"Family assistants" are the new childminders and where can we get one?! 4 years ago

"Family assistants" are the new childminders and where can we get one?!

Ever since becoming a mum, especially since becoming a mum-of-two, I have secretly (from time to time) wished for an extra few hours in my day. Or a third arm. Or, failing those two, an assistant.

You know; basically a second me – but one who is even more organised and sort of just holds our family life together – while still not being in our family, do you know what I mean?

If this sounds like an ideal solution to you too (and seriously; doesn't it just?!), then you might be keen to learn that such a thing as a family assistant exists IRL. Yup, it's true. And although it still seems to be just a stateside phenomen, we are hoping and criss-crossing fingers and toes that this new trend will make its way to our shores too. Soon.

Because, look, we know there are such a thing as creches and child minders – but these exist to care for the kids, right? Not for you, mama – or the family as a whole.

Which is where, according to PureWow, a family assistant comes in handy.

A family assistant is someone who is "not just there to help you with the children—they are there to help YOU. You need an assistant. You need someone who helps you, who feeds you when you come home so that you can go and be with the kid and play and read.”

Sounds good? We know.

In fact, according to relationship therapist Esther Perel, what you need is someone who is more of a "parental help" than someone who is just hired to look after your kids.


And guys, in the US, they got 'em.

In fact, Deborah Calkin, owner of a premiere national domestic staffing agency, specializes in connecting parents with family assistants who fulfill the following job description:

Family assistants work for families with children who require more than just childcare. FA’s are the parents’ personal assistants and the children’s nanny. They help out the parents in managing the home by doing whatever the parents need assistance with. Some parents need help running their business while the children are in school while others need help in scheduling, organizing and keeping the home running smoothly. A family assistant is similar to a personal assistant except that a large part of their job involves childcare and household duties such as cooking, light housekeeping and driving the children to school and activities. Busy parents are able to delegate important tasks to the family assistant so that they can spend more time with their children.

This is what Calkin had to say to PureWow about the family assistants she has on her books:

"Typically the nanny is hired to do only childcare-related duties. A family assistant does have nanny experience, but she also has personal assistant experience, so that really allows the parents to spend more time with their children, while also having someone around who is a professional childcare provider with a great driving record and usually a bachelor’s degree. So it’s the perfect mix between a nanny and a personal assistant. The family assistant can run errands, go grocery shopping, take the kids to school, activities or doctors’ appointments if and when the parents need her to. But she also really works with the parents and has the flexibility to do whatever is needed. One day that may mean running errands all day and helping with the home office. The following day it may mean doing more childcare if the parent needs to be away from the home or focus on their work."

Oh. My. Gawd. Sign us up.