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Every week, join Whitney Quick as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU.

Consumer Handbook: Hiring a Tutor

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Now is a great time to consider what tutoring needs your child might have during the year ahead, whether it’s catching up in a subject area or preparing for a standardized test. Consider the frequency of the tutoring, the type of tutor, the subject matter, the cost and more.

Common complaints to BBB about tutoring services involve paying for sessions that tutors didn’t attend, quality of lessons, and difficulty obtaining a refund. The following BBB tips can help you in selecting the best tutoring service for your child:

Know your options. Tutoring services can include in-home one-on-one sessions, small group lessons, online instruction, and tutoring centers. Services may be available through tutoring companies, individual freelance tutors, or even your child’s school.

Ask for referrals. Friends, family, teachers, other school employees and other families at your child’s school can all offer insight into the tutoring available in your area. Understand your child’s needs. Does your child need homework help? Long-term lessons? Test prep? Make sure the tutor is knowledgeable in the specific area your child needs help in and has experience working with students your child’s age.

Ask about educational qualifications and past experience. Check references. You should ask the individual tutor or tutoring service for references, and contact them. It’s best to speak to at least three references. Ask about their experience with the tutor and what sort of results they saw. Discuss the details. Make sure to cover availability, cost, frequency of tutoring sessions, and the overall length of time you’ll need the tutor. Include your child in the hiring process. Make sure your child is comfortable with the tutor you hire, and check in frequently while your child is being tutored. Keep tabs on the tutor’s effectiveness and how your child’s needs are being met.

Cape Girardeau native Whitney Quick is the Regional Director of Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau, MO, and is responsible for outreach efforts in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. Quick is a graduate of Cape Girardeau Central High School and Southeast Missouri University where she majored in public relations. Quick enjoys helping educate consumers in the southeast Missouri region by sharing consumer tips with groups and educating them about BBB’s resources.