offer Sitters and Nannies with special needs or learning difficulties?

We certainly do! We have a long standing reputation of placing some of the most loving and experienced nannies with children who have special needs or learning difficulties. For more information click here

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Can my Sitter or Nanny do housekeeping?

Sitters and Nannies are focused on the children they are caring for and anything that relates to the them (i.e school drop-off, pick-up, light tidying, meal prep, occasional errands and shopping). If you’d like to start a search for a Housekeeper, that would fall under a separate request.

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Are your Sitters and Nannies CPR and AED trained?

We host bi-annual CPR and AED training seminars taught by certified FDNY EMS personnel. This training is highly encouraged and open to all Sitters and Nannies to attend. Our Sitters and Nannies learn the skills to act in the event of cardiac arrest through compressions only CPR & AED Training. Sitters and Nannies that complete the training will have a certificate of proof on their profile. Some Sitters and Nannies receive additional certifications independently. Check out the Sitters and Nanny profiles for their level of training.

If a Family requires the Sitter or Nanny they hire to be CPR Certified through the American Red Cross or another organization, the Family will need to reimburse all associated costs.

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Do your Sitters and Nannies have the proper immunizations?

Immunization records will be saved to each Childcare Provider’s profile for the Family to view. If the Family has specific immunization requirements, the Family will need to communicate that to our Agency and we will make that a requirement as part of the job. In relation to the Covid-19 Pandemic, all of our Sitters and Nannies are Fully Vaccinated. Families may request their own requirements for boosters, at which point we match them with appropriate candidates.

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Do your Sitters and Nannies have prior childcare experience?

Yes, 100%! Since 2009, we continue to source the best possible Childcare Providers in the industry. Each Sitter and Nanny has an impressive background full of childcare experience that is well matched for your Family.

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How do you find your Sitters and Nannies?

Most of our Sitters and Nannies come to us as a direct referral through a current or past Childcare Provider, member Family or partner organization. We also do outside sourcing through our trusted partner affiliates including college campuses, select job boards/sites, through our own casting calls, and more.

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If I have a last minute/day-of Sitter request, what are the chances that you can fulfill it?

Chances are high in NYC, our home base service area! We have a 98% success booking rate. We have the largest roster of College-Educated Childcare Professionals in the area. We also place Sitters in other select cities where we have an impressive number of available Providers.

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Is there an hour minimum for each Sitter appointment?

Yes, the appointment must be at least 1 hour in duration. If an appointment is requested for just 1 hour of service, there is a $5 additional fee for the short duration of time. The Sitter will add this expense at checkout. We also ask that the Family adhere to the number of hours that they request. If you need to adjust the number of hours required, please contact the Sitter with an update prior to the start of the appointment so that she understands how many hours she can expect to work.

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What if my Sitter appointment ends at 7:15pm and the only option to CHECKOUT IS 7:00pm or 7:30pm?

Sitter Services: Pay is rounded up to the half hour. The Sitter would CHECKOUT at 7:30pm.

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“I am a Family and want to expedite when I PROCESS CHECKOUT to pay my Sitter. What are my options?”
  1. Save your info to PayPal, then you can go one by one and accept without entering your credit card info each time.
  2. Email our Agency to arrange checkout Valet. This is where we process checkouts for the Family.

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Will I get email reminders for confirmed Sitter appointments?

Yes, based on how much advance notice we receive for the booking. The Family and Sitter will receive reminders 24 hours in advance and a few hours before the appointment begins.

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How do I pay for Nanny Services?

Once an offer is made and the Nanny has accepted, we will send the Family an invoice for the total placement fee due. The fee will be charged in full per the credit card we have on file on the day that the Nanny commences employment. This fee is separate from what the Family pays the Nanny.

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I’m ready to make an offer to a Nanny candidate, how do I do that?

Before you make the actual offer to the Nanny, our Agency recommends to all of our Families to use some kind of offer contract to outline the duties, hours, responsibilities, expectations and compensation package. This will serve as a guide to keep the position clear and both parties accountable. We can provide a template or you can use your own. We ask that the Family provide us with a copy of the agreement once complete. If you choose not to, our Agency will need the information in an email so we have confirmation of the job specifics. The offer contract is not a legally binding document; its purpose is to simply state the roles, duties, compensation and expectations of both parties.

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Who can I ask payroll, tax and benefits questions?

We have a long standing relationship with GTM Payroll Services. You can utilize any payroll service you prefer, but if you’d like to have a free consultation with GTM, just ask for Patrick and mention our Agency referred you. They will be happy to speak with you. GTM Payroll Services provides household employers with payroll processing, tax compliance, as well as different insurance offerings for you and your Childcare Provider. They can help you manage all of the administrative tasks associated with being a household employer. For more information click here or to use their tax calculator click here

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Is it the Families’ responsibility to provide healthcare, PTO, other benefits to their Nanny?

It is up to the Family what type of benefits package they would like to offer. Our in-house team will provide excellent guidance and support on what we currently see being offered in the Nanny market.

No luck finding your answer? Visit our Contact Page.