Legally, in France, any earned income must be declared by both the employer and employee, no matter how informally or infrequently the employment is. The cheque emploi service is the most popular, and easiest, method of payment for these household employees. They are checks issued to you by your bank that you use to pay anyone who works for you in your home (there are some limitations, but babysitters are included). Using the Chèque Emploi means that both employer and employee are acting legally. It automatically protects both parties for accidents in the home as well as ensures eligibility for applicable tax rebates (the employer) and social security (the employee) benefits. You must agree with the employee that he/she accepts this method of payment. For information on the CESU in English, visit http://www.anglais.urssaf.fr.

The fact is that many arrangements are “under-the-table”, not declared and paid in cash. Be cautious when you hire someone under these conditions as you will not be insured or protected by law should anything happen.

People find babysitters through numerous channels. Word-of-mouth is often efficient and agencies can be helpful, but charge a fee. Here are some suggestions to aid in your search:

  • The American Church has a popular ad bar where families post help wanted advertisements, 65 quai d’Orsay 75007.
  • The publication and website FUSAC, http://www.fusac.fr, has a classified section dedicated to childcare, ads are posted and services offered.
  • http://www.craigslist.fr has a childcare category where positions are advertised and services offered.
  • Baby Chou, http://www.babychou.com, provides short term babysitting in your home or hotel in Paris. It is licensed and regulated.
  • Babysitters and nannies post their profiles, which are quite complete including age and nationality, on http://www.abc-families.com. You can filter your search by nationality, location, English-speakers, etc.
  • Baby-speaking is an agency that hires babysitters who can provide childcare services in foreign languages. This is also a licensed and regulated company. http://www.baby-speaking.fr/en
  • Message, an anglo-phone parenting group, allows you to post help wanted advertisements, in addition to getting referrals from other parents. http://www.message.org.
  • If you are part of a Facebook group with people sharing your nationality, this can be an effective way to find a babysitter or a referral.
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