How to Choose a Babysitter
Leaving your child in the care of a babysitter is often difficult. It is important to choose a babysitter you can trust for your own peace of mind so that you can enjoy your social evening out. What qualities should you look for in a babysitter? Here are some tips to ensure that you choose someone you can trust.
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Where to Find a Babysitter
When looking for a babysitter, the best method is to choose someone that you know from within your community. Consider people from your church, social groups, local schools, or place of employment. When considering a babysitter, be sure to ask for references and follow up with them. Ask for references from parents that the potential babysitter has worked for before. Ask families who have used the sitter how many children they have and in what situation the sitter was given care of the children. Ask if they ever had any problem in the sitter’s care of the children.
Interview the Babysitter
Once you have checked a potential sitter’s references, invite the sitter into your home for an interview and to meet the children. Observe how the person interacts with your children. This should alert you to how much the sitter likes children and whether the sitter’s approach to your children is compatible with your parenting style. Check the sitter’s training in first aid and CPR. Offer the sitter some situations and ask how she would react. Ask for her previous experience and reactions in stressful situations.
Plan for Your Babysitter
When you decide to hire a sitter, invite her over a half an hour early the first time she babysits. Make sure she knows where all the relevant resources in the house are. Give the sitter emergency contact information and describe your children’s evening routines that she should follow. Leave a number where the sitter can reach you. Make sure the sitter is familiar with your house rules and what your children are and are not allowed to do.
Check In and Check Up
The first time you use a sitter, call home at least once during the evening to check in. This gives you the opportunity to gauge how a sitter is doing, and gives the sitter the chance to ask you any questions that may arise. When you get home, ask for a debriefing from the sitter. After the evening, ask your children how they liked the sitter and for feedback. You should try to always leave your children with a sitter they like—this will make the situation more pleasant for everyone involved.
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