Frequently Asked Questions for Families

When is a child BEST able to learn?

“Early childhood is both the most critical and the most vulnerable time in any child’s development. Our research and that of others demonstrates that in the first few years, the ingredients for intellectual and moral growth must be laid down. Children who don’t get this nurturing are likely to be two or three steps behind, no matter how hard we try to help them catch up.” Dr. T. Berry Brazelton & Dr. Stanley Greenspan

Recent brain development studies demonstrate the importance of the first years of life in the lifelong success of children. Eighty percent of a child’s brain is developed by age three. Research further demonstrates that the way the brain develops is through everyday experiences. These experiences form trillions of connections in a child’s brain, helping the child learn more readily throughout life and dramatically affecting IQ.

That is why your child needs a caregiver that is trained to optimize spontaneous learning during everyday activities.Imagine a caregiver who is aware of your child’s critical stages of development (intellectual, physical, social and emotional).TeacherCaregivers understand the tasks a child must successfully complete before entering the next stage of development. TeacherCaregivers know nurturing and stimulation will enhance your child’s development. Our trained professional caregivers demonstrate that they are prepared to help your child realize his or her potential.

What is TeacherCare?

TeacherCare is a childcare alternative for parents who want more for their children than what a typical nanny agency or daycare center can provide. We serve children ranging from infancy through school age. Our parents seek loving childcare in their home from teachers, child specialists, and educational nannies, who tailors playful learning to the unique development and interests of each child.

As parents and educators, we are passionate about providing the highest quality of childcare available.

What is a TeacherCaregiver?

A TeacherCaregiver is a child development specialist who comes to your home and cares for your child’s daily needs (meals, driving, bottle care, maintaining order, etc.) while creating playful teaching activities. Your TeacherCaregiver integrates your goals and priorities into comforting, daily routines.

TeacherCaregivers are educated in child-related fields including infant programs, Montessori, child psychology, special needs and gifted education. TeacherCaregivers share years of experience in schools, homes, child programs and centers.

TeacherCare conducts two interviews with all candidates before sharing their information with families. Candidates are assessed on their experience, education, developmental knowledge, and passion for working with children.

After completing our screening process, TeacherCaregivers are matched with families based on needs, goals and passions. Often, TCs provide specialized care for families with unique situations including: multiple births, foreign adoptions, special needs, gifted abilities, parent loss, preschool and school cross-over, celebrity and government confidentiality, foster care, and home schooling.

What is the process for hiring a TeacherCaregiver?

1. Apply: Submit your family’s information using our online Family Application at

2. Consultation: A director will review your application, then reach out to speak over the phone to further evaluate your family’s needs.

3. Matching Process: After your consultation, TeacherCare will begin reaching out to candidates. All candidates will take part in 2 interviews before being presented to your family. Feedback from the family is always appreciated during this step!

4. Interviewing: After reviewing a TeacherCaregiver’s portfolio, you will arrange for a personal or phone interview with the candidate(s). We will provide helpful information on preparing for interviews. Due to our selective screening and the superior qualities of the teachers, most families select the first or second candidate presented. We encourage you to introduce the teacher to all members of the family and consider a follow-up interview or a trial afternoon with the children. By relaxing and communicating with your Director in this progression, you and your teacher will have the opportunity to evaluate goals and values.

5. Finalizing: Once you have determined the best TeacherCaregiver for your family, your Director will finalize all screening procedures, and they will be submitted to you. The screening will include

  • Professional Reference Checks
  • Educational Verifications
  • Drivers and County Criminal Background Checks, Motor Vehicle and Social Security Background

6. Support: Because we want our teachers to provide fresh, enriching activities for your child, we provide:

  • Teacher Training for the PlaySmart Program
  • An age appropriate activity book
  • We are always available to help network you and your teacher with other TeacherCaregivers in the area.

