How to Find the Perfect Babysitter
How to Find a Babysitter
It is often said it takes a village to raise a child. Some of the most important resources we have available as we navigate parenthood are the experienced parents that have come before us. The first step you should take in finding a babysitter is asking your friends, family, and peers for suggestions. If you don’t have any close friends to ask, you can also look up local childcare agencies and even visit or call your local licensing office for a list of licensed providers in your area.
If all of those avenues fail, you can turn to the internet to find potential babysitters. There are several online babysitter databases, many of which offer background checks on all of their potential babysitters. You can also try posting an ad in your local classified or online databases.
How to Interview a Potential Babysitter
Once you have a few potential babysitters, you should set up interviews. Make sure that you have a list of questions, and possibly even an application to fill out. Schedule the interviews in a neutral area for the first meeting, so that if the interview goes wrong the potential babysitter will not have access to your home or other personal information. Be sure to ask for references and for copies of any childcare or CPR certifications. You may also want to present scenarios to the potential sitter to see how he or she will handle certain situations. You should also discuss pay rates and potential schedules at the first meeting.
If the initial meeting goes well, take the time to check all of the references the babysitter provided. If the references check out, you should schedule a second interview at your home with your children present. Make sure it happens at a time that your child will be in a good mood so that you can see how the babysitter and your child interact with each other. After the second interview, if you feel the babysitter will be a good fit for your family, you may want to schedule a trial run where you will not be in the room but close by if a situation arises. You could use this time to garden, visit with a next door neighbor, or work on a project that you have been neglecting. This meeting is also a great time to go over your expectations of the babysitter. Talk about whether friends would be allowed over, or if you expect them to clean up after the kids, and to lay down any rules, such as no TV or which snacks are allowed and not allowed.
If you are going to need a babysitter often, you may also want to have two or three babysitters that you are comfortable using.
What Makes The Perfect Babysitter?
One of the most important traits a babysitter should have is the ability to bond with your children. You should also look for babysitters with a lot of experience, babysitters who have CPR and basic childcare training, and babysitters who are responsible. Your babysitter should also be old enough to handle the responsibility of your child. If you are considering teenage babysitters, it is especially important that they have the training needed in case an emergency should arise.
While finding a babysitter may be difficult, once you have the perfect one, he or she will become a treasured member of your family.