16 May Arranging Child Care for Your Assignee’s Very Young Kids
Family will always play a vital role in your assignee’s performance. How his or her kids adjust to the new country of employment can affect the way he does his job. A preteen who cannot find friends in the new middle school or an adolescent who has a hard time cracking the language barrier will end up unhappy and demoralized.
The assignee parent who sees this constantly cannot help but think about it every time he goes to work. That’s why global mobility specialists have their fair share of supporting the assignee’s spouse and children in transitioning properly and smoothly into their new environment.
The matter becomes even more delicate if the kids that the assignee brought with him are toddlers or in their preschool age. Sometimes, the spouse herself is already pregnant during the assignee’s appointment, and the delivery of her baby will take place in the United States.
Global mobility specialists should plan for the care and welfare of these little ones as soon as the contract with their parent is signed. Follow these tips to ensure that they will be properly taken care of as soon as they land on American soil, securing their well-being and setting your assignee’s mind at ease.
First, as soon as you find out that your assignee is bringing a child (or children) to the United States, do not assume automatically that they fit the typical nuclear family model. Many global mobility specialists readily think that the assignee will bring along the other spouse and the child’s other parent along. But as one of our blogs points out, the family system has become complex and less predictable. Your assignee could very well be a single parent who was given sole custody of the child. Or he may have brought his spouse but he or she also wants to work while in the United States. Understand the kind of family arrangement that your assignee will want to have Get all the details and then prepare accordingly.
Second, if the assignee’s spouse — usually, the wife — will stay home and take care of the child, that makes your job easier. However, introduce them to the medical centers, kids’ recreation centers, and learning hubs for expatriate kids to give them options as well as means of support. Seek the assistance of your network. California Corporate Housing, for example, helps assignees and global mobility specialists network with relevant partners to make sure they have immediate access to health and education providers.
Third, if the assignee is a single parent or his spouse is also working, then day care centers might be an option. Day care centers must have a license issued by the state. They also comply with regulations concerning safety, health, and the environment. In recommending a day care center to your assignee, don’t just do an automatic online search. Check out the references. Ask your own colleagues for recommendations. Select a few that have a proven track record with a lot of positive testimonials. Remember that your assignee must go to work every single day in the knowledge that his child is being taken care of properly by a professional institution. Nothing can disrupt his game more than a call from his spouse saying that their child is sick with flu and indigestion because of the day center’s lack of compliance with current food regulations.
Fourth, the assignee and his spouse might feel more comfortable entrusting the care of their child to nannies or professional caregivers. Remember that in some Asian countries, it is the doting aunts or grandmothers who watch over the family’s youngest members; day care centers might appear too cold and formal to assignees who grew up in these countries. Again, it would be more prudent if these caregivers have been recommended by friends. If your assignee has a relative in the U.S. who is willing to relocate to his new city to take care of his child, all much the better. However, in all cases, do a solid background check, including criminal records. All nannies and professional caregivers must have completed minimum requirements in health and safety training; ask them for their credentials.
Fifth, if your assignee’s spouse will indeed give birth in the United States, then it is imperative that you work closely with your assignee and your organization. Determine if the medical expenses in this delivery will be covered by the compensation package, and to what extent. Make sure that there are hospitals and health centers literally a sprint away from your assignee’s new home. Finally, consult with an immigration lawyer on the citizenship and other legal status of your assignee’s child who, though sired by foreign nationals, will be born on US. soil. Should you get this new baby a passport a year after his birth? Will his parents — and your organization — be liable for any taxation because of this new inclusion? Don’t wait for the baby to be born to handle all this. Do your homework as soon as your newly recruited assignee tells you that he is bringing his spouse to his country of employment, and that she is on the family way.