Our goal is to create a playful, professional climate, which will foster many years of home enrichment. We find that the long relationships between families and their teacher are directly associated with the teacher utilizing her professional skills and the parents’ verbal appreciation

Why do Teachers want to work in the home?

Our teachers have experience in schools, private homes and centers. They know that there is no greater way for a teacher to create a lifetime of success for a child than to engage passions and meet individual needs one-on-one. Unlike settings with changing or rotating teachers, your child will enjoy an ongoing nurturing relationship for years, not months or weeks.

Our TeacherCaregivers realize that the home environment fosters creativity. TeacherCaregivers tailor their education to support your child’s creative process.

“Tailoring early experiences to nurture a child’s individual nature prevents learning and behavioral problems and enables a child to develop his or her full potential.” Drs. Brazelton and Greenspan

“Your child learns in the context of family, familiarity and fun!” Alyssa Su, TeacherCaregiver

How can TeacherCare benefit the child ages 0-3?

“Getting ready for school begins at birth. Children are born ready to learn. During the first 3 years, trillions of connections between brain cells are being made. A child’s relationships and experiences during the early years greatly influence how her brain grows.” Zero to Three, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Teachers provide opportunities for age-appropriate development.

How long will a Teacher stay with my family?

TeacherCaregivers are dedicated to their work in education, to the children that they teach, and to the families. TCs and families generally agree to a minimum 1 year commitment and hold work reviews annually. The average TeacherCaregiver remains with her chosen family for over three years, often from a firstborn’s birth through the lastborn’s school days.

Many TCs begin second placements after the first family’s children begin school. However, they remain in the hearts and minds of each family. Our goal is that every TC and TeacherCare family find mutual respect and fulfillment in supporting children through their early childhood years and beyond.

What sets TeacherCare apart from a nanny agency?

TeacherCare specializes in working with experienced, educated and dedicated child specialists. TeacherCaregivers do not simply watch children and provide for physical care; they also inspire a love for learning through age-appropriate activities and experiences in a natural setting. Teachers focus on emotional, physical, social and cognitive development. TeacherCaregivers have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree, and have been thoroughly screened, resulting in approximately 4% of applicants being presented to families.

TeacherCaregivers care for all of the “basic needs” of your child, including: driving, meal preparation, organizational maintenance and clean up. However, our primary goal is to support the child as he or she develops to his or her full potential. This goal is what sets TeacherCare apart from other programs.

The role of a TeacherCaregiver is to create a safe, nurturing, learning environment by creating challenging, novel and stimulating experiences in a consistent and developmentally appropriate manner. In addition, there are a variety of resources available to facilitate the role of our teachers. The PlaySmart Individualized Early Learning Pages provide a means to structure and enhance communication with the family, as well as guide a teacher in establishing learning objectives for your child. Often times, TeacherCaregivers within the same community set up regular play dates and learning activities with neighboring TCs and children. The community receives newsletters and forums to share new ideas and educational resources.
How does TeacherCare compare to a daycare center?

The dynamic, educational interaction between a TeacherCaregiver and child makes TeacherCare a uniquely beneficial alternative to a daycare center. Why? Research indicates that a child most effectively advances cognitively, socially and emotionally through consistent interaction with a trusted, loving person. TeacherCaregivers provide this one-on-one interaction with eye contact, immediate feedback and with their natural enthusiasm for the child and the learning environment. These daily early learning experiences that make a significant difference in the child’s development. Higher teacher-to-child ratios in daycare centers do not allow for this kind of dynamic interaction to consistently take place.

There are many philosophies of learning a TeacherCaregiver and family may choose to implement with the child. In a daycare setting, parents are restricted to the philosophy of care and education espoused by the child care providers in each particular center. During the selection process, TeacherCare assesses each candidate in order to closely match a family’s values, goals and beliefs about early child care and education with those of the TeacherCaregiver. day care center often presents pre-established curricula. Frequently, federally regulated procedures and guidelines determine the children’s daily schedule and learning activities (even though learning objectives for each individual child will vary according to developmental level, temperament, and the child’s innate interest in and natural selection of learning activities, content and material.

