Thanks for your question. I think it is wonderful that you are working on helping your child to get a strong start in the school year by researching tutors before the new school year gets too intense.
Does your child have an existing IEP or 504 Plan? If so, it will be much easier to get tutoring support for your child through the school. If tutoring is not already a part of your child's intervention plan, write a letter to the special education coordinator at your child's school and ask for additional support for your child as part of the IEP or 504 Plan. Make a copy and mail it through the USPS.
If your child is not part of the school's special education plan, but you feel that they can benefit from a tutor, I recommend that you talk with your child's teacher from LAST year (they will know your child better than their teacher from THIS school year at this point) to get advice on what steps to take next. Does your child's teacher feel that an assessment is warranted? If so, the school may be able to conduct the assessment (at no charge to you). However, you will most likely have to make a formal request (again, write a letter). I have included a link below for a sample letter.
If your child's teacher doesn't think that your child needs a thorough assessment and your child just needs a little additional "tweaking" in their understanding of math concepts, you will have to seek a tutor on your own. Your child's teacher may have a list of tutors they recommend. If you aren't able to get any recommendations from your child's teacher or other parents, then you will have to do a little research.
I think the key is to look for a tutor who has experience in teaching your child to be "intellectually independent." That is, you don't just want a tutor that helps your child to do their homework each week. You want a tutor who can help them develop strategies for understanding number sense and attacking their homework and tests on their own. Sometimes educational therapists are most ideal for this type of situation. They have experience in the study of cognitive science and other teaching pedagogies, and they are sometimes best equipped to help in this area. There are online services that provide a search of tutors in your local region (tutors need to have signed up for the particular search site), so this may be a place to start. Tutors Teach, Tutor Match, Rcampus are just a few examples.
Laura Kauffman, Ph.D.
Licensed Child Psychologist
Education.com JustAsk Expert