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Parents in a Pinch

Childcare Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is it appropriate to call Parents in a Pinch?
Q. When are the caregivers available? When can I call?
Q. What is the process for arranging childcare?
Q. How much do I pay?
Q. What if I need childcare not related to work?
Q. How do you know the childcare providers are good?
Q. What if I need to cancel my request for care?
Q. How can I make the transition easy for my children?
Q. When I call next time, can I get the same caregiver?
Q. Can I arrange care directly with her? Will she clean the house?

Eldercare Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is it appropriate to call Parents in a Pinch?
Q: Who in my family is eligible to receive care through my eldercare benefit?
Q. When are the eldercare providers available? When can I call?
Q. What is the process for arranging eldercare?
Q. How much do I pay?
Q. What if my elder lives in another city?
Q. How does Parents in a Pinch screen their caregivers?
Q. What if I need to cancel my request?

Childcare Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is it appropriate to call Parents in a Pinch?

  • During school vacations or when daycare is closed
  • When your child is a little bit under the weather and you need to work
  • When you have to work late or on weekends
  • When your nanny goes on vacation or quits unexpectedly
  • Anytime you have a gap in your regularly scheduled childcare arrangements and you need to work

Q. When are the caregivers available? When can I call?

Childcare is available in your home in the day or evening, seven days/week. The Parents in a Pinch office hours are: Monday - Thursday, 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST, and Friday from 7:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m. EST. As an employee of HMFP/APHMFP, you also have access to a customer service representative on Sunday from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST for care needed the following day. Sometimes Parents in a Pinch can locate a provider for you within an hour or two, but the more time you give them, the more likely they can make a perfect match. Twenty-four hour advance notice is usually sufficient.

Q. What is the process for arranging childcare?

  • Call Parents in a Pinch directly at 617-739-5437, ext. 2 to request care.
  • Identify yourself as an employee of HMFP/APHMFP, Beth Israel Deaconess.
  • Parents in a Pinch will identify a provider for you who meets your specific needs. You will receive two confirmations:

    • Parents in a Pinch will call to tell you about your caregiver.
    • The caregiver will call to confirm the date, time and location of the job.
  • When childcare has been completed for the day, sign the timesheet and pay the caregiver directly.

Q. How much do I pay?

Employees pay an hourly fee directly to the caregiver. In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the fee is $15.00/hour. There is a four-hour minimum charge per day. As an employee of HMFP/APHMFP you may use up to a combined total of 20 calendar days of childcare and eldercare per year. You may not use more than two consecutive weeks at a time; this benefit may not be used for on-going care.

Q. What if I need childcare not related to work?

You are welcome to use the backup services when your need is not work-related or your needs exceed Beth Israel Deaconess' placements during the year. In these cases, you pay the same rate to the childcare provider, and in addition, your credit card will be charged a placement fee of $50.00 per day.

Q. How do you know the childcare providers are good?

The Parents in a Pinch screening process is thorough. Candidates are screened for childcare experience and interviewed. All childcare references are checked by phone and email and Parents in a Pinch also completes a social security verification and criminal background check. Candidates are also required to complete their nationally recognized health and safety training program. Once the caregivers start working, Parents in a Pinch follows up with all clients to ensure that they continue to meet your high quality expectations.

Q. What if I need to cancel my request for care?

There will be a $30.00 cancellation fee to your credit card if you cancel once a provider has already been reserved for a job.

Q. How can I make the transition easy for my children?

  • Before the caregiver arrives, let your children know that a wonderful playmate is on the way. Suggest that they show the caregiver their favorite toy or book. When the caregiver arrives, introduce her warmly to the children. If you are nervous, the children will pick up your signals.
  • Go over the house rules - TV, snacks, videos, bedtime - with the caregiver and the children together, so that the ground rules are clearly set.
  • Review the emergency telephone numbers with the caregiver. At the very least, provide the number where you and/or your spouse/partner can be reached, the pediatrician's name and number, a neighbor or friend to call in case of an emergency, and a list of any allergies that the children may have.
  • Never sneak out the door. Say good-bye happily and firmly and leave. Coming back or delaying your departure will increase your children's anxiety.

Q. When I call next time, can I get the same caregiver? Can I arrange care directly with her? Will she clean the house?

Parents in a Pinch's goal is to have as much consistency in care as possible for your children. They will be happy to contact your last caregiver to see if she is available. And you may ask the caregiver if she can return on another day, BUT you must also inform Parents in a Pinch that you are doing so. All childcare with Parents in a Pinch clients must go through them. Backup caregivers come prepared to make sure your children are safe and happy - but not to do regular housecleaning.


Eldercare Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is it appropriate to call Parents in a Pinch?

  • When the regular caregiver is unavailable and your mother needs assistance with dressing, bathing, and ambulation
  • When your grandfather is waiting for an opening in an assisted living facility
  • When your father needs company to help him through the maze of doctor's appointments
  • When your spouse/partner is recuperating at home from surgery and needs temporary assistance
  • Anytime you have a gap in your eldercare arrangements and you need to work

Q: Who in my family is eligible to receive care through my eldercare benefit?

Your benefit extends to any adult dependent in your family or extended family for whom you have caregiving responsibilities, including:

  • Your parents and your spouse/partner's parents
  • Your spouse/partner
  • Grandparents, aunts, uncles
  • Your adult children
  • You!

Q. When are the eldercare providers available? When can I call?

Eldercare is available in your home 24 hours/day, seven days/week. The Parents in a Pinch office hours are: Monday - Thursday, 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST, and Friday from 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST. As a employee of HMFP/APHMFP, you also have access to a customer service representative on Sunday from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST for care needed the following day. The more time you give them, the more likely they can make a perfect match.

Q. What is the process for arranging eldercare?

  • Call Parents in a Pinch directly at 617-739-5437, ext. 2 to request care.
  • Identify yourself as an employee of HMFP/APHMFP, Beth Israel Deaconess.
  • Parents in a Pinch will identify a provider for you who meets your specific needs, and the eldercare service provider will contact you to finalize the arrangements.
  • Once the care is received, Parents in a Pinch will bill your credit card at the appropriate hourly rate. In some instances, you will pay the caregiver directly.

Q. How much do I pay?

Hourly rates vary by location but typically range between $15.00 to $18.00/hour. In Massachusetts, the fee is $15.00/hour. In most cases, there is a four-hour minimum charge per day. As an employee of HMFP/APHMFP, you may use up to a combined total of 20 calendar days of childcare and eldercare per year.

Q. What if my elder lives in another city?

Parents in a Pinch maintains a growing national network of eldercare providers that meets established criteria for providing a high standard of care. Providers undergo a credentialing process, which includes gathering information on quality of care, assessing hiring and supervision protocols, verifying insurance and licensure requirements, and insuring high levels of customer satisfaction. While Parents in a Pinch cannot guarantee a provider in all locations throughout the country, they make every effort to meet the needs of your adult dependents, wherever they live. Providing information on location and type of care in advance increases the likelihood that Parents in a Pinch can provide the care requested.

Q. How does Parents in a Pinch screen their caregivers?

Parents in a Pinch's partner agencies maintain a rigorous screening process for caregivers. Depending on the type of care requested, caregivers may be certified nurse's aides, home health aides, or experienced eldercare companions. All caregivers have prior eldercare experience, excellent references, and must pass a criminal records check and social security verification.

Q. What if I need to cancel my request?

If you cancel after a provider has already been reserved for your job, your credit card will be charged $30.00.

Contact Information

Academic Careers and Faculty Development
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue, ES-200
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
617-667-9120
617-667-9122
acfd@bidmc.harvard.edu