With a TeacherCaregiver in the home, the child will have the freedom to interact, explore interests, and participate in spontaneous learning activities. As part of the family unit, working one-on-one with a child allows TeacherCaregivers to create continuity between a child’s learning environment and his home life. Strengthening the system of relationships, i.e. relationships between the child’s school educator, the TeacherCaregiver and parents, enhances the quality and impact of a child’s education, and provides a better environment in which they can develop. By working and communicating more intimately with parents and detailing what was accomplished together with their child each day, learning will continue throughout the day. Through TeacherCare, the learning environment and home are integrated and become one; here, every place is a place to playfully learn, and any time is a time to learn for life.

How can TeacherCare benefit the special needs and gifts of my children?
Many of our TeacherCaregivers come from unique educational backgrounds and experience. They dedicate themselves to enhanced development of special needs or gifts and have demonstrated the patience and encouragement that is so crucial. Your TeacherCaregiver can facilitate an individualized program concentrating on your child’s greatest needs, strengths and abilities.
What is the salary for a personal childcare teacher?
TeacherCaregiver salaries vary from city to city (TeacherCare works nationally in cities including but not limited to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, DC, San Francisco and Phoenix) and are based on experience, education, number of hours on the job, the number of children in the home, and specific responsibilities and needs. Contact us for specific information for your area and needs. Salaries typically range from $700-$1100.00 per week (gross). Positions typically range from 30-55 hours per week. Because we attract exceptional candidates, there is no fee to teachers.
What is the placement fee?

There is No Fee to:

  • Apply for services
  • Have a Personal Conference with your Director
Referral, Resource & Support Fee:  
  • Placement fees are due upon a family offering employment to a TeacherCare referral.
  • Placement (outside Illinois): 15% of the selected employees first annual gross salary (minimum $2000)
  • Illinois placement (25 hours or more): $2950.00
  • Illinois Part-time Placement (24 hours or less): $1750.00
  • Please inquire about our rates for weekly tutoring, placements of 15 hours or less per week, and temporary placements.
  • There is a $195.00 Application fee due in all states besides Illinois. This fee is not due until the candidate’s portfolio is sent to your family.
RRS Fee includes:
  • Consultations and Administration
  • Criminal, Driver, Social Security Screenings
  • Personal Interviews, References and Education Verifications
  • 30 day Refund Guarantee, or 100 day Replacement Period
  • “Getting Started” Resources: PlaySmart & Curriculum
  • TeacherShare Activity/Idea Finder
  • Director and Staff Support
  • TeacherCaregiver Network Support
What if things don't work out?

Each TeacherCaregiver demonstrates commitment to children through their education and experience. In addition, each TeacherCaregiver demonstrates a stable employment history. It is very unusual that a relationship is unsuccessful. An average TeacherCaregiver is employed by a family for almost four years.

TeacherCare is built around its reputation. We take every teacher-family relationship very personally, and pride ourselves in the long-term relationships we create. If for you feel our candidate is unsuccessful, you can receive a refund for up to 30 days, or a replacement TeacherCaregiver for up to 100 days. See our contract for details. Please contact your Director for any questions, or concerns about the refund/replacement policy. * An extended replacement program is available through your Director.

Where is TeacherCare located?

TeacherCare helps families find quality childcare throughout the country. Although the majority of our families and teachers reside in the locations below, we are happy to discuss childcare options with families in all areas of the country.

  • Chicago, Illinois and surrounding areas
  • Los Angeles, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Manhattan / New York, New York
  • New Jersey
  • DC, Virginia, Maryland
  • Phoenix, Arizona
For a richer future...
A fulfilling life begins with a child’s quality of life and learning in the early years. The TC is dedicated to applying all of her skills and experience to ensure that your child thrives emotionally, intellectually and physically throughout those first remarkable years.