The K. Grace Experience: Flexible, Convenient Babysitting in Chicago -- Part Four

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This is the final post in a month-long series about K. Grace Childcare. If you need to catch up, check out entries One, Two and Three.

Sara
and I hope that we have given you a good feel for the client experience
at K. Grace Childcare, but we recognize that a few questions may
remain. Based on the feedback we've gotten from readers, we thought that
we would create our very own "FAQ" (Frequently Asked Questions) post to
try and tie up any loose ends.


(1) How much does K. Grace cost?

Once
your application is accepted, fees are collected on a monthly basis
based on hours used in that calendar month. After the first three months*,
the fees are as follows:


1-25 hour placement (in a given calendar month): $55
25-100 hour placement (in a given calendar month): $100
101-140 hour placement (in a given calendar month): $125
140-400 hour placement (in a given calendar month): $200

* For the first three months that you are a client, an additional $100 per month fee applies.

Additional
fees also apply for last minute placements, overnight placements, and
cancellation fees. And if you don't use any hours in a month (say, like
if you take an extended vacation or your mother-in-law comes to town and
becomes your live-in babysitter), then you aren't charged anything at
all for that month. So you just end up paying for the service hours that
you actually use.


Is
this service cheap? No, but it's true what they say: you really do get
what you pay for. K. Grace is licensed by the city and state, fully
insured and bonded, and all staff are licensed employment counselors.
And of course, they put every sitter through an intensive screening
process. The fees that K. Grace charges its clients covers the costs of
providing first-rate childcare to Chicago families.


(2) What do the sitters think about this process?

K.
Grace obviously wouldn't exist were it not for the extremely
well-qualified babysitters they employ. Here is what some of the K.
Grace sitters have to say about their experiences.

K. GraceĀ¹s thorough interview process not only let me know that I would be
joining true professional childcare providers but also made me feel proud
because I knew my accomplishments in the childcare field were valued.  The
mutual respect and high standards make K. Grace a great fit for me.
As someone who came to K. Grace for a second income, I more often find
myself making time (in my already full schedule)  because of the families I
get to work with as opposed to a financial goal.  The families are truly
great and each experience has been wonderful!
- Susie Fogle

K Grace's interview process was the most rigorous of any other job I've had.
There is clearly great care in choosing sitters for jobs as each job I have
been assigned to through K Grace has been a perfect fit!  If I were a parent
looking for a babysitter, I would not hesitate to call K Grace.
- Jami Garton

When going through the hiring process for K Grace, I was amazed at how
thorough it is.  With two online applications, a group interview, an
individual interview, a background check, and quizzes, I have to admit that
I thought it was all a bit much.  However, after having gone through it all,
I can't help but think, if I were a parent, I would want all my sitters to
have to go through the same process!  It serves as K Grace's promise to
their families that they aren't willing to settle for anything but the best.
I would go through it all again in a heartbeat!
- Jenn Walton

I chose K Grace because it does what I feel are the hard parts--scheduling,
organizing, putting together important information, etc-- and lets me do all
the fun stuff!  What more could a sitter ask for?  I feel so supported by
the management; it was clear to me on the first interview (and very clear
after the third) that I was going to be part of a very, very capable team.
It was as if the staff at K Grace went to the produce section in the grocery
store and looked at EVERY SINGLE apple twice before deciding on the best two or three.  The questions I answered were carefully chosen, very
conscientious, and each time I was asked back, my confidence in myself grew because I knew that K Grace thought I was special enough for a group of equally special kids.
- Leah Ellenbogen


(3) How can my family get to know the babysitters beforehand?

Let's
be honest - leaving your kid with someone that you don't know very well
can be stressful for everyone involved. K. Grace always wants to do
whatever it can to make this introduction process go as smoothly as
possible. When the new K. Grace website launches this spring, clients
will receive emails from new sitters along with a photo so that your
kids know who to expect when the door bell rings. K. Grace can also
arrange "play dates" (with plenty of advance notice) so that your kids
can spend some time with a new sitter before the first official
babysitting date.


As
with all areas of the K. Grace experience, the management encourages
you to bring any questions or concerns to their attention.  They want to
do whatever they can to ensure a happy experience for you, your kids
and your sitter.


(4) What can I expect when I work with a "team" of sitters?

For
families who are accustomed to relying on only one or two regular
babysitters, the idea of working with a "team of sitters" might be kind
of intimidating.  As I mentioned in last week's post, K. Grace goes
through great lengths to match your family with sitters that are right
for you. They are taking into account all of the information in your
detailed application - plus all of their knowledge about each individual
sitter and making the best possible matches.


If
you have a reoccurring needs (like every Tuesday afternoon), then you
can pretty much expect to have the same sitter each week. If you have a
one-time request, K. Grace checks with all of your previous sitters
(according to how you have ranked them) before moving on to a new
sitter. So as your "team" grows, the chances of having a new sitter
decreases.


Plus,
because K. Grace sitters follow certain protocols and procedures, you
can expect a level of consistent quality from each and every sitter.  As
a client, I can tell you that my experience with K. Grace has
encouraged me to think about my childcare needs on a more long-term
basis. For example, K. Grace encourages clients to request their
placements for a given month at one time whenever possible. This kind of
advance notice allows for a great chance that the same sitter will be
available to cover more of your family's requests.


(5) How is this service different from just finding good babysitters on my own?


I have found that K. Grace not only saves me time finding sitters and
then booking them for particular dates, but I've also realized that I
could never do the type of thorough screening that they do on my own. I
don't have the time or resources for background checks, interviews and
training sessions with every single potential sitter. I can't really
imagine myself asking each sitter for proof of their CPR certification.
K. Grace does all of this for each and every client.


I've
also come to really value the fact that I can always count on the K.
Grace sitters (as opposed to running the risk that my own sitter might
get sick or cancel). When K. Grace says that you will have sitter for a
certain time and date, you can rest assured that a sitter will be there
-- on time and ready to take excellent care of your kiddos.


Did
we answer your question? If not, please feel free to email Kayme, the
owner of K. Grace Childcare at info@kgracechildcare.com. She
will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have (she is
super friendly and a parent of two herself).


Does
this personalized and detail-oriented childcare service sound like
something that might make be a helpful addition to your family life?
Want to try it out?
K. Grace
is offering you the chance to win a $160 voucher towards placement
services (which is fantastic -- because you will have the chance to use a
few different K. Grace sitters and really get a feel for the experience
over time). Note that, in order to provide the
best level of service to their clients, certain geographic limitations
apply and the winner is responsible for compensating the babysitter for
her/his time).


Head on over to A Hen and Two (now Three) Chicks to enter to win (and get all the details on this fabulous $160 giveaway).

Disclosure: I am working with K. Grace to help spread the word about their services and I am being compensated for my time.